I'm not a big fan of jap chae (also known as chop chae, job chae), but I always order it when we go to Korean restaurants, probably out of a sense of obligation. I feel like I should like jap chae, but in any case, even if I don't, I know my family members love this noodle dish enough to finish it without my help.
One fine day here in eatingclubvancouverland, my sense of obligation lined up with my desire to get a good deal. When I saw some sweet potato noodles (dangmyun/dangmyeon) on sale, marketed as "Korean traditional food," I thought I'd get them and try to make jap chae at home.
Well, unlike JS, I love jap chae! I was excited to cook some at home.
Jap chae can take on various ingredients. In our case, I had onions, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, green onions and garlic. We also had beef, so I added that as well.
To prepare the sweet potato starch noodles, I cooked them in boiling water until tender, then added soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. I also cut them with scissors at this point for ease of eating.
I followed the more "traditional" method of making jap chae by cooking each ingredient separately, seasoning each with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil, then tossing everything together with the boiled glass noodles.
I added a bit of sugar (or use honey), made a quick adjustment of the seasonings (soy sauce and sesame oil) and the dish was good to go.
Since I am pretty lazy, next time I am going to cook the non-noodle ingredients all at once, adding them to one pan in the order of longest to shortest cooking time.
Still not a fan -- that is, I probably wouldn't choose to eat jap chae if there are other dishes to have -- but I can see the appeal of it. I'm thinking food preferences must be one of those things, eh? Either you like it or you don't: no harm, no foul, no judgments.
Let me be the one to "flame" JS, then. FLAME! FLAME! FLAME!
I love jap chae. =)
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