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Korean Food: Chapchae (Stir Fried Noodles)

This dish also works great with NO meat at all. . so you can go vegetarian too!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 4 -5
Author: Hip Foodie Mom


  • 8 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles might be called cellophane or glass noodles or Chinese vermicelli; can be found at any Asian/Korean grocery store
  • 1 sweet onion sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped (or crushed garlic)
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach parboiled
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • Half yellow bell pepper chopped (more to add color to the dish)
  • Half orange bell pepper chopped
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3-5 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame seeds optional
  • 6 oz. beef or pork optional**
  • ** Thinly sliced brisket works well in this dish and Korean barbecued beef bulgogi is used often. In a pinch, chunks of rotisserie chicken, strips of egg, or fried tofu pieces are good protein additions.


  • *If you have the time, marinate your beef in some soy sauce and sesame oil. I marinated the meat in the morning before I left for work so the meat was marinating all day. Marinating the meat just makes it taste so much better.
  • Get all of your vegetables cut and ready to go
  • Boil the spinach just for 2-3 minutes, rinse, chop up and set aside
  • In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat vegetable (or olive) oil and 1 Tbsp sesame oil.
  • Add onion slices and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of vegetables and cook for 4-6 minutes, until the vegetables are half-cooked and still a bit crispy.
  • In a separate pan, cook the beef. I prefer to do this separately to ensure all the meat gets cooked evenly.
  • Cook noodles according to package directions. (usually 4-5 minutes)
  • Turn heat to low and add cooked noodles, meat (if using), soy sauce, sugar, and the remaining sesame oil. Mix to combine and cook for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Add salt or more soy sauce if needed; you can also look at the color of the noodles to see if more soy sauce is needed. Taste. If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them on top, serve and enjoy!