Chap Jae Recipe - Korean Ground Beef and Noodle Stir Fry

Chap Jae

Chap Jae Recipe - Korean Ground Beef and Noodle Stir Fry
Region / culture: Korea | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Chap Jae
Chap Jae

Chap Jae, also known as Japchae, is a popular Korean dish made with cellophane noodles, vegetables, and meat. This dish is not only delicious but also nutritious, making it a great option for a wholesome meal.


Chap Jae has its origins in Korea and is a traditional dish that is often served at special occasions and celebrations. It is believed to have been created during the Joseon Dynasty and has since become a staple in Korean cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Brown the meat in a wok, crumble it and cook until it is done. Set it aside.
  2. Soak the noodles in very hot water for 5-10 minutes, then cut them into 3-4 inch lengths.
  3. Cook the spinach according to the package directions, then drain it, rinse it in cold water, and drain it again, squeezing it dry.
  4. In a wok over medium-high heat, stir-fry the garlic, zucchini, onions, green onions, and carrots in a small amount of oil until they are crisp-tender.
  5. Stir in the meat, noodles, spinach, and straw mushrooms.
  6. Add sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar, and mix well.
  7. Heat the mixture through and serve.


  • Vegetarian option: Omit the ground beef and add tofu or more vegetables for a vegetarian version of Chap Jae.
  • Seafood option: Add shrimp or squid to the dish for a seafood twist on Chap Jae.
  • Spicy version: Add gochujang (Korean chili paste) or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick to the dish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to soak the cellophane noodles in hot water before cooking to soften them.

- Be sure to drain and rinse the spinach thoroughly to remove any excess water.

- Stir-fry the vegetables quickly over high heat to retain their crispness and vibrant colors.

- Adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding more soy sauce or sugar if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Chap Jae can be served as a main dish or as a side dish alongside other Korean dishes such as bulgogi or kimchi. It pairs well with steamed rice or Korean pickles.

Cooking Techniques

Stir-frying is the main cooking technique used in making Chap Jae. It involves quickly cooking the ingredients over high heat to retain their texture and flavors.

Ingredient Substitutions

Ground beef can be substituted with ground chicken, pork, or tofu.

- Cellophane noodles can be replaced with sweet potato noodles or rice noodles.

- Vegetables can be customized based on personal preference or availability.

Make Ahead Tips

Chap Jae can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Simply reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish Chap Jae with additional sesame seeds or chopped green onions for a pop of color and flavor. Serve it in a decorative bowl or plate for an appealing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Chap Jae pairs well with a variety of Korean side dishes such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, and Korean pancakes. It also goes well with a refreshing cucumber salad or seaweed soup.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Chap Jae in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it in a pan over medium heat or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Chap Jae typically contains around 350-400 calories, depending on the portion size and ingredients used.


Chap Jae is a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the cellophane noodles and vegetables. It provides a good source of energy for your body.


The fats in Chap Jae come from the sesame oil used for cooking. It adds flavor and richness to the dish.


The protein in Chap Jae comes from the ground beef, making it a satisfying and filling meal.

Vitamins and minerals

Chap Jae is packed with vitamins and minerals from the variety of vegetables used in the dish. It provides essential nutrients for your body.


Chap Jae may contain allergens such as soy and sesame seeds. Be sure to check for any food allergies before consuming.


Chap Jae is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a wholesome meal option for a well-rounded diet.


Chap Jae is a delicious and nutritious Korean dish made with cellophane noodles, vegetables, and meat. It is a versatile dish that can be customized with different ingredients and flavors to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy this flavorful and satisfying meal with your family and friends!

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately drawn to it. It was a colorful dish called Chap Jae, a traditional Korean noodle dish made with various vegetables, meat, and glass noodles. I had never tasted anything like it before, and I was determined to learn how to make it.

I first encountered Chap Jae when I was visiting my friend Jin's house. Her mother, Mrs. Lee, was in the kitchen preparing dinner, and the aroma of garlic and soy sauce filled the air. I watched in awe as she expertly chopped vegetables and cooked the noodles, tossing everything together in a large wok. The end result was a beautiful and delicious dish that I couldn't get enough of.

I asked Mrs. Lee for the recipe, and she graciously agreed to teach me how to make Chap Jae. She explained that the key to a good Chap Jae is to have all the ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. She showed me how to soak the glass noodles in warm water until they were soft, and how to julienne the vegetables into thin strips.

As we cooked together, Mrs. Lee shared stories about her own grandmother, who had taught her how to make Chap Jae when she was a young girl. She talked about how her grandmother would always add a little bit of love and care to every dish she made, and how that made all the difference in the final result.

I listened intently as Mrs. Lee shared her knowledge and expertise with me, taking mental notes of every step and technique she used. By the time we finished cooking, I felt confident that I could recreate the dish on my own.

Over the years, I made Chap Jae countless times, each time adding my own twist to the recipe. I experimented with different vegetables and proteins, trying out new combinations and flavors. I even taught my own children how to make Chap Jae, passing down the recipe and the tradition to the next generation.

One of my favorite memories of making Chap Jae was when my grandchildren came to visit me. They had never tried Korean food before, and I wanted to introduce them to the flavors and textures that I had grown to love.

I decided to make Chap Jae for them, and as I cooked, they watched with wide eyes, eager to taste the final result. When the dish was finally ready, I served it to them with a smile, explaining each ingredient and how it contributed to the overall flavor profile.

To my delight, my grandchildren loved the Chap Jae. They devoured their plates and asked for seconds, their faces lighting up with delight. It warmed my heart to see them enjoying a dish that had become such a big part of my life.

As I sat with my grandchildren, sharing a meal that I had learned to make from a dear friend, I couldn't help but feel grateful for all the recipes and culinary traditions that had been passed down to me over the years. Each dish held a special meaning and a story behind it, connecting me to my past and the people who had taught me how to cook.

And as I watched my grandchildren happily eating their Chap Jae, I knew that I had successfully passed on the recipe to another generation, ensuring that it would continue to be a part of our family for years to come.


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