CSA Manager Eric Yuke got me some goodies from his favorite Asian foods store this weekend: Japchae Sweet Potato Noodles and Gochujang Chile Paste. The naturally gluten-free noodles have a unique texture and flavor that combines perfectly with the bright flavors of spring produce. They are also fast to prepare, meaning this whole meal can be prepared in half an hour or less.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add 1/2 lb. Japchae. Boil for 4 minutes, then drain and rinse until cool to stop cooking. Chop the noodles into smaller sections.
Soak a handful of dried Shitake or other mushrooms in 1/2 C. hot water until soft. Reserve the water and slice the mushrooms. (Alternately you can use 1 C. fresh mushrooms).
Peel and slice 1 medium or 2 small onions. Trim 1 bunch of asparagus and then cut into 2″ pieces, slicing the thickest parts of the stalks in half lengthwise first. Trim 1/2 lb. Snap Peas and then cut in half.
Rinse 6 carrots. Slice and cut into pieces about the same size as the asparagus.
Heat 2 T. safflower oil in a large wok, then add the onion and stir fry until soft. Add 1-2 T. Gochujang Chile Paste (optional) plus the mushrooms, carrots and asparagus. Sprinkle with salt. Stir fry until the asparagus is tender.
Add the noodles and Snap Peas, along with 1 T. soy sauce and 1 t. sesame oil and keep stir frying. When the noodles start to stick, add the mushroom water a little at a time. The noodles should brown about the same time the Snap Peas are ready.
Serve the noodles topped with your favorite marinated grilled protein.