I got accepted at the UP College of Law after college graduation and only needed to submit a few documents for enrollment. Just across the Malcolm Hall (where the College of Law was located) was the UP Asian Center and there I saw a barely noticeable tarpaulin sign that advertised Korean language classes.
I was a big Kpop fan back then, so needless to say, instead of enrolling in law school, I enrolled in the language classes instead. ? One day, our sonsaengnim (teacher) brought chapchae to class and it was 너무 맛있어요 (delicious).
It’s been many years since the last time I took a Korean language class, and I’ve forgotten about 75% of what I had learned back then. But I’ll never forget the time when I had my first taste of chapchae.
What is chapchae?
Chapchae is a popular Korean noodle dish made with glass noodles, beef, and stir-fried vegetables. This dish is flavored with a sweet and salty sauce and sesame oil.
It was apparently a dish reserved for royalty, but nowadays, it’s a popular dish to bring for potlucks and such. It can be eaten as a banchan (side dish) or as a main dish and can even be served on top of rice!
Interestingly, the word “잠채” (chapchae) is a combination of its 2 syllables: 잠 (chap), which means “to mix” and 채 (chae), which means “vegetables”. So basically, it’s just mixed veggies.
There’s a misconception that chapchae is complicated to cook. Running your eyes over the recipe and its ingredients list would probably make you throw in the towel and opt to just run to the nearest Korean restaurant instead. But that shouldn’t necessarily be the case
As they say, preparation is key to success and that’s certainly the case for this recipe. Prepare the ingredients beforehand and take your time to slice the vegetables and the egg as thinly as possible. Putting them all together would be a cinch after that.
I used copious amounts of the noodle sauce in this recipe, certainly much more than the amounts mentioned in the other recipes. The reason is pretty straightforward. I used half of the sauce to soak the boiled noodles in (to give it a chance to be absorbed thoroughly) and the remaining as a marinade and to pour over the noodles before assembling.Print
Try these other recipes!