Vegetarian Jap Chae

by Alice Currah on April 12, 2010

I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite Korean noodle dishes, jap chae.  My mother taught me how to prepare jap chae the Korean way.  She learned from her mother, my grandmother, who owned a Korean restaurant near the demilitarized zone (DMZ)  in Korea before immigrating here in the 1970s.

Jap chae is one of the more common and widely recognized dishes in Korean cuisine.  It is not only beautiful in presentation but comforting to eat. Commonly made with thinly sliced beef, today I’m sharing with you a vegetarian version.  This version is also vegan and gluten-free when using San-J Wheat Free Tamari soy sauce.

If you’re wondering where the recipe is… well it’s not here.  Today I’m happy to direct you to Michael Natkin’s vegetarian food blog, Herbivoracious.com, where I’m guest posting this vegetarian jap chae recipe.

Michael is a fellow Seattle food blogger and friend.  His food blog was one of the first food blogs I discovered and frequented often for inspiration, beautiful food photography, and fantastic vegetarian recipes.  If you happen to live in Seattle, both Michael and I are featured in the current April issue of The Journal Newspaper available in most grocery stores, libraries, and community centers.  I’m honored to be guest posting over there and invite you to explore Herbivoracious too.  Enjoy!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael @ Herbivoracious.com April 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Thanks Alice! It is a pleasure to have you guest post, and I’m excited for our readers to get to know each other.

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Melange a Trois April 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I love glass noodles! Will have to check this out.

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Karen Cross Harper April 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Can I use a different noodle? I have a food intolerance to potato.

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alice April 13, 2010 at 11:09 am

Hi Karen,
Are you allergic to potatoes and sweet potatoes? The glass noodles are made from sweet potato starch. In the event you are allergic to them, feel free to substitute this dish with your favorite type of noodle. I’ve even made this with spaghetti noodles for a nice weeknight meal when that’s all I had. :)

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Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen April 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

What a beautiful dish. I will definitely have to try this!

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Shenandoah bed and breakfast April 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

Thanks for sharing! Looks so delicious and I really Love jap chae. It’s one of my favorite noodle dishes and always happy when they serve it in those array of penchant. Nice to have a home recipe, definitely.

Best Regards,

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Maria April 13, 2010 at 9:48 am

I love noodle dishes. This one is beautiful!

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Kara April 13, 2010 at 11:09 am

Thanks, Alice! I have been looking for vegetarian/vegan recipes to try! You read my mind! Now off to make the mango smoothie…

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Brenda R. April 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hi Alice! How would you make this the non-vegetarian way? If one were to add beef or chicken, do you have to marinate it or do you just saute it plain? Also, how much is a good amount to add?

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alice April 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Hi Brenda,
You can always add thinly sliced beef called Bulgogi. The recipe can be found here. I would use approximately 1/3-1/2lb of bulgogi. Best way to prepare it for japchae is to marinate it when you start preparing your jap chae and fry it last after the tofu (or instead of it). Hope this helps!

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justcooknyc April 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm

i do like jap chae, and i’ve done a LOT of Korean cooking at home, but maybe i should add this to the list of things to try next.

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Elana April 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I like the vegetable display picture. Everything looks so fresh and colorful. I recently got a Lodge wok from KaTom, a restaurant equipment store that has really awesome cooking supplies, and I tried this dish out. Mine wasn’t quite as pretty as yours, but it was a hit with my family. Thank you for your ideas!

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Brenda R. April 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Thank you so much Alice! I LOVE your site and I LOVE dinner ideas that you give! Thank you for sharing this (as well as all the other) yummy recipe! I grew up in San Francisco, but the last time I had this dish was when I was in high school. I’m glad I found a recipe for it now. I’m going to try and make this dish in the next week, when I’m not so busy. Thank you again Alice! :)

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Megan April 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

Hi Alice. I live in the Detroit area and went to 2 Asian markets looking for the dangmyeon noodles. The first place said they were out and the owner wasn’t really interested in offering an alternate suggestion and the other had no idea what I was talking about, I think because they had mainly Chinese items. They gave me some thin egg noodles which were ok. Can you use any type of cellophane noodle and what alternative would you recommend?

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low carb bread May 4, 2010 at 4:35 am

Oh, it is lovely! I ate it once and I fell in love with it. Now I will try to make it at home.

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Mikey May 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Boy I do love japchae. I made a big bowl of it this past weekend (with beef). I like to mix in a little sliced kimchi and some braised tofu (the kind with the spicy red sauce). I know it’s not traditional, but it is delicious.

I still say that Korean food is the most under appreciated Asian cuisine out there. I’ve never walked out of a Korean restaurant and not felt happy and content.

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Diana May 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

Excellent recipe Alice! I had my daughter Malia take the first bite, and asked her what she thought. I asked if it was as good as the japchae that I bought at the deli…she said “it’s even better Mama!”. I also made your bulgolgi marinade with tofu and we all chowed that one down too. =)

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Tastes of Home (Jen) December 17, 2010 at 5:41 am

Hi Alice! Thanks so much for this recipe, I made it earlier and everyone loved it – I added oyster mushrooms too :D

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clampsta April 14, 2011 at 7:53 am

hai alice,
nice to know you,
i want to learn how to cook something,
and i found your site, when i’m searching for some recipe,
i like your site,,
hehhe
thank’x for your post, and i wait for next post,
^^

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Sue June 21, 2011 at 4:51 am

I have been looking for this recipe for a very long time and am very glad that I came across this recipe. Thank you so much.

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Sailaja September 10, 2011 at 2:06 am

Thanks so much for pointing out Micheal’s food blog. Its one of the best vegetarian food blogs I have encountered. I second Mikey’s comment above -”Korean food is the most under appreciated Asian cuisine”. Just love the flavors of Korean food.

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