Korean Glass Noodles – Jap Chae
from the Steamy Kitchen archives….
The software that runs my website has a nifty little feature that tells me what terms people are entering into the search box when they come to Steamy Kitchen. Although smart authors would probably use this information to enhance their site and serve the needs of their readers, the only reason I check this page is for comic relief. Most terms are legit, such as a recipe for jap chae, but at least once a day, I find a gem, something that just makes me giggle. It’s a total mystery why someone would come to my Asian recipes Web site and enter into the search box: “what foods give you spots” and expect that I have the answer!? I doubt if these people ever found what they were searching for on my blog, but I wanted to take the time to address these curious questions and concerns:
- Egg fried rice secret smell: There should be no secret smell to your fried rice. Maybe you’re using rotten eggs? Dishes that you serve really shouldn’t have secret smells. That’s totally gross.
- Burger shrink: Thank you, but my hamburgers are emotionally stable. No therapy needed.
- Horrid Chinese chicken: Most Chinese chickens are pretty nice. Sometimes if you get a mother hen that enjoys nagging and bossing chicks around, yes, then the hen might be a little horrid. But that’s nothing that a bottle of wine can’t handle. That’s how the Chinese came to invent the dish Drunken Chicken.
- White stuff that goes out of salmon: I don’t know … maybe the salmon has some sort of chickenpox? Bad case of acne? My advice: If your salmon has pus, don’t eat it. But how you landed on my site is a mystery. I’ve never written a recipe for diseased salmon.
- Chinese chicken cancer: Is this like the Beijing bird flu? Symptoms of the Chinese chicken cancer are: a sudden uncontrollable urge to peck at your computer screen; hair falling out in clumps, leaving you with a mohawk “comb”; strange feeling of wanting to sit on your computer mouse to keep it warm; and, lastly, waking up at the crack of dawn and scaring your mate by screeching “BAAAAKKKAAAACCCCKKKKKK!!!!!” You need professional help. None of my recipes will cure this. And for the rest of you, here’s a recipe for jap chae, the No. 10 most-popular search term on my site. The noodles used in this dish are made from sweet potato starch and become translucent when cooked, which is how they got their English name, “glass noodles.” They are also gluten-free and are wonderfully springy and light. You can use any type of fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake or even the standard button mushroom, but traditionally, dried wood ear mushrooms, found in most Asian markets, are used. Just rehydrate the mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and they will be ready for your stir-fry. I love making this dish in the summertime because you can serve these noodles at room temperature or even slightly chilled. ***
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:
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.
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:
Add garlic, scallions and mushrooms. Fry 30 seconds:
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 Korean Glass Noodles Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
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, very finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1" lengths
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (shiitake or wood ear)
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. 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.
2. 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, scallions 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.