Korean style glass noodle with stir-fried vegetables

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Korean style glass noodle with stir-fried vegetables
Serving Size: 
4-5
Preparation Time: 
40-50 minutes
Ingredients: 

    Though this is supposed to be a Korean style dish, it is prepared in a Chinese fashion.  The hardest part of writing down the recipe of a Chinese dish is estimating the amount of each ingredient, as many Chinese rarely, if not never, measure when they cook. I am one of them, so the same dish could taste quite differently from last time. Other than the glass noodle which is fixed at one 12 oz pack, the amounts of most other ingredients are just suggestions or approximations, such as the amounts of dry Shiitake mushrooms, onion, pepper, spinach, napa cabbage, ginger, scallion, garlic, sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce or vinegar. You can increase and reduce the amounts according to your own preference. Especially for the amount of seasoning like soy sauce, salt and vinegar, you can always taste your food and determine what more to add. The trick is always starting with less rather than more salt or soy sauce, so the dish won't go beyond hope of rescue. After you cook it a few times, you will be better at judging how much to add in the beginning. On that note, remember to do one thing that I don't always do myself: write down the amount of everything that will better ensure future successes.

I. Cellophane noodle

  • 1 12 oz pack Korean style glass or sweet potato starch noodle (cellophane noodle)

II. Vegetables:

  • 6-8 medium dry Shiitake mushrooms     
  • 8-10 small cloud ear Chinese black fungus
  • 1/2 bundle spinach        
  • 1 small green bell pepper*
  • 1 small red bell pepper*
  • 1 small to medium onion
  • 2 large napa cabbage leaves

*You can use all colors of pepper, like the orange and yellow ones, but for each color use just half a pepper

  • 2 Tbsp minced scallions
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

V. Glass noodle sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tsp Old God-Mother brand Oil Chili Chinese chili sauce (optional)
  • 2 tsp white sesame (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


VI. Vegetables stir fry

  • Sufficient olive oil or any vegetable oil for stir-frying all prepared vegetable
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

 

 

Procedure: 

For health reason, this recipe is calling for olive oil for all stir-fry steps. Since there is a health concern about heating olive oil in high temperature cooking like stir fry, care should taken to reduce the evaporation of olive oil by either lowering the heat or reducing the time olive oil is under high heat (put in vegetables before oil gets too hot and evaporating). You can replace olive oil with canola oil if you think the benefit of olive oil is not worth it for the trade off of heating.

I. Preprocess vegetables and tofu

  1. Soak Shiitake mushrooms and black Chinese fungus in hot water for 20 minutes.
  2. After soaking 20 minutes or when Shiitake mushrooms and the black fungus for are soft, rinse well and cut into thin strips (cut off mushroom stems)
  3. Boil deep fried tofu. Rinse with cold water to cool. Cut into thin strips and put in a bowl to be marinated in section II.
  4. Wash spinach and break the long leaves in half
  5. Wash napa cabbage leaves and cut into thin strips
  6. Cut onion in half and slice onion into thin strips


II. Marinate fried tofu strips

  1. Heat a small souce pan in medium heat. Put approx. 2 tsp olive oil on pan and pour in the minced ginger and scallion prepared in ingredient tofu marinate section (IV).  Stir ginger and scallion in oil with wooden chopsticks for about 30 sec. or until the mixture sizzles (just to get the flavor. Don't over cook). Remove from heat.
  2. Pour cooked ginger and scallion mixture into the bowl of fried tofu strips. Add soy sauce and chicken bouillon and mix well.

 

III. Stir fry the vegetables separately

  1. Heat a cooking pan or wok. When pan is hot, add approx. 2 tsp of olive oil. Before oil gets too hot, add onion strips. Add roughly 1/2 tsp salt to taste. Stir fry for approx. 1 minute or until onion strips are soft or slightly golden. Take out onion and put in a big bowl for all vegetables.
  2. Continue using the heat and pan while it's still hot, put in aother 2 tsp of oil to heat. Again before oil gets too hot, put in washed spinach and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir fry for 30 sec. Take out spinach and put in the bowl that already has onion strips.
  3. The same pan and heat and oil and salt, stir fry pepper strips for ~1 min. Take out pepper and put in the same bowl with spinach and onion.
  4. You can stir fry napa cabbage in the same way as the three vegetable above, but I choice to stir fry napa cabagae, shiitake mushrooms and black fungus together to save one step. Use the same heat and pan, put in 3 tsp oil to heat. Pour mixture of shiitake mushroom and Chinese black fungus strips to pan. Stir. Watch out for flying black fungus as it causes micro-explosions in hot oil. Add soy sauce, vinegar, chicken bouillon and sugar. Stir for ~ 1-2 min. Time to add napa cabbage strips. Stir and add 1/2 tsp of salt. Continue stir-frying for another 1-2 min or so. Take out the mixture and add to the bowl that has all the stir-fried vegetables.

 

IV. Glass noodle and sauce

  1. Get a at least a 6-quart size boiling pot and put enough of water for the glass noodle. We will be mixing all vegetables prepared above in this same pot, so the size is important. Turn on heat to high. Rinse dry glass noodle with water. When water is boiling, put the glass noodle into boiling water and bring water to boil. Turn heat to medium or enough to keep water boiling. Cook glass noodle for however long the package suggests. For the brand I used, it's 5 minutes. However, the noodle could still be too chewy after 5 minutes, then cook for 1 or 2 more minutes. When done, take the whole pot and carefully drain out the water. Be very careful, as the water is BOILING HOT. Add cold water to the draining process to cool the noodle a little. Repeat until all water is drained. Leave noodle in the pot.
  2. While the glass noodle is boiling, you can prepare the condiment mixture for the noodle. Heat the small sauce pan with medium high heat. Add olive oil to pan. Put minced ginger, chopped scallion, garlic and white sesame seeds, if you feel like it, listed in the glass noodle and sauce section (V) into heated oil and stir with chopsticks until ingredients sizzle. Remove mixture from heat and put aside.
  3. When glass noodle is cooked and drained in step #1, add the condiment mixture in step #2 into the noodle pot and mix well.
  4. Add the seasoning items in the glass noodle and sauce section (V), i.e. soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, chili sauce and sesame oil, into the mixture and mix well.


V. Mixing everything

  1.  Ya, I know, it's a lot of work, but we are almost done. This is the most exciting step as we are mixing all the vegi and tofu into the noodle. Pour all the stir-fried vegetables and marinated tofu into noodle pot and use a pair of long chopsticks (if you have) to mix. When the noodle, vegetbles and tofu are evenly mixed, you are done.  Taste the noodle to see if it's missing any taste, like saltiness, sourness or spiciness. Add the necessary seasoning to your taste.
  2. Congratulations, you just completed a tough mission, if not impossible. Enjoy your noodle!

 

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Mixing all ingredients with glass noodle
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