Delightful sweet potato noodles lap up spicy Korean red pepper sauce, sesame and ginger in this speedy take out-inspired stir fry. Quick sauté your favourite veggies and top with a fried egg or crispy tofu to take this dish to the next level!
I must confess I’m a pretty big amateur in the Korean food game.
As a veg head, Korean cuisine has been especially alien to me, bringing to mind images of obscure cuts of meat sizzling atop a table-side barbecue.
Yet, seeing as I spend my days churning out a slew of globally-inspired recipes for work, the time has come for me to get cozy with kimchi.
This little dish came to be with a simple craving for noodles, specifically noodles tossed in a spicy, tangy and umami-rich sauce. The rainbow of tender crisp veggies are just a (tasty) afterthought.
Korean food, like Thai or Chinese, mindfully balances the flavours of spicy, sweet, bitter and sour. I used a new-to-me condiment- gochujang– for the body, heat and bright red colour of this punchy sauce.
New to the stuff? Gochugang is thick crimson paste made from chilli peppers, rice and fermented soy beans. You’ll find it in most Asian grocery stores in a big ol’ plastic red tub near the sauces.
It’s like if Sriracha and miso had a hot red affair. On board?
While it’s too robust on its own to be a great ‘hot sauce’ on its own, pair it with a sesame oil and some acidity and you’re taking your rice dishes, soups, and roasted veggies to groovy new heights.
Sweet potato noodles are another new friend of mine, commonly used in Korean noodle dishes like this one.
I’m totally smitten because:
A) they are made from sweet potatoes and are naturally gluten free
B) they have the coolest chewy, almost rubbery texture that makes any noodle bowl 10x more addictive
C) They have a mild flavour that bodes well for piling powerful flavours high.
What’s your favourite vegetarian Korean dish? Are you a newbie like me?
- Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry:
- 4 ounces sweet potato noodles
- 1 carrot, shaved into thin ribbons with a y-peeler
- 1 large handful yu choy, spinach, or mini bok choy
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup mixed wild mushrooms (I used shemiji, enoki, shiitake)
- 4 tbsp tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 2.5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- pinch dried chili flake (optional)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients for the sauce. Whisk to combine. In a large pan over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and 1 tbsp of the gochujang sauce. Cook for 3-5 min, until the mushrooms are browned and softened. Remove from pan.
- In the same pan, add another tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and cook for 3-5 min, until they are softened but still slightly crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the sweet potato noodles. Cook for 6-10 minutes, depending on the brand that you have it may take more or less time. You want them tender but still firm to the bite. Strain the noodles and run under cold water for 30 seconds. Shake the colander to remove excess water. Drizzle with a little sesame or olive oil and toss to combine.
- Add the noodles and mushrooms back to the pan with the vegetables and pour over the remainng gochujang sauce. Use tongs to coat the noodles and vegetables fully in the sauce. Cook for 3-4 more min, tossing occasionally, just to heat through.
- Plate the stir fried noodles and vegetables and top with a hearty sprinkling of sesame seeds, and green onions.