Monday, 27 May 2013

Korean Jap Chae

When I was first saw this Korean Jap Chae dish on Herbavoracios, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant colours of this stir fried dish. I've only eaten the Chinese type of "Chap Chye" where there's a mix of different types of vegetables fried with some glass noodles/vermicelli. I've never cooked Korean food before and this one didn't look too complicated so I made this for dinner one Sunday.  

This recipe calls for sweet potato starch cellophane noodles called dangmyeon - I found these at the Korean section of the supermarket.

The recipe is fairly straight forward, but a little time consuming. This is because all the ingredients for the dish is cooked individually before it is combined to form the dish. According to the recipe's writer, Alice of Savoury Sweet Life, by frying them individually, the flavor and color of each vegetable is preserved without any cross blending of the other ingredients. As a result, the frying pan becomes more seasoned as layers of umami (pleasant savoury taste) build on each other.  

The final dish is a delightful and flavourful mix of noodles, colourful vegetables and tofu. I'd have to say this is one of the most beautiful Korean dishes I have seen. It is tasty and aromatic - the noodles are springy and firm to the bite. The noodles, vegetables, tofu and sesame seeds provide a wonderful blend of texture to the dish, while the sesame oil and pepper makes it amazingly fragrant.

There appears to be quite alot of oil and sesame oil used in the recipe. Because I prefer a less oily dish, I have cut down on the amount. Do adjust it according to your family's taste. My whole family gave this amazing Korean dish a big thumbs up.

Korean Jap Chae
Recipe Serves 2-3 as a main dish, or 4-6 as a side dish
Recipe from Herbivoracious

  • 1 bundle of sweet potato starch cellophane noodles called dangmyeon (I used 200 g)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 8-10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced in 1.5” slices (green parts only)
  • ½ block of firm tofu, cut into small rectangle pieces (approx. 1.5”x1”x.25”)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil or Canola oil  (amounts will vary, please see directions)
  • soy sauce  (amounts will vary, please  see directions)
  • sesame oil (amounts will vary, please see directions)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Boil one bundle of noodles for 5 minutes until softened and al dente in texture.  Drain the noodles and do not rinse.  Add noodles to a large mixing bowl and cut them three times with kitchen shears.
  • Add 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and sesame seed oil (I added only 1 tablespoon of each).  Toss noodles until sauce is evenly distributed and set aside.  Using the same pot as the noodles, add enough water to boil spinach for 1 minute.  Remove spinach from water and allow to cool just enough to squeeze as much water out as possible. Cut spinach in thirds, and massage it while seasoning with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add spinach to the large noodle filled bowl.
  • Heat a wok or large frying pan on high.  Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook sliced onions for 2 minutes stirring them as they start to turn translucent.  Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add onions to the large bowl of noodles.  
  • Repeat the same process as the onions except reduce cooking times to 30 seconds for the carrots, 2 minutes for the bell red pepper, 1 minute for the shiitake mushrooms, and 10 seconds for the green onions.  
  • Fry tofu squares for 1 minute per side – but do not add tofu to the large bowl of noodles.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (I used 1/2 tbsp), and 2 tablespoons of sugar (I omitted), and ½ teaspoon of ground pepper to the large noodle bowl and toss everything until well mixed.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I added just a few drops) to the hot wok and add minced garlic.  Allow garlic to cook for a few seconds and add the entire bowl of mix noodles and vegetables to the wok/pan.  Stir-fry everything for 2-3 minutes and turn off heat.  Gently add tofu and transfer noodles to a large serving platter. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.  Serve warm or cold.  Enjoy!.
I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event, organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen for my little favourite D.I.Y., and hosted by Joyce, kitchen flavours.

This is for Made for Love Mondays by Javelin Warrior. 


  1. Your version of Korean Japchae is very nutritious. Makes a perfect 1-dish meal!

  2. Mich, your noodle dish looks wonderful! I love Korean food and will give this dish a try.

  3. Oh my! I'm giving this a big thumbs up as well! Looks so good! I have never attempted to make any Korean food at home. Will have to give it a try one day!
    Thank you for linking to LTU! Hope you have a great week!

  4. Hi Mich! Very nice indeed! Is this supposed to serve hot or cold?

  5. I've not tried this, but it certainly looks yummy!

  6. I seldom eat Korean food, your korean Japchae looks so delicious!

  7. Mich, your jap chae has reminded me that I haven't had it for a very long time. Before I quite my job, there was a Korean place used to sell my favourite jap chae & I always picked spinach + mushroom + chicken teriyaki + fried egg, yum!

  8. Wow this seems so exotic to me! I love this kind of food and you have made it so well. Well done Mich!

  9. I've made Jap chae before but used vermicelli instead :P Will try to make another using the potato noodles sometime . Your version certainly looks wonderful ! Full of delicious flavor and texture !

  10. Hi Mich,

    I'm interested in Korean cooking too but have not explore much in Korean cooking.

    Your Korean Jap Chae looks wonderful. Btw, Aspiring Bakers is organizing a Korean cooking theme this Nov. Hope that I can join :D


  11. Mich I love this plate and love this type of ccoking!

  12. What a great veggie recipe for me! I have to try and learn to love tofu I think. So many other people eat it!

  13. This is so appetizing and delicious!

  14. Mich, all I can say is - I WANT TO EAT IT NOW !!
    I really do

  15. This sounds so tasty, Mich! I recently saw another blogger make a dish by the same name, although I believe it was a Chinese version. I love all the bright colors and flavors...

  16. What a riot of lovely colours, lovely dish

  17. i made it few days back too, do check it out, love it.

  18. this is a must order for me if go to korean restaurant, so yummy!

  19. I'm discovering more about Korean food - this looks really tempting!

  20. Hi Mich, your jap chae look so appetizing. Look really good, guess I can eat on it's own without rice. :)) Nice picture.

    Have a great week ahead.

  21. I love this colorful and flavorful...great meal Mich!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  22. I love the colors in this dish. Sounds like the perfect meal.

  23. Oh my! What colors and what flavors! I've never heard or seen those sweet potato noodles before. I'm eager to track them down now! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  24. I cooked this once when my daughter was crazy watching Korean drama and keep tell to cook this . But now I have forgotten how I cooked it, hehehe.. Your version look absolutely delicious !

  25. wow, so colourful and certainly sounds delicious too!

  26. It is like you are reading my mind. I have just purchased a package of these noodles and hoping someone can read the back of the package that is all in Korean. Do you know if these noodles are gluten free or not? You dish looks beautiful and I can't wait to make this for my boys. Take Care, BAM

  27. Oh, I love Jap Chae! I'll eat it at Korean restaurants and pick up some from H-Mart. Your version looks spot on. Looks delicious!