Home Baked Stories: Jap Chae

Home Baked Stories is a pilot series showing the stories behind home cooked meals. Episode one features Carol Lee and her daughter Ruby who are cooking Jap Chae (recipe below).

Our first six episodes focus on cooks from the new homemade meal cooperative, MealKu.

How to cook Jap Chae (Korean stir-fried noodles with vegetables)
Makes 4 servings

8 oz Korean sweet potato noodles (“dangmyun”)
6 oz grassfed steak, thinkly sliced
1 bunch of spinach
1 medium carrot
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
6 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms (if dried, soak in warm water for 1 hour before using)
7-8 scallions
3 cloves minced garlic
wheat-free tamari
toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper
oil for stir-frying


1) Place noodles in a large pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes (or according to package directions). When the noodles are soft, drain but do not discard the boiling water. Rinse noodles once in cold water and set aside in large bowl. (You can cut the noodles with scissors for easier eating.) Drizzle with 2 Tbsp sesame oil to prevent from sticking together.

2) In the boiling water, add spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Take it out and rinse it in cold water. When cool, squeeze it gently to get the water out. Add 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1/2 clove minced garlic to a bowl and stir. Add spinach and massage leaves until they are coated with the soy sauce/sesame mixture.

3) Slice the carrot, onion, red pepper and mushrooms into thin strips. Mince the garlic, and cut the green onions into 1 inch pieces.

4) Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the onions and peppers and stir-fry another minute. Then add the garlic, mushrooms and beef and stir-fry until beef is just cooked through. Sprinkle green onions on top, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

5) Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp honey to the large bowl of noodles.

6) Add stir-fried vegetables to bowl. Add the seasoned spinach and gently combine. Add more soy sauce or honey to taste.

7) Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds and serve.