Spring Vegetable Japchae (Korean Glass Noodles)

Ingredients

  • ¼

    cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1

    tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1

    tablespoon turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)

  • 1

    tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 12

    ounces dried sweet potato noodles (glass noodles)

  • 3

    tablespoons safflower or canola oil

  • ½

    small yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 4

    ounces carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)

  • 4

    ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1

    medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick strips

  • 4

    ounces sugar snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 6

    ounces asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias, tips kept whole (about 1 heaping cup)

  • 4

    ounces baby spinach (about 2 packed cups)

  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook noodles until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add half of the sauce (about 3 tablespoons) and toss to evenly coat.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons safflower oil over medium. Add onion and carrots, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and half the remaining sauce (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the noodles.
  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon safflower oil and the bell pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add snap peas and asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach to the skillet and stir until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture into the bowl with the noodles. Add the remaining sauce and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide japchae among bowls and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.