Chap Chae Recipe

I was scouring  the web looking for David Chang recipes, when I came across his version of chap chae. Chap chae, or japchae, is standard Korean fare: cellophane sweet potato noodles stir-fried with vegetables and sometimes meat. It’s seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil and served hot or room temperature.

Chang’s chap chae doesn’t have meat in it, but you can definitely add some if you’re feeling particularly carnivorous. This recipe is traditionally meatless probably due to its cost, not because Chang finally created a dish solely for vegetarians. The recipe’s featured in one of New York Magazine’s holiday guides for a budget dinner party. I’m sure it pained Chang to leave out the meat, but this dish is super flavourful without, so you won’t miss it.

Chap Chae Recipe adapted from

4 ounces glass sweet potato noodles
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1/2 red peppers thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot, julienned
4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup 1-inch pieces of green onion
1 large cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons  mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Add the noodles to a large pot of boiling water, and cook until tender. Strain the noodles, shock in a bowl of ice water, and drain. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles into bite-size pieces, then transfer to a large bowl.

Season the vegetables with salt and lots of black pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan, add the onions and peppers, and cook until the onions become soft. Add the carrots, mushrooms, scallions, and garlic and pan-fry until cooked.

Deglaze the pan with mirin, and add the noodles to the pan, mixing the noodles and vegetables thoroughly. Stir in the soy, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot or at room temperature.

12 Comments add yours

  1. Your shots look great! I love taking pictures of those noodles!

    The noodles are quite photogenic, aren’t they? Plus they taste good too!

    Chang’s recipe is just like your mom’s, no meat!

    steph on April 22nd, 2010 at 4:28 pm
  2. Yum sounds really good, thanks Steph! What a great Spring recipe.

    Thanks Brad, it’s a pretty refreshing noodle dish!

    steph on April 22nd, 2010 at 4:29 pm
  3. A Momofuku recipe without saturated fat – preferably pork – seems wrong.

    Hahaha, I thought the same thing when I saw the recipe, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re on a “budget.”

    steph on April 22nd, 2010 at 4:30 pm
  4. my mom rarely makes japchae because of all the chopping she has to do. The picture looks amazing.

    Thanks! Maybe you should get your mom a food processor or madonlin for Mother’s day so she can make you japchae more!

    steph on April 24th, 2010 at 1:39 pm
  5. I love these noodles, they absorb so much flavor and are so light in texture.

    I love sweet potato noodles too! Then again, I love anything with the word potato in it!

    steph on May 7th, 2010 at 10:47 am
  6. Decent recipe! I usually make Maangchi’s recipe for Japchae, nice to have another recipe. I will admit it’s a little fussy but oh-so-good :o)

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