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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Korean Glass Noodles – Jap Chae / Chap Chae

Jap Chae
Photo of Korean Glass Noodles – Jap Chae/Chap Chae

These past few days, I needed to cook healthy. Not for me, but for the sake of my children. You see, last week, I had Lasik eye surgery. As any reasonable mother would do, I milked it as far as I could go in terms of slacking on my housewifery duties. Laundry? bah..eyes too dry. Ironing? doc said no heavy lifting. Dishes? need to lay down to put in drops every 2 hours. Vacuuming? nope…can’t see squat after squirting in drops. Best to just sleep in every morning and let Scott handle the kids. It took 3 days before the kids confessed me what they’ve been eating for breakfast….

Breakfast of Champions Temper Tantrums

  • 1 Double Fudge Pop-Tart
  • A slice of white bread
  • Water

Now. Let’s review, shall we? No. let’s not. You already know where I’m going with this. But then again, what was I thinking? I love my dear husband so very very much, but I certainly didn’t choose him for his eating habits.  I mean, this the guy that tops his Fritos with canned chili, spray-on cheese and calls it dinner, considers microwave butter popcorn a vegetable and hides a stash of chocolate breakfast bars at office and another in the front seat of his car so that he doesn’t have to share with the kids. Naturally, I took over the role as Frau Nutrition in our household and nudged my kids to embrace all sorts of vegetables – even brussels sprouts and salad. Now, don’t get me wrong, we eat our share of junk as evidenced by: Negative Calorie Chocolate Cake Chocolate & Dark Rum Tiramisu but I always make sure that we balance it out with healthy stuff too. All became undone those fateful mornings that I relinquished my morning duties. Despite the kitchen being stocked with soy milk, milk, juice, oatmeal, yogurt, whole-wheat bagels, eggs and fruit, those items were left untouched. Do you even know how many bushels of vegetables my kids have to eat to make up for 3 mornings of Pop Tarts, white bread and water?!? Where did those Pop Tarts come from in the first place?!? Does my husband have a contraband stash? (sigh) Just dig me a grave, boys.

;-)  We took a little vacation this weekend to Marco Island – thanks to my sister-in-law who works for Marriott (now, that’s what I call RWB – relative with benefits) who got us a room overlooking the beach. It was a perfect mini-getaway. Thank you, R&M!

***

On to the recipe for healthy Korean noodles with tons of vegetables, Jap Chae (or Chap Chae).  The noodles are made from sweet potato starch, but taste NOTHING like sweet potatoes.  They are light in texture and color, making it a great flavor carrier for any type of vegetables and seasonings.

Korean Glass Noodles – Jap Chae

Korean Glass Noodles

This dish can also be spelled: Jab Chae, Chap Chae. The type of noodles used in this dish is made from sweet potato starch and translucent when cooked, which is how they got their English name, “glass noodles.” They are also gluten free and are wonderfully springy and light. I love making this dish in the summertime, because you can serve these noodles at room temperature or even slightly chilled.

You can find them at Asian markets or online at Komart.  Just boil the dried noodles for 5 minutes, drain and toss with sesame oil so that they don’t stick together:

Korean Glass Noodles

You can use any type of fresh mushrooms, like shitake or even the standard button mushroom, but traditionally, dried wood ear mushrooms, found in most Asian markets, are used. Just rehydrate the dried wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and they’ll be ready for your stir-fry. The spinach was shy – didn’t want to jump in the group shot.

Vegetables

Stir fry the carrots and onions until softened, oh…about 1 minute…but it really depends on how thin you slice your onions and carrots:

Carrots and onions

Add garlic, scallions and mushrooms. Fry 30 seconds:

Jap Chae

Then add spinach, noodles, soy sauce, sugar, fry 2-3 minutes until noodles are heated through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil:

Jap Chae

Jap Chae / Chap Chae

Print

Korean Glass Noodles - Jap Chae/Chap Chae Recipe

Servings: 4-6 as part of multicourse meal Prep Time: Cook Time:
jap-chae

Ingredients:

1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1" lengths
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shitake, wood ear)
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:

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 tsp of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 8 inches in length. Set aside.

In bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking, fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.

*rehydrate your mushrooms if you are using dried


***

If you’re not into the whole healthy vegetable thing, then you’ll love:

Garlic Scallion Noodles

***

More Korean Dishes

korean-bbq-beef-wonton-0101 Korean BBQ Beef on Crispy Wonton Chip

Korean BBQ Kalbi (Short Ribs) and Bulgogi Recipe



146 Responses to “Korean Glass Noodles – Jap Chae / Chap Chae”

  1. ilingc — 9/26/07 @ 11:53 pm

    I love japchae, it’s my MUST order dish it everytime we go out for korean ;) Reading this reminds me that I have a packet of glass noodles sitting in the pantry that I should use up before it expires. Thanks for the hint!

    ps. I bet your kids loved the pop tarts, I know I used to! :D

  2. tanya — 9/28/07 @ 12:11 pm

    this may be a dumb question… but how do you get the carrots so appealingly slivered?

  3. SteamyKitchen — 9/28/07 @ 5:36 pm

    Tanya- I have an Oxo julienne tool – About $6. You can get it from cooking.com, amazon.com and I just saw it at Target today. Lay carrot flat on cutting board, stick a fork on one end of the carrot, and use your nifty tool across the carrot.

  4. Oh boy! I made this dish tonight and it was fantastic! I needed a protein, so I added 1/2 lb of browned, ground pork and some jumbo shrimp to the mix. Then, I sprinkled some ground peanuts on top and added a few drops of chili oil. My whole family gobbled it up. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. pasadena — 10/13/07 @ 4:14 am

    It’s a fantastic healthy recipe! It’s the first time Iread your blog and I love it! Bye from Italy! p.

  6. Vero — 10/13/07 @ 12:30 pm

    Ohh fab, gluten-free noodles – promptly emailed this to my friend who’s stuck with a bunch of new-found and unfortunate allergies, she’ll love it!

    I love your letters to the supermarket boys… You wonder if they’ve been raised in a cave by bears sometimes. (No, scratch that, they would’ve seen plenty more fresh squirming seafood if they had been…)

  7. Tia Nguyen — 11/4/07 @ 11:04 am

    That looks spectacular! I’ve been making the same recipe for years (w and w/o beef), except my noodles never turn out as perfect! I’ll follow your exact steps and timing next time. :) Jap chae and galbi are my absolute Korean favorites!

  8. Tanya — 11/27/07 @ 12:57 pm

    Hi,
    I went shopping to gear up to make this tonight; unfortunately, I couldn’t find glass noodles at Whole Foods. Do you know if any major chains sell them, or if there’s a good substitute?
    This is one of my favorite dishes to eat out– I was so disappointed.

  9. Tanya — 11/27/07 @ 12:58 pm

    Hmmm. How amazing. I just reread and noted the online source. Sorry to bother you!

  10. Tanya — 11/30/07 @ 10:58 am

    Whew! Got it! Well, got rice noodles anyway, and decided they’d have to be good enough– and they were, it came out fabulous… and the leftovers were good at work, too.
    Thanks for the help (and the recipe).

  11. maria — 3/22/08 @ 8:40 am

    awesome recipe…easy to follow…im half korean and wouldve taken me forever to get this from my mom….thanks for also adding pics too!…this was one of my favorite dishes growing up, funny how i didnt kow how to make it myself…..i will learn how to make kim chee next :)

  12. Kindra — 4/22/08 @ 12:33 am

    I belong to an International food group where once a month we get together and cook foods from a different country. Last night we did Korean so I made your Jap Chae as well as some bulgogi and WOW was it good. Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. Lorie — 6/30/08 @ 3:49 pm

    This is totally what I was looking for. Yum-o!

  14. Pingback: [Long] Day Three: Meeting E, 4-19 Memorial, Insadong and Sanchon « The Magpies’ Nest

  15. Sara — 7/23/08 @ 5:13 pm

    I just made these glass noodles – I’ve never used them before and they were delicious! These aren’t a cookbook contestant?

    The noodles were a tough find at my asian market but I was able to find them by searching all of the ingredient lists for potato starch! I used bok choy instead of spinach, honey instead of sugar and added some snap peas, chili pepper, and shrimp to mine. While I was digging in realized that I forgot to add the sesame oil to the noodles – they were sticky without it. Next time I’ll follow the directions more closely. This was a great “use up what’s in your fridge” dish!

  16. Pingback: [Long] Day Three: Meeting K, 4-19 Memorial, Insadong and Sanchon « a week in seoul

  17. Nina — 1/6/09 @ 10:05 pm

    hi,
    just wanted to say that i love your writing style.
    A pleasure to read : )

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  22. Mikey — 4/6/09 @ 4:07 pm

    One of my all-time favorite dishes! It’s very close to the japchae I make. I usually add about 1/2 pound of thinly sliced beef that I’ve doused with a little soy, sesame oil and sugar. And sometimes I’ll scramble an egg and break it up into fine pieces then incorporate that into the final mixture. And I use a little more sesame oil than you, but maybe that’s because I use the 12 oz packages of noodles.

    I find japchae is even better when cooled slightly so that it’s not so gummy. Room temperature is just fine, and it makes a great alternative to pasta salad at a cook-out. No one can ever figure out what kind of noodles they are. :)

  23. Nou — 5/7/09 @ 5:44 pm

    I just came across your site. I love it. I would like to make this dish. How many servings does this recipe make?

    Serves 4-6 as part of multicourse meal ~jaden

  24. Q ma — 5/19/09 @ 7:48 pm

    I made the Koren glass noodle this past weekend. It was d e l i c i o u s. I used the Chinese Vermicelli though. I plan to cook Korean BBQ Kalbi (Short Ribs) this coming weekend. Thank you for all the dinner ideas.

  25. Jiyeon Kim — 9/1/09 @ 2:30 pm

    Ohhhh…your Jap Chae looks so delicious! I’ve been looking for a recipe so I can make this dish, inexplicably having a craving for this dish for the past few weeks. Could it be the fact that I haven’t eaten this dish for the about 10 years? Lovely photos, made me want to lick my screen.

    Your little boys are so cute!

    Zero calorie chocolate cake..lol. I’m heading there next….

  26. Lisa B — 9/6/09 @ 5:04 pm

    Fantastic recipe. I also added a small red pepper and a small amount of zucchini… delicious! Thanks!

    perfect! i love it when readers experiment with the recipe! ~jaden

  27. James — 9/13/09 @ 3:09 pm

    Great looking Chap Chae!

  28. alyssa — 10/6/09 @ 9:35 pm

    yum! this was a great dinner. did i miss salt as an ingredient? i had to add a whole lot while i was eating. otherwise, perfect. 1/2 the recipe = dinner for me.

    No salt because there is soy sauce in the recipe!~jaden

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  36. kellypea — 7/6/10 @ 11:27 pm

    Used this recipe as a base for a quick noodle dinner after I went crazy at the Asian market and ended up with about 5 different kinds of noodles. Used napa cabbage instead of spinach b/c I had it. YUM. The menfolk licked their plates.

  37. Marian — 7/29/10 @ 12:19 pm

    Oh, dear, this makes me long for my mom’s cooking. Now I have to go make it. I was stuck on what to bring for a potluck next month. This just “unstuck” me. Thanks for the great pics.

  38. diebaziz — 8/18/10 @ 3:22 am

    1st time i eat it when i was at KL Korea Plaza,
    Delicious!!!

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  40. Flora Makowski — 11/18/10 @ 5:51 am

    WOW … just came across this recipe and it looks soooooooo good. I like your comment on how your hubby has a different kind of eating habit! Is he German?? Mine is and eats like your hubby! He’s even teaching my son to eat straight out of the fridge … or when heating up food, it’s not necessary to be hot. Just lukewarm is good enuf all becos he does not like hot food – always complaining he has to wait till Christmas before he’s able to eat his food. Once I made soup, he added ice-cubes, and later complained that the soup was tasteless.

  41. Flora Makowski — 11/18/10 @ 5:58 am

    OMG!!! Just read up about you!! Had totally no clue you ARE famous in the US … oops … sorry!

  42. SteamyKitchen — 11/18/10 @ 7:49 am

    Yes! He’s part German. Eats leftover pizza straight from refrigerator! ;-)

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  44. karen — 12/11/10 @ 9:07 pm

    love it so much. I was just thinking of asking my mom to make me some…I used to call it plastic spaghetti when I was a kid. guess I should learn how to make it myself. just never tastes like mom’s.

  45. Blimey — 1/14/11 @ 11:57 pm

    Wow! i made this tonight and added beef to it. My sister and Nephews enjoyed it with me. Will definitely ad this to my menu.

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  50. Dee — 10/7/11 @ 7:03 am

    Go to nextag.com (comparative shopping web site), and search for “Asian Mandoline Slicer.”

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