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Chapchae (Noodles with Beef and Mixed Vegetables)

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)
Chapchae is the most popular noodle dish in Korea and features cellophane noodles stir-fried in sesame oil with beef and vegetables. This version weighs in at less than 400 calories per serving and just over 10 grams of fat.


  • Beef:
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 8 ounces eye of round steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or Thai chile paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • Noodles:
  • 1 (3.75-ounce) package uncooked bean threads (cellophane noodles)
  • Vegetables:
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 6 ounces mushrooms)
  • 1 cup (2-inch) diagonally sliced green onions
  • 1 cup (2-inch) julienne-cut carrot
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 372
  • caloriesfromfat 26 %
  • fat 10.9 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • monofat 4 g
  • polyfat 3.6 g
  • protein 26.1 g
  • carbohydrate 41.3 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 51 mg
  • iron 5.5 mg
  • sodium 1020 mg
  • calcium 102 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare beef, sprinkle cornstarch over beef; toss to combine. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and next 4 ingredients (1 tablespoon soy sauce through 3 garlic cloves); toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture; stir-fry 3 minutes or until done. Remove mixture from pan. Cover and keep warm.

  3. To prepare noodles, pour boiling water over noodles; let stand 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain. Snip noodles several times with kitchen shears.

  4. To prepare vegetables, wipe skillet or wok clean with paper towels. Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil and vegetable oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add red pepper and 5 garlic cloves; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, onions, and carrot; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add half of spinach; stir-fry 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach; stir-fry 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.

  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add beef mixture and noodles to pan, stirring well to combine. Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over noodle mixture; stir well to combine. Cook over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Cook's Notes

Adding a little cornstarch helps the marinade adhere to the beef mixture so that a little beef goes a long way. To make this easier to stir together and serve, snip the noodles after they've softened.