Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae

Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food
Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae - Eat Cho Food

Whenever October comes around, my consumption of kale, mushrooms, and BUTTER grows exponentially. Same goes for apples and butternut squash, but those wouldn’t taste very good in this Japchae. Whenever I draw a blank when trying to think of something to make for dinner, I go immediately into “throw whatever is in the fridge into a wok with noodles and brown sauce” mode. I guess “quick stir-fry” mode for short. Since I pretty much always have kale and mushrooms on hand nowadays this, super tasty and satisfying Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae was born!

Have you had japchae before? It’s a Korean stir fried noodle dish made with sweet potato starch noodles, an assortment of veggies, and a savory and sweet brown sauce. The noodles are really bouncy and soak up all the flavors of the stir-fry sauce. Traditional vegetables include carrots, dried shiitake mushrooms, and spinach, but you could use whatever vegetables you have at the ready! Bell peppers, zucchini, and asparagus would make for excellent substitutions.

My favorite Korean restaurant, Muguboka, serves a plate of their house japchae for FREE. It’s such a kind gesture of generosity and I think somehow makes the rest of your meal taste even better. Muguboka is where I like to think Reuben and I started falling in lurve while also simultaneously falling in love with their seafood pancake. Gosh, I wish Reuben would eat carbs again so we could get that dang pancake!

This version of Japchae isn’t too far off from traditional japchae. I used Ottogi’s Korean Vermicelli Noodles (all their noodles are so good by the way!!), swapped out the spinach for a heartier kale, and the dried shiitakes with these adorable mini fresh shiitakes I found at the market. If you can only find large shiitakes, just cut them into strips. The sauce is super simple and super versatile for a lot of other recipes. It’s a blend of soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil to hit all those salty, sweet, and nutty notes. Throw it in different stir-fries, marinate meat with it, or reduce the sauce into a glaze.

If you’re looking to add some protein in here for a full meal, add some thinly sliced beef or chicken. A crispy fried egg would be awesome too. This makes for a great main dish or a side dish to share at table with friends!


Garlicky Kale and Crispy Mushroom Japchae

Serves 4

Ingredients:

½ package (9 oz) Ottogi Korean Cut Vermicelli
4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz shiitake mushrooms - sliced if mushrooms are larger
4 green onion stalk - cut into 2” pieces
4 cloves garlic - minced
2 carrots - sliced at a bias
½ white onion - sliced thick
1 bunch of Tuscan kale - torn into small pieces
Salt
Pepper

Sauce:

4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add vermicelli and boil for 6 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the noodles under cold water. Cut the noodles a few times using kitchen scissors and set aside to drain.

  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, add the shiitake mushrooms and cook while stirring occasionally for 8 minutes. Mushrooms will be tender but crispy on the edges. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside on a plate.

  3. Add green onions, garlic, sliced carrots, and sliced onions to the pan. Cook while stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the kale and cook for a few more minutes, until the kale starts to wilt.

  4. While the veggies cook, mix together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

  5. Add the noodles and the sauce into the skillet. Toss the noodles so that the ingredients are evenly combined. Cook noodles for another 3-5 minutes. Season again with a little salt and pepper to your taste.

  6. Serve the japchae in individual bowls topped with crispy mushrooms. Enjoy warm!

Thanks, Ottogi, for sponsoring this post!