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Feb 05

My New Comfort Food – Chapchae

ChapchaeA couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to a restaurant in Albany, Mingle. The Lady will  review in the restaurant shortly. We ate a dish there that caused  a new addiction. My new found comfort food is Chapchae.  Chapchae is one of the most popular noodle dishes in Korea, and also seems to be the one that Westerners like best. The foundation of the dish is the mixture of the noodles, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. Because mung bean or sweet potato noodles both absorb tons of flavor  A basic recipe is below but have fun and switch around the ingredients. You can make it spice or mellow. Switch in chicken or broccoli. Sweet potato noodles can be found in Asian stores.  This dish can be on the table in no time especially if the vegetables are  pre-cut and it is tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles (might be called cellophane or glass noodles or Chinese vermicelli)
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach, parboiled
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped Napa cabbage
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated if dried and then sliced
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 6 oz. beef or pork (optional)*
  • Preparation:

    1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
    2. In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat vegetable (or olive) oil and 1 Tbsp sesame oil.
    3. Add onion slices and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
    4. Add rest of vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are half-cooked and still a bit crispy.
    5. Turn heat to low and add cooked noodles, meat (if using), soy sauce, sugar, and the remaining sesame oil.
    6. Mix to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.
    7. Add salt or more soy sauce if needed.
    8. If using sesame seeds, add them at finish.

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