Having lived in the US most of my life – it seems that traditional Korean vermicelli (glass) noodles, otherwise known as Chap Chae, or as I call it “Chop Chop Noodles” (named so as everything is chopped/julienned & stir-fried), is an all-time favorite crowd pleaser. See below for my interpretation; a savory version full of different textures and colors and flavors (salty, bitter, sweet, tangy and umami, of course), made with *drum roll* all vegetables and no meat! Also the beauty of this recipe is that it’s a one-pot dish with ez cleaning.
In this recipe, I use one of my favorite kitchen tools, the Japanese Kyocera Benriner mandoline that’s super-efficient in creating perfect-julienned slices in minutes. It’s a bargain priced at $20-30 bucks esp. when compared to Italian hard-core mandolines and the blades last forever because they only touch the food. (Knives get dull because they hit the cutting board every time you chop). I’ve had my mandoline since college and that was LONG time ago~
This recipe is SUPER EZ AND FAST (30 min). Don’t get overwhelmed by the # of ingredients because they all get stir-fried in one pot and then tossed together.
Ingredients (3-4 Servings):
Vermicelli noodles (glass) but you can also use any pasta/noodles like spaghetti or rice noodles. When using vermicelli, be sure to soak them in room temperature water for 10-15 min before you start chopping the veggies. Need only about your thumb-to-index fingertip-pinch worth. Let me know if you can’t picture this – i know it’s “very scientific”.
1/2 c. chayote (julienned/sliced) – this was the first time I’ve tried this veggie from Mexico. Texture of a honeydew, shaped like a big avocado, it’s an interesting veggie. When you cut it in 1/2, it almost looks like a George O’Keefe painting – and for those of you who know her work, u know what i’m talking about. And it feels a little waxy/slimy, kinda like zucchini, especially when I peeled the skin. Don’t fear though, as when stir-fried, it becomes this really kewl veggie that has the texture and flavor of both a cucumber and zucchini.
1/2 c. organic carrots (julienned) – love those beta-carotenes:) and the beautiful color
1 c. japanese/korean cucumber (julienned) – Japanese/Korean cucumber tends to have a crunchy, tender skin but still tough enough to retain their texture when stir-fried). No peeling needed.
1 cup yellow or white onion (sliced)
2 eggs (whisked with salt/pepper and sprinkle of evap cane juice)
1 c. shiitake mushrooms (sliced) – Kalbi-marinated with soy sauce, garlic, evap cane juice, scallions, sesame oil and black pepper
1/2 c. king trumpet mushroom (optional) – also sliced (just gives another layer of savory, meaty texture and taste)
1/2 c. arugula
1 tsp finely-minced garlic
1 tbsp shoyu/soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, a splash of worchestershire sauce and roasted sesame seeds for garnish
1. In a wok/pan, sautee each vegetable ingredient separately in order with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. The reason they’re sauteed separately is because each vegetable has a different cooking time and you want to retain the color and flavor of each veggie. For instance, if you sautee carrots with onions, then the onions will turn orange and it wouldn’t be as vibrant or retain its separate flavor. Chayote – sautee for 3-5 min until translucent and pour into a large mixing bowl (this is where everything will come together and be tossed later so make sure it’s a big bowl). Then carrots, cucumber, onion, then two eggs (you’ll let them cook like an omelette and start breaking them apart so that you have 1/2′ by 1/2′ squares). Lastly, sautee the mushrooms together. Layer all in the mixing bowl.
2. Boil vermicelli noodles for 5 min. Fish out noodles and layer on top of the veggie mixture in the bowl. Immediately drizzle sesame oil (this keeps the noodles from sticking and retains a beautiful sheen/silky texture).
3. Add shoyu, garlic, vinegar, worchestershire sauce and arugula. Mix all ingredients and toss well.
4. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds as garnish. Serve with a side of rice (preferably brown rice or a mixture of brown/white/sweet rice) and enjoy!
Umami zen – perfect combo of salty, sweet, tangy and savoriness…full of flavor and goodness~
Made with two tablespoonspoons of love; love for food, love for life.