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Friday, October 2, 2009

Spicy Glass Noodles with Beef

More than a dozen years back, I took a year off undergraduate to "study" in Tokyo. While my Japanese reading and writing abilities aren't at a level where I can work at a Japanese company, I can read enough to eat at a standard izakaya (Japanese pub). My parents are so proud that I went to Japan for a year, and learned enough Japanese to sing karaoke and read bar food menus! I can read the kanji for "love", "heart", "tears", "pork", "tofu", "noodles"... Luckily since I can read minimal Japanese to feed myself at a bar, it also means I have the skills to figure out recipes written in Japanese. See, Mom and Dad, my year wasn't wasted! My favorite page to get recipes off of is Orange Page, which is the website to my favorite Japanese cooking magazine.

I had all these leftover ingredients from when I did seafood hot pot with my friends visiting (we had a mini Waseda reunion!). I bought a bag of glass noodles (mung bean noodles) for the hot pot that I never used, so I wanted to try a new recipe since I never worked with this ingredient before. Obviously I used some of it in my nikujaga recipe. So when I did a search through Orange Page, I found this recipe for spicy glass noodles. I adjusted it slightly since I wanted to use up other veggies in the frig ... and I'm not a fan of ginger, so I tend to cut that out of my recipes! Shhh! Don't tell my BF!

Spicy Glass Noodles with Beef Recipe

200g Mung Bean Noodles (dried)
1/2 lb thinly sliced sirloin, chopped to bite sized pieces
3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
10 baby carrots, thinly sliced
4 leaves napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2-4 tsp Toban jan (depends on how spicy you like it)
2 tsp chicken stock granules
4 T soy sauce
4 T sugar
1 T cooking sake
2 T mirin
3-5 T roasted sesame oil
2 T cooking oil
4-6 stalks of scallions chopped
3 T white sesames

Boil a large pot of water. After the water is boiled, turn off heat and put the mung bean noodles in the water to allow it to soften. After 4-5 minutes, drain noodles.

In a large wok, over medium heat cooking oil, 1T of the sesame oil, toubanja, garlic, and onions until fragrant. Make sure to turn on a fan because the air will become pretty spicy making it hard to breathe! Turn heat to high and add sliced beef and allow to brown. Then add carrots and napa cabbage allow to soften slightly. Turn the heat back down to medium, then add the flavoring ingredients, chicken stock granules, soy sauce, sugar, sake, and mirin. Rinse the glass noodles with water to loosen, and add to the wok. Mix until all the ingredients to coat the noodles and simmer for a bit until the noodles absorb the liquid in the pan. Toss with sesame oil, white sesames, and green onions. Taste the noodles, and adjust according to taste. This actually taste better next day since the noodles get an opportunity to absorb the sauce.


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