(by Frances Park)
For the sauce:
3 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. packed brown sugar
2 T. sesame oil
2 t. minced garlic
1 T. roasted sesame seeds
black pepper to taste
1 large carrot
1 medium zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 medium onion, preferably sweet variety
3 scallion stalks
12 oz. firm tofu
5 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or 4 - 5 dried shiitake, soaked until plump)
7 oz. Korean cellophane noodles
6 oz. fresh spinach (4 - 5 c.)
vegetable oil for stir-frying
salt, to taste
optional: 2 eggs
Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl, and mix well until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Cut carrot, zucchini, red bell pepper, and onion into julienne strips.
Split scallions by running a knife through the root ends lengthwise, and cut into 2-in. pieces.
Remove stems from mushrooms, and slice into 1/4-in. strips.
Cut tofu into cubes.
Bring a large pot half-filled with water to a boil, and cook the noodles until translucent and soft (approximately 6 - 8 minutes).
Drain in a colander, and rinse under cold water. Drain well.
Cut noodles with food shears into 8-in. lengths.
Transfer to a large bowl, and mix with 3 T. of the prepared sauce.
Add 1 T. oil to a large pan, and stir-fry the carrot and zucchini over medium high heat for 2 minutes, or until vegetables are half cooked.
Add tofu, onion, scallions, and mushrooms. Vegetables should remain crisp.
Add noodles, spinach, and remaining sauce, stirring to combine.
Optional egg garnish:
Heat a lightly oiled nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
Beat 2 eggs, and pour into hot pan.
Cook on both sides, and fold over into an omelet.
Cool slightly, then thinly slice.
Sprinkle sliced egg over chop chae.