Recipe for the traditional Korean dish japchae, from Lexington cook (and competitor on the current season of “MasterChef”!) Dan Wu
• 8 ounces dried Korean sweet potato noodles
• 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
• 1/4 cup ponzu
• 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
• Vegetable oil
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch strips
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
• 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed and thinly sliced
• 4 ounces white or brown beech mushrooms
• 8 stems boiled bracken fern, cut into 1-1/2 inch strips
• 4 ounces baby spinach
• 1 scallion, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
• 4 ounces pork loin, sliced into 1-1/2 inch strips
• 1 teaspoon corn starch
• Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles for five minutes, drain and toss with sesame oil to keep from sticking.
In a wok or deep sauté pan, stir-fry onions in one ablespoon of oil for several minutes, until they are tender but still have some bite. Remove and repeat with each of the vegetables (carrots, shiitakes, beech mushrooms).
In a bowl, mix the corn starch with the pork until it is absorbed. Add a tablespoon of ponzu and mix until absorbed. Then mix in water one teaspoon at a time until no more will absorb. This makes the pork very tender when cooked. Stir-fry the pork quickly until just cooked. Remove and reserve.
Add one tablespoon of oil to wok and add scallions. Cook for 15 seconds, then add noodles, all cooked vegetables, pork, fern-bracken and spinach. Stir-fry until well incorporated. Mix in remaining ponzu and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.