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I love everything that spells noodles.  Fast to cook, furiously versatile and kids just love it.  My love affair with noodles began when I had my first set of baby teeth.  I recalled my first plate of plain noodles was so enjoyable and that relationship with noodles was passed on to my lil’ one.  She had the same expression after tasting her first plate of noodles.  They are also my life-saviour when I was staying on my own in uni.  I didn’t know how to cook then and packet noodles (although unhealthy) was my go-to meal for breakfast, lunch, breakfast or supper.

There are so many variations of noodles – from Malaysian favourites like hokkien mee, wan tan mee to Japanese udon to Italian pasta to Korean noodles.

Japchae is a Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles and stir-fry with mixed vegetables and various type of meats. Cooked to the right texture and you’ll get chewy and springy textured noodles.  The noodles are cooked separately in boiling hot water until al dante.  The rest of the ingredients are stir-fried separately.  Then they are mixed together and served.  Simple!

So, if you are looking for a quick, no-fuss weekday meal, this will be a good choice 🙂  Tell me, what is your favourite noodle dish?

Japchae (adapted from Poh’s Same Same but Different)

Serves 3

250g Korean sweet potato starch noodles
1/3 cup sesame oil, separate into 1 tbsp oil and remaining oil into a separate cup
3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
200g pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
10 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in hot water for at least 2 hours), remove stalk and thinly sliced
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 carrots, julienned
3 spring onions, green part only, sliced diagonally
Handful of coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste

1. Start boiling the potato noodles in a pot of water until al dente (just like pasta).  Ensure there is sufficient water to cover the noodles.

2. While the noodles are cooking, heat the remaining sesame oil over medium heat in a wok.  Saute the garlic for about 10-15 seconds.  Add the pork and sliced mushrooms into the wok and stir fry until the pork is cooked through. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and carrot.  Toss and mix well.  Remove from the heat.

3. Once the noodles are cooked till your desired texture, remove from the heat.  Pour the noodles into a colander and run them through running cold water.  This is to stop the cooking of the noodles.  Drain and pour in 1 tbsp of sesame oil.  Mix the noodles well so they are well coated.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4. Add the cooked pork and vegetable mixture into the large mixing bowl.  Then add spring onions and coriander. Season with salt and pepper.  Toss the noodles and the mixture well.  Serve immediately.


Note: For vegetarian version, omit the meat.  You can replace the oysters sauce with Lee Kum Kee vegetarian mushroom-flavored sauce.



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