Korean Chap Chae or Jap Chae (pronounced chop chay) is one of my all time favorite foods. My husband lived in Korea for a time before we met and he really enjoyed the foods he ate there. So, naturally, he introduced me to these foods when we started dating.
I discovered Chop Chae years ago (on one of our first dates!) and I have never ordered a different thing off a Korean menu since then. I might sample my husband’s dishes occasionally, but when I say that I love Chap Chae, I mean I LOVE it.
The thin clear noodles, the warm and crisp vegetables, the perfect sticky sauce. I love everything about this dish and it is a rare thing if I am willing to share my restaurant leftovers. I decided to try making it at home and I am so glad that I did!
Our favorite restaurant in NM is a family owned small hole-in-the-wall place where the family sits in the dining room and cuts homemade rice noodles in the early afternoon. I’ve yet to find anything that truly compares with those thick clear noodles, but store-bought glass noodles come close.
I found these noodles in a local grocery store. I didn’t even need to look for them at the Oriental Market, although I plan to do that soon. I can’t wait to see what other varieties are available for future dishes!
Jap Chae is a classic Korean dish. It is served both with and without meat. This is the simplest of versions, but I can hardly wait to try some different variations in the near future. I can not believe how incredibly simple it was to recreate this dish at home!
Every member of my family enjoyed this meal and my middle son declared this his new favorite noodle dish.
- 5 oz glass noodles (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon light flavor olive oil or refined coconut oil
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium size carrots, sliced very thinly and cut into 2" matchsticks
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks of green onion, cut into 1" lengths
- 1 cup thinly sliced white or crimini mushrooms
- 4-8 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, only as needed
- Optional: 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and boil just 5 minutes. Immediately drain them and rinse them well under cold running water, massage them gently as you rinse them. Drain in a colander and then use your kitchen shears to cut the noodles into smaller pieces.
- TIP: I lift handfuls of the noodles up and roughly chop them into 8-10" lengths over a separate bowl. Drizzle the now cooled and cut noodles with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and set them aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce and the sugar. Set that aside next to the stove. Add the olive oil to a very large skillet or wok and set the heat to high (adjust as necessary, if your oil begins to smoke, turn it down just slightly). When the cooking oil is hot, but not smoking, add your carrots and onions.
- Cook while stirring constantly, until the vegetables have barely softened, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, green onions and garlic all at once and cook that while stirring for about 30 seconds.
- Add the spinach along with the soy sauce mixture and toss to combine. Add the noodles to the skillet, tossing constantly to combine, for just 2-3 minutes, until the noodles are mixed throughout and hot.
- Remove from the heat and drizzle with the remaining sesame oil. Toss to coat and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!