CHAP CHAE (Korean-style noodles with vegetables, for four)

5 to 6 ounces very thin sai fun (Chinese bean thread noodles, sold in small skeins; also known as cellophane, glass or mung bean noodles)

½ cup tamari (wheat-free sauce from refined soy)

3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic (2 cloves) 

1 tablespoon safflower oil

1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick (1-½ cups)

3 medium carrots, cut into 1/8 inch thick matchsticks (1-½ cups)

¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/8 inch thick (1-½ cups)

3 cups baby spinach (2-½ ounces)

1.  In a bowl soak the noodles in hot tap water to cover for 20 minutes, drain them, and cut them into 3 to 4 inch lengths.

  1. Blend tamari, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic in a blender until smooth.
  2. Heat safflower oil in a deep 12 inch heavy skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke, then stir-fry onion and carrots until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir-fry until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add spinach and stir-fry 30 seconds, then add noodles and tamari mixture and toss to coat.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.  (Add the tamari mixture slowly – depending on your noodles you may not need this much.)  Transfer to a shallow serving dish and serve warm or at room temperature.  (Chap chae can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.)

adapted from Gourmet Magazine, November, 2

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