I have been eating Chapchae for as long as I can remember. My mom has always made this for me and it wasn’t until late last year that I finally made this dish on my own. Like most Korean food, you’ll learn the measurements for ingredients and exactly what you like the more you cook and soon enough, you won’t even need the measuring spoons because you’ll just know.
Chapchae is probably one of the most popular noodle dishes in Korea. The foundation of the dish is the mixture of the noodles, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. . . YUM! Because mung bean or sweet potato noodles both absorb tons of flavor, you can mix and match the vegetables or meat to your liking. I used carrots, spinach, marinated beef*, orange/yellow bell peppers and onion in the recipe below. I think the flavor and color combination is absolutely wonderful! You can also try adding shiitake mushrooms too!
Korean Stir Fried Noodles: Chapchae
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: Roughly 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 8 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles (might be called cellophane or glass noodles or Chinese vermicelli; can be found at any Asian/Korean grocery store)
- 1 sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or crushed garlic)
- 1/2 pound baby spinach, parboiled
- 2 carrots, julienned
- Half yellow bell pepper, chopped (more to add color to the dish)
- Half orange bell pepper, chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 3-5 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- 6 oz. beef or pork (optional)**
- *If you have the time, marinate your beef in some soy sauce and sesame oil. I marinated the meat in the morning before I left for work so the meat was marinating all day. Marinating the meat just makes it taste so much better.
(This recipe serves 4)
** Thinly sliced brisket works well in this dish and Korean barbecued beef (bulgogi) is used often. In a pinch, chunks of rotisserie chicken, strips of egg, or fried tofu pieces are good protein additions.