“Cooking the Korean Way” 잡채 (Jap Chae) with Junior Chef JJ

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I love kimchi like Oprah loves bread.

I am currently trying to teach myself Korean, slowly but I’m trying my best, and also falling in love with Korean foods the more I try. For me, adding kimchi to basically everything is the perfect way to add crunch and spice to just about anything, especially noodles.

I am also teaching JJ and Lil some Korean words with my vocabulary app because when you’re homeschooled, even Auntie gets in on dropping some knowledge on these yougins and making then learn all the time.

This week on Cookie with Auntie we made 잡채 (Jap Chae, or Jab Chae) made with cellophane or glass noodles made from mungbeans and unfortunately the perfect accompaniment would have been kimchi, but only kimchi I can find locally has shrimp in it and in respecting my sister’s faith, it was just not an option to have this week with our first homemade Korean dish. Perhaps some homemade, shrimpless kimchi is in our future!

While preparing our dish this week, we turned on our Disney playlist, and got cooking straight away. JJ learned three important lessons this week: how to cut more precisely while cutting baby carrots into thin strips, green onions will sneak up on you and make you cry for a second while cutting them on the bias and not to take a full fingertip full of 고주창 (gochujang) for a taste test just because you can. 

Gochujang is red pepper paste and it quickly overwhelmed Mr Tobasco sauce lover.

Lil also used chopsticks for maybe the first time. Using three rubber bands and a clothes pin, I was able to make her some learner’s chopsticks to make it easy on her little hands. 

She practiced using her chopsticks while we cooked. I was a super proud auntie to see she had taken to them so quickly!

Overall, our recipe wasn’t very spicy at all and I would add more gochujang or soy sauce next time we make it.

 잡채 Japchae

Glass noodles with stir fried vegetables and grilled meat.

Our version is based on the recipe from the cookbook Cooking the Korean Way and in my opinion needs more flavor. This will be a recipe we revisit in the future! 🍽


  • Cellophane noodles
  • Sirloin steak, cut thin
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 TBSP 고주창 (gochujang), red pepper paste, use more or less depending on how spicy you like it
  • 3 cloves garlic, miced
  • 4 TBSP olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium sized cabbage, cut into ribbons
  • Baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • Carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • Snow peas
  • Green onions, cut on the bias
  • 1/3 package of frozen spinach, thawed
  • Bean sprouts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking!

  1. In a medium bowl, mix to combine soy sauce, sugar and garlic. Add steak and set aside.
  2. Prep your veggies! 
  3. Boil 4 cups of water and add a 10oz package of cellophane noodles. Let it come back to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse. Let them boil as you cook the veggies. (I forgot to rinse, so I added some of the liquid from the veggie pan to the noodles to keep them from sticking.) 
  4. Coat a large pan with olive oil or vegetable oil, stir fry veggies as soon as the pan is hot. Cook sturdier veggies, like the carrots and cabbage first, and add the mushrooms. 
  5. Before the veggies are done, add the steak and 고주창 gochujang to the pan. Cook meat thoroughly. 
  6. Add bean sprouts and pea pods, cook for another minute or so. 
  7. Cut the noodles with kitchen scissors to make for more manageable bites. 
  8. Serve veggies immediately over the noodles.

Recipes like these are a great way to use up any veggies that need to be cooked right away. Most of the work is in the prep so they can be prepared in advance and cooked quickly. Add as much or as little spice as you’d like.

What’s your favorite international dish?


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