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Sweet Potato Noodles (Chapchae)

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 10
Sweet Potato Noodles (Chapchae)
1

Break the noodles into 6-or 7-inch pieces, then cook them in boiling water until the noodles are translucent and slightly springy when pulled, 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse them thoroughly in cold water.

2

Soak the mushrooms in cold water for about 1 hour. Squeeze the liquid from the mushrooms, cut off the stems and discard them. Slice the mushrooms.

3

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms, beef, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of crushed sesame seeds and cook until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4

In boiling water, blanch the spinach. Squeeze the water from the leaves and cut them in half. In a bowl, combine the spinach, the remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of crushed sesame seeds and mix. Set aside.

5

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the white onions, carrots, green pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until the onions and peppers start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green onions and stir-fry for about a minute more. Remove from the heat and set aside.

6

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the noodles, beef mixture, spinach, onion mixture, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon whole toasted sesame seeds and the sugar.

7

Serve warm, sprinkled with whole sesame seeds if desired.

Be careful not to overcook the noodles or they will lose their flavor and chewy texture. The noodles should be translucent but still slightly firm. You can find sweet potato noodles at Korean markets.

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