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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Korean Glass Noodles - Jap-Chae/Chap Chae {A Korean Side Dish}

We don't have too many Korean recipes on our site yet. I'm working on learning how to make Korean food with my husband, and some of our friends! My husband served a two-year mission in Seoul Korea. So this is where our background for loving Korean food comes from. I had only tasted Korean food once before I married him, and now we've had it several times. I love how different Korean food is from American food. It amazes me how food is so different depending on what country you are in. I always feel like I've eaten healthier when I've had Korean food. One of our favorite dishes to make is Bulgogi {Korean Barbequed Beef}. We've been trying to branch out and make some of the side dishes that are often served with a Korean meal, this Jap-Chae is one of them.

The base of Jap-Chae is what is often referred to as "glass noodles". The noodles are made from sweet potato starch and the are clear after you cook them. They kind of have a grey-ish clear color before they are cooked. We buy them at an Asian food market in our city, I've never seen them at a regular grocery store. As the noodles cook, you'll chop several vegetables, including: carrots, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, yellow onion, and green onion. They vegetables are cooked and then added to the noodles along with some sesame oil and sesame seed. The interesting thing about this dish is that it's served cold. After you've mixed it all together you will chill it in the fridge for a few hours. I thought it sounded weird to eat cold veggies and noodles! But I was shocked at how much I absolutely loved this dish! The noodles are pretty fun to eat, they have a slight chewy texture and the flavor is great! I hope you'll enjoy this dish!

P.S. The leftovers are best served warm!

P.S.S. We've just learned how to make Kimchi from a very sweet Korean lady that lives near us. We'll post how to do this soon! It is so yummy home made, and we are so excited to finally know how to make it!

Korean Glass Noodles - Jap Chae/Chap Chae
Printable Version
Serves 6 as part of multi-course meal

½ pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
2 ½ teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup thinly sliced onions
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1 inch lengths
½ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shitake, wood ear) (you can use fresh or dried, see note below)
½ pound spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 8 inches in length. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the olive oil in a wok or large skillet on medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot, fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through (spinach will shrink down a lot). Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of sesame oil. Chill until cooled throughout.

This dish is traditionally served chilled, but is also good hot. The leftovers are best served warm.

Note: Rehydrate your mushrooms if you are using dried. Do this by soaking them in hot water in a covered bowl for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Source: lightly adapted from Steamy Kitchen


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