3.258 Jabchaebab

Cycle 3 – Item 258

19 (Wed) September 2012



at Meedam

(Ajou University Hospital)

-Woncheon, Yeongtong, Suwon, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Jabchaebab is a Korean-Chinese dish.  Stir-fried glass noodles with sliced pork, onions, carrots – essentially the same thing as Korean jabchae – but with more oil, more soy sauce, more garlic, more spice.  For some reason, it’s always served over rice (bab) and thus categorized as a rice dish, despite the noodles.

In a prior post on Korean jabchae, I speculated that the term may have originated from the same Chinese source that gave rise to “chop (mixed) suey (vegetables)” (see 2.073 Pork Jabchae).  Five minutes of online research confirms that I was at least partially correct, maybe entirely.  The “chop” does indeed derive from the Chinese character for “mixed (雜),” which is pronounced “jab (잡)” in Korean.  However, the “suey” is most commonly attributed to the character for “pieces/bits” (碎), pronounced “soae” (“쇄”) in Korean.  Then again, some sources do note that the dish is known as “chop chai/sai” in certain regions, including Korea, the “chai/sai” from the character for “vegetable” (菜), pronounced “chae” (“채”) in Korean.  So there it is.

The so-called “Chinese” corner of the hospital food court offers 9 dishes, all of them involving jjajang (7 dishes) and/or jjambbong (8 dishes) and/or fried rice (5 dishes) in some form, none of which are really Chinese.

Jabchae aside, nothing on this tray is Chinese.



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