Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Korean Chap Chae (Noodles w/ Beef Bulgogi)

I must apologize for my anemic-looking noodle dish. The noodles and the beef pieces are supposed to be darker brown. I was supposed to use dark soy sauce, but ran out, so I used the light one instead; resulting in such light colored noodles and meat. Even if they do not look as appetizing as they should be, the taste of this dish is actually wonderful. This is one of Hubby's favorite noodle dish.

Chap Chae is a Korean stir fry noodles dish. It is very popular here, as the Filipinos generally love noodles. More plus factors of this yummy dish are the salty-sweet taste of the sauce and the delicious fragrance of the sesame oil.

The good news is, it is so easy to cook. The trick to get the authenticity of this dish is to get hold of the original Korean glass noodles. The noodles look like thick mung bean vermicelli (sotanghon) the size of spaghetti pasta. But the taste and texture is entirely its own. It is chewy to the bite and yet firm at the same time.

This is the pack that I was able to buy from a big supermarket here in Manila. The noodles are quite a lot. I cooked only half the pack, and it was more than what five people can consume. The noodles does not look thick yet. You have to boil them in water (just like the spaghetti pasta) according to package directions. Then drain and wash in cold bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to cook the noodles only until al-dente. It would not be nice to eat soggy noodles. When cooked, the noodles will swell and look shiny like this:

1/2 pack of the Korean glass noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 C soy sauce (use good quality)
1/2 C sesame oil
4 T sugar (or more, if you prefer it sweeter)
1 large knob ginger, grated (or julienned, if you're lazy like me :)
5 T garlic, minced
200 gms snow peas
1 small carrot, peeled, julienned
dashes of Japanese sesame oil with chili, optional

Korean Bulgogi, recipe here.

1. In a small amount of sesame oil, saute ginger until fragrant. Add in garlic and saute until fragrant but not burnt.

2. Add in the carrots and snow peas. Stir fry for a minute. Then add in the soy sauce, sugar and the remaining sesame oil.

3. When the mixture boils, add in the cooked glass noodles. Mix very well, letting the noodles absorb all the sauce. Adjust the amount of soy sauce, if needed.

4. Turn off heat. Serve on individual plates topped with Korean Bulgogi. Add dashes of the Japanese spicy sesame oil if preferred. (Hubby loves this spicy version!)

Bulgogi literally means "fire meat." Thus, we can use any meat like pork or chicken to substitute for beef. But beef is most often used, specially thinly sliced sirloin because it provides the flavor and soft textue that bulgogi lovers are looking for. Bulgogi is traditionally associated with barbeques and grilling. But broiling and pan frying are also accepted. Using the bulgogi to top the chap chae provides the meat flavor that enhances the noodle dish.

The Chap Chae noodle dish is also very flexible. This can be adapted to vegetarian if so preferred. Just omit the bulgogi part. You can also add in a variety of vegetables like napa cabbage, mung bean sprouts, spinach, and other vegetables that you prefer.

Serving this dish to the Presto Pasta Nights community, created and hosted this week by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. To see last week's delicious round-ups, please check out Abby of Eat the Right Stuff.


Jin Hooi said...

I have never had korean chap chae before, looks delicious !! will give it a try soon, thanks for the recipe

Anonymous said...

I never knew koreans have chap chae too! Looks delicious :)

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Hi Jin Hooi! This dish is so easy to prepare, I hope you find the noodles and the opportunity to try it!

Noobcook, "Chap Chae" the word is not Korean???

Anonymous said...

That looks really good Ning.

Oggi said...

This is one of my favorite noodle dishes, sooo yummy!

Beachlover said...

I like the mung bean noodles,in a way it's healthy.Korean chap chae sound good!!..

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thanks, Joseph!

Oggi, I'm glad you like it too!

Beachlover, yes, this dish is healthy, with the benefits of sesame oil. ;)

Anonymous said...

LOL! Your dish looks just fine! Delicious, as a matter of fact -- something I'd like to try!


Chibog in Chief said...

i love korean dishes!! i make bibimpap from time to time but i have never tried making chap chae before..im lucky i guess because i have a korean friend who prepares me this instead hehehe! yours looks delicious!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thank you, Chef Paz! for your words of encouragement! :)

Dhanggit, we also love Bibimpap! Now, will have to cook that one of these days... :)

Ruth Daniels said...

I think your dish looks fine too! And I can't wait to try it out. I think I'll go for the spicy version like your hubby. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I don't know nearly enough of Asian cooking, so this really caught me eye. This looks really good!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thanks Ruth! Am glad to hear you also prefer the spicy version :)

Welcome Mike! I hope you get to try this easy recipe!

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