We had our first barbecue yesterday. It was a potluck and my contribution was a Korean dish.
This was my third time making this dish except I didn’t know then that it is called Chap Chae or Japchae. I first tasted it at one of my aunt’s party and her friend who made it used slivers of chicken. I got the recipe from her so I made it as she instructed. She cooked all the ingredients in one pan but I read that in Korea, they mix all the cooked ingredients by hand which I prefer.
Last year I had a desk calendar from an Asian store which featured Korean dishes and one of them was chap chae. It just took a year for me to make it, just never gotten around to buying the glass noodles or dangmyeon which is made from sweet potatoes.
This was plenty for 8 people as there were many dishes brought by friends.
4 tbsp. canola oil
2 cups julienned carrots
1 small onion, sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (white pepper if you have them)
1 medium size red pepper, julienned
1 cup dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup dried black mushrooms
(dried mushrooms need to be soaked in water until soft, squeeze water out)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce or to taste
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
2 tbsp. rice wine
24 oz. dried Korean sweet potate noodeles, soaked in boiling hot water until al dente
2 bunches of baby spinach
4 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup of thinly sliced scallions
4 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 lb. of julienned filet mignon
First marinade the filet mignon in rice wine, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and sugar.
Also, cut the baby spinach in half, blanch from where you cooked your noodles, turn the heat off and when soft, pour in a collander and squeeze all the water and set aside.
When noodles is al dente, drain and when cool enough to handle, cut it into shorter lengths and add 2 tbsp. of sesame oil and some soy. The noodles have no flavor.
Heat a tbsp. of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add carrots and then red pepper. Season with salt and pepper;cook stirring until half-tender about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
In the same skillet, add a tbsp. of oil again and this time cook the sliced onions, then add the dried mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper or soy sauce if you prefer. Transfer to the large bowl with the carrots.
Next cook in the skillet with oil the minced garlic. Make sure you don’t burn it. When garlic is cooked add the marinated beef until most of the liquid has evaporated as you don’t want a soggy chap chae. Transfer to the large bowl with the vegetables.
Now you are ready to mix them all by hand. Add to the big bowl with vegetables the cooked noodles and spinach, toss. Season some more with soy sauce and ground pepper as needed, then add 3 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds.
For garnish, I placed on top the sliced green onions, hot peppers (I used Thai chilies and serrano) and the remaining sesame seeds. (I found that some prefer it without hot pepper and since they were only a garnish, it was easy to set them aside.) This dish can be eaten at room temperature.
365 Project: Day 176