Jab Chae (잡채) – Korean Vermicelli Noodles
Jab Chae (잡채) is a traditional Korean side dish prepared with vermicelli noodles (made from sweet potatoes) mixed with various vegetables and meat. Although it is a side dish, many times I eat it as a whole meal by itself. ^__^
Servings: 8-10 as a side dish or 4-6 as a main dish
- 5 oz Beef (about 1 cup sliced)
- 1 Spinach Bundle
- 1/2 Large Onion (sliced)
- 1 Medium Carrot (sliced in sticks)
- 6 Mushrooms (about 1 cup sliced)
- *1/4 Red Bell Pepper (Sliced)
- 1 Bag Vermicelli Noodle (11oz, 300g)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Sesame Seed (for garnishing)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp Water
- Salt + Pepper
Marinade for Beef:
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
- Pinch Salt + Pepper
- 6 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Sesame Seed
Start off by slicing your beef into thin strips, I used the thinly sliced beef from the Korean market (used for krn bbq), but any chunk of meat will do. Add all the ingredients for the beef marinade to a small bowl, mix, pour over the sliced beef, and mix again to make sure all the beef is covered. Put it aside and let the beef soak up the sauce.
Bring a medium sized pot to a boil. While we wait for the water to heat up, get out your bundle of spinach and chop off the ends.Now it’s time for blanching~ When the water starts to boil, dump all the spinach into the pot and cover with lid. Turn off the heat, and let the spinach sit for about 5 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water.
Leaving it in a strainer is not enough to get the water out, so we are going to squeeze out the excess water. Just grab a handful and start squeezing! Now put the poor squeezed out spinach into a bowl and add 2 tsp Sesame Oil, 1 Clove of Garlic (minced), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
Moving on to the rest of the vegetables~ Slice the onions into thin strips, cut the carrots into thin match like sticks, slice up the mushrooms, AND I found a red bell pepper in the fridge so I cut that up too. I think it adds good color to the whole dish. 🙂 You can really add any vegetable you like, or that you have in the fridge that needs to be used up.
Heat up a pan to medium high heat and add 1/2 tsp of Olive Oil. Finally, we are going to stir fry the sliced beef that has been patiently marinading~ Throw them into the hot pan and stir fry away until the beef is cooked through. Transfer the cooked meat to a large mixing bowl.
Use the same pan (no need to wash) and heat up again to medium high heat. Add about 1/2 tsp Olive Oil (or you can use Sesame Oil instead) and throw in all the sliced onions. Give it a pinch of salt and pepper and stir fry. Cook them until they are “al dente” (cooked, but still firm) for about 5 minutes.
Dump those al dente onions into the same mixing bowl with the beef. Starting a collection here~
Repeat the steps used for stir frying the onions for the carrots, and dump them into the bowl .
Now repeat again for the rest of the vegetables (except the spinach), and dump all of them into the collection bowl. No need to stir fry the spinach, since we already blanched them. They can just go right into the bowl.
You can buy the vermicelli noodles at any Korean market. Usually the smallest size bag of the noodles will fit this recipe. Now bring a medium pot to a boil. While we wait for the water to boil, we are going to fry up some eggs. Take the 2 eggs and separate the yolks and whites into two bowls. I add about 1 tbsp of water to the yolks because they are so thick. Slightly whisk the whites and yolks separately with a fork, or chopstick, or whatever you have on hand. Fry them up in a pan on medium heat with some olive oil. Set them aside to cool. Back to the vermicelli noodles. Once the water starts to boil, dunk the noodles in and cook for about 8-10 minutes. I always taste a noodle to test for the texture that I want. Drain, rinse, and allow to sit in strainer to remove excess water.
All drained~ ~Throw in the drained vermicelli noodles into the collection bowl along with the other vegetables and beef, then mix away. It’s a lot easier to mix if you wear plastic gloves and use your hands!
Prepare the ingredients for the sauce, and combine them in a small bowl then mix. Pour this sauce over the noodle, vegetable, beef mix in the collection bowl. Use your hands if you can to incorporate everything!
Now, fold those fried yolks and whites and cut into thin strips for garnishing.Use the sesame seeds for garnishing as well, and now Jap Chae is complete! ^.^/All ready to serve & eat ~ ♥
- Tip 1: Add a little sesame oil to the noodles after draining to prevent sticking.
- Tip 2: Cut the noodles with scissors after draining for easier eating.
- Tip 3: You can add any vegetable or exchange beef for pork. You can even omit all meat for vegetarian Jap Chae.
- Tip 4: Any leftover can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Just heat it up on a frying pan before serving.