Jap Chae is a classic Korean dish. It is one of the most popular Korean dishes I know. Every time I take non-Korean friends out to restaurants, that’s what they want to order. Also, it’s the dish they request when they invite me for a pot luck dinner. Always.
Personally, to be honest, I have a love/hate feeling towards it. Why? Because it takes so long to prepare (for me, anyway), and it only takes one quick slurping of the noodles to finish the whole thing. No kidding. There’s never any leftovers. That’s how good it is.
The title says, “Vegetarian Jap Chae” but you can add strips of beef or chicken to the recipe. Just saute separately and add them in the end.
Warning: don’t let the ingredients list scare you. You can adjust any ingredients on the list. You don’t like mushrooms? You can leave it out. You don’t like spinach? You can substitute with broccoli. It won’t be authentic but it’ll still be great. I am all about making ‘do’ with what you have.
The most tricky ingredient is the sweet potato/starch/glass/cellophane noodles. There are many names for them. In Korean, they are called Dang Myun. I can only find these particular noodles in an Asian market. When you look at the package, first of all, it’s HUGE. Secondly, the noodles are hard and brittle. The color is almost transparent but has a tinge of grey color. The noodles are folded in half (because they are long) and will be in a long package.
All the other ingredients can be found in your local supermarket or a natural food store.
Vegetarian Jap Chae Recipe
- Starch noodles (“dangmyun”, “cellophane”, “glass”, “Sweet Potato Noodles”) – found in Asian Market
- 1 C Shredded cabbage
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1 Med carrot – julienned in 2 inch lengths
- 1 red or yellow peppers, sliced in strips (or both, 1/2 each)
- 1 Med onion – sliced
- 1/2 C sliced mushrooms (I prefer shiitake mushrooms but white mushrooms will be fine too)
- 3 cloves of garlic – minced
- 7-8 green onions – cut in 3 inch lengths
- olive oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, pepper, and sesame seeds
- Soak two large bunches of dried noodles in cold water. While noodles are soaking, boil a large pot of water. When water boils, cook the noodles for about 3-4 minutes. Cook until the noodles are soft but not mushy. Take them out of the pot, and rinse under the COLD running water thoroughly. You should have about 2 Cups of cooked noodles. Drain well and put it in a large bowl. You will add all the ingredients to this bowl so make sure it is large enough to accommodate them.
- In a large pan, sauté garlic and vegetables, individually, in olive oil. Add them to the large bowl, one vegetable at a time, as you cook them.
- Season to taste with soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and sesame seeds.
- Mix well with a serving fork (I use my hands)