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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chop Chae (Korean Noodle & Beef)

For the first recipe after the vacation, we turn of course to our Insane Cook, Paula. The following is a recipe for Chop Chae. While looking for images for this recipe, I entered a world of "noodles" and a the zillions of different types of noodles. For instance over at the web site, Life In Korea, there is a whole page devoted to Korean noodles. Among other things this is what they write:

"Korean noodles are made from either buckwheat or regular wheat flour. The most prized are the thin, brownish ,buckwheat noodles which are served in soups based on beef, poultry, or anchovy stock."
There are also some very interesting noodle recipes as well over at Life In Korea.

If you are really a noodle connoisseur take a look at the following page on Asian noodles as well.

This is a Korean Buckwheat Noodle known as naeng myun and made from buckwheat flour and potato starch. They are brownish in color with a translucent appearance. The noodles are most often eaten cold but at times they are added to soup.

This is Korean sweet potato vermicelli known as dang myun and made from sweet potato starch. It is a thin long, translucent noodle with a chewy texture.

The other ingredient that Paula adds is Shiitake mushrooms. These are mushrooms from East Asia and also called "log mushrooms" because they are found growing on dead logs. Take a look at the Wikipedia article on Shiitake mushrooms.

And now since you know about Korean Noodles and Shiitake mushrooms, we can get to Paula's recipe.

Chop Chae (Korean Noodle & Beef)

  1. 2 Pounds Flank Steak or Sirloin
  2. 3/4 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
  3. 10 – 15 Dried Shiitake mushrooms
  4. 1 pound Very Thin Noodles
  5. 4 Carrots
  6. 1 Large Onion
  7. 2 – 3 Cups boiling water
  8. 1/2 Cabbage
  9. 1/2 Pound Baby Spinach
  10. 6 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  11. 2 Green onions, sliced
  12. 1 Cup Worcester Sauce
  13. 1 Bowl of ice Water

Utensils You Need:
  1. 3 Medium bowls
  2. Large Pot
  3. Colander (strainer)
  4. Large, wide skillet
  1. Cut beef into 1/4 inch thick, 1 inch lengths
  2. Place in medium bowl with Teriyaki sauce
  3. Stir & cover beef
  4. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour
  5. Place mushrooms in medium bowl and cover with boiling water
  6. Let soak for 30 minutes
  7. Discard water
  8. Cut off hard stems and discard
  9. Cut the mushrooms into thin slivers and set aside
  10. In medium bowl, cover noodles with cold water
  11. Soak for 15 minutes, do not stir or you will break the noodles
  12. Heat a large pot of water to a boil
  13. Cook noodles for 1 minute
  14. Drain into colander
  15. Immediately place colander (with noodles) into Ice water
  16. Remove when cool to touch
  17. Drain thoroughly
  18. Peel and chop carrots into 4 inch lengths
  19. Slice each piece into thin, narrow strips
  20. Cut cabbage into 4 inch strips
  21. Chop spinach
  22. Combine carrots, onion, cabbage and spinach , set aside
  23. Heat large skillet over medium heat
  24. Add oil and heat for 3 – 4 minutes
  25. Drain beef from teriyaki and add beef to skillet
  26. Stir and cook for 6 - 10 minutes
  27. Add vegetables
  28. Add mushrooms
  29. Continue to stir and cook for 5 minutes
  30. Combine meat, vegetables and noodles in a large mixing bowl
  31. Garnish with slices of green onions

As good as this sounds, it requires a rating of five stars for difficulty. Lots of planning, lots of ingredients, and certainly not for the light hearted in the kitchen. Yet, it certainly is worth it in the end. To me this recipe sounds like a great recipe for lots of guests and then well worth the time and effort spent in preparation. This is obviously not for a one or two person quick meal deal. But once again Paula truly outdoes herself in the kitchen!

3 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Paula and Elwood's Poetic Palace said...

Welcome back Ted.

I missed the updates and stories here and my recipes have been backing up quicker than a runway in a snowstorm.

Now, about this rating of 5. Sheesh.

Deborah Dowd said...

He-e-e-e's back! I once bought my kids one of those mushroom logs and it was really fund to row our own shitake mushrooms! But do you have any idea how many questionable sites come up when you look up "grow your own mushrooms"? Try it some time!

tea troll said...

I'm a little confused at the rating of this dish. when I saw it was 5 stars I thought it was going to include a lot of very difficult cooking techniques.

I feel this is more of a 3-star meal as the only difficult thing is to time everything. You can marinate the beef a day before and while your mushrooms and noodles are soaking you can cut all of the vegetables. After that it's a simple quick saute to cook all of the ingredients.

I'll definitely try this as I have wanted Chapch'ae for a looooong time and my family's all the way over in Korea.