Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Korean Stir Fried Korean Noodles (Chapchae)

Chapchae is one of the most popular noodle dishes in Korea, and also seems to be the one that Westerners like best. The foundation of the dish is the mixture of the noodles, soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. Because mung bean or sweet potato noodles both absorb tons of flavor, you can mix and match the vegetables or meat to your liking. Broccoli, red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, bulgogi, and onion are in the version pictured here, this flavor and color combination is a favorite. More traditional ingredients have been included below.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 70 minutes

Serves 4


8 oz mung bean or sweet potato noodles (might be called cellophane or glass noodles or Chinese vermicelli)
1 sweet onion, sliced into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound baby spinach, parboiled
2 carrots, julienned
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped Napa cabbage
5 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated if dried and then sliced
2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar Salt to taste
Sesame seeds (optional)
6 oz. chicken breast*


1. Cook noodles according to package directions.

2. In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat vegetable (or olive) oil and 1 Tbsp sesame oil.

3. Add onion slices and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

4. Add rest of vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are half-cooked and still a bit crispy.

5. Turn heat to low and add cooked noodles, meat (if using), soy sauce, sugar, and the remaining sesame oil.

6. Mix to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.

7. Add salt or more soy sauce if needed.

8. If using sesame seeds, add them at finish.

* Strips of egg, or fried tofu pieces are good protein additions.

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