I recently mentioned that the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook is now available and that I am one of the bloggers featured in the book.
While I am definitely stoked to see a recipe of mine in print (thanks to the last name Abramson, I am very first listing in the index!), I’m also very excited about the other 99 recipes in the book: I’ve added post-it notes to quite a few of the pages because there are so many that I want to try.
This chap chae, submitted by Jenn from Amateur Gourmand, was first on my list. Chap chae (also known as jap chae) is a Korean dish of “glass noodles” that’s gluten-free and chock full of vegetables. I’ve never tasted it before, but I knew I would love it the first time I glanced over the ingredients.
I adapted Jenn’s recipe a bit to make use of what I had on hand: I couldn’t find sweet potato vermicelli (the type of noodles generally used for chap chae) so I substituted mung bean cellophane noodles; I added tempeh for protein (you could try small pieces of organic chicken, pastured pork or grass-fed steak instead, if you like) and topped the dish off with homemade sriracha.
Jenn describes this dish as one of her favorite Korean comfort foods, and I can certainly see why. The noodles are very light, yet toothsome and satisfying, and absorb the sweet, salty and toasty flavors of the sauce. Another beautiful thing is that once the noodles are ready and you’ve prepped your vegetables, this chap chae comes together very quickly. It makes a nice light meal on it’s own, or feel free to serve it as part of a larger meal along with other Asian dishes.
Chap Chae with Tempeh
* 2 bunches mung bean cellophane noodles (or 8 oz. sweet potato vermicelli noodles)
* 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil (or olive oil)
* 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
* 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
* 2 cups baby spinach
* 3 carrots, peeled and julienned
* 3 scallions (green parts only), sliced
* 5 mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (I used organic button mushrooms)
* 1/2 medium zucchini, peeled and julienned
* 1/2 package (4 oz.) organic tempeh, sliced
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon organic sugar
* sesame seeds (optional)
* homemade or store-bought sriracha to taste
1. Soak the mung bean vermicelli in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and drizzle in a little sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking together. If you are using the sweet potato noodles, cook them according the package directions, then proceed the same way.
2. In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat coconut or olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil.
3. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the spinach, carrots, scallions, mushrooms, zucchini, and tempeh and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and the tempeh is cooked through.
5. Turn heat to low and add cellophane noodles, cilantro, tamari, sugar, and the rest of the sesame oil.
6. Mix to combine and stir-fry for another minute or two.
7. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add sesame seeds and sriracha to taste before serving.