½ carrot julienned
½ onion julienned
40 to 50 gms wood ear mushrooms
½ red bell pepper julienned
½ yellow bell pepper julienned
¼ cucumber julienned
100 gm or 1 portion Japchae (sweet potato vermicelli) noodles
50 to 100 gms or 3 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp black pepper,
Toasted sesame oil, to taste
1. For the wood ear mushroom, soak for around 3 hours prior to cooking if in dried form. Then strain, rinse under running water and keep aside.
2. All the vegetables are to be sliced into the same length pieces of approximately 5 cm, and the amounts are dependent on your personal tastes.
3. First, slice the carrot finely into 5 cm long sticks, and the spring onions too.
4. Thinly slice the yellow and red bell peppers into rectangular strips, and a few thin sticks of cucumber for variety.
5. Cut the onion finely into long pieces.
6. Add vegetable oil to a frying pan, and fry the sliced carrot for one to two minutes, adding a pinch of salt if preferred. Move to a large bowl for mixing the japchae and keep aside.
7. Repeat this step with the bell peppers, onions, spring onions, wood ear mushrooms, frying them one by one and transferring to the mixing bowl.
8. Bring water in a pan to a boil, and cook the japchae noodles for 6 to 7 minutes until it becomes very soft. Strain and add to the mixing bowl.
9. Add the sugar, soy, salt and pepper to the noodles and vegetables and mix thoroughly. Using food gloves and mixing with your hands works well for evenly mixing the ingredients, but ensure the japchae has cooled down to do so.
10. Add sesame oil, sesame seeds and mix well. If your japchae noodles are very long, cut them using kitchen scissors for ease of eating.
11. Transfer the noodles to a plate, add more sesame seeds to garnish and serve for a healthy, celebratory meal.