(Korean mixed vegetable and noodle stir fry)
Jap chae (chop chae, japchae, jabchae), is Korean for "mixed vegetables" and is a common Korean side dish. The sweet potato starch noodles are traditional, but cellophane noodles are easier to find and have much the same texture.
4 to 6 servings
- Sweet potato noodles, or cellophane noodles (see variations) -- 1/2 pound
- Sesame oil -- 2 tablespoons
- Beef sirloin, thinly sliced -- 1/4 pound
- Onion, thinly sliced -- 1
- Carrot, peeled and grated or julienne -- 1
- Shiitakes, stems removed and thinly sliced -- 3 or 4
- Garlic, minced -- 2 or 3 cloves
- Spinach -- 8 ounces, or about 1/2 bunch
- Scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces or thinly sliced -- 2 or 3
- Soy sauce -- 1 or 2 tablespoons
- Sugar -- 2 teaspoons
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Sesame seeds, toasted -- 1 tablespoon
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for another 5 minutes until soft. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium flame. Add the beef and saute until just cooked through, about 3 or 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the wok or pan if necessary and toss in the onions and carrots. Sauté until the onion is just translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute 1 or 2 minutes more. Finally add the spinach and scallions and saute until the spinach is just wilted.
- Add the drained noodles, soy sauce, sugar salt and pepper to the saute pan and cook, stirring, to heat though. Adjust seasoning.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
Jap Chae Variations
- A thinly sliced red pepper can be sauteed with the onions and carrots if you like. Or use up whatever vegetables you may have on hand — cucumbers, daikon, mung bean sprouts.
- The beef can be eliminated to make a vegetarian side dish.
- Add sliced fishcake if you like. Saute as for the beef before stirring into the noodles. Or try shrimp, squid or even crab meat.
- Sometimes strips of cooked egg are stirred in. Just make a plain one or two egg omelet, cool and cut into strips before stirring into the noodles.
- Toasted pine nuts are sometimes used as a garnish for the finished dish.