Sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables

Japchae 잡채

Japchae, sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat, is one of Korea’s best-loved dishes, and one of the most popular on my website as well.

If anyone asks me to recommend a good potluck dish, I don’t hesitate to answer japchae for the simple reason that pretty much everyone loves it. At any gathering it’s hard to pass up these chewy, sweet, and slightly slippery noodles with colorful stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms, its irresistible sesame flavor, healthy amount of garlic, and light, refreshing taste.

Stir frying each ingredient separately seems like a lot of labor, but each one requires a different cooking time and a bit of care, and keeping the color and freshness of each ingredient intact makes for a stunning final presentation. An easy way to make it even prettier and more nutritious is to use more vegetables and less noodles, although this is hard to recommend because the noodles are delicious by themselves.

Let me know if you make this at a party! Double, triple, quadruple the ingredients and let everyone taste your japchae!


 (serves 4):

  • 4 ounces beef, filet mignon (or pork shoulder), cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
  • 2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 2 to 3 hours, cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces spinach, washed and drained
  • 4 ounces of dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
  • 1 medium onion (1 cup), sliced thinly
  • 4 to 5 white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot (¾ cup), cut into matchsticks
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • ground black pepper
  • salt
  • vegetable oil


Marinate the beef and mushrooms

  1. Put the beef and shiitake mushrooms into a bowl and mix with 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil with a wooden spoon or by hand. Cover and keep it in the fridge.shiitakejapchae seasoning

Make the egg garnish (jidan):

  1. Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the white stringy stuff (chalaza) from the yolk. Beat in a pinch of salt with a fork.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated nonstick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.
  3. To keep the jidan as yellow as possible, turn off the heat and pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan. Tilt it around so the mixture spreads thinly. Let it cook using the remaining heat in the pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute.japchae egg garnish
  4. Let it cool and slice it into thin strips.

Prepare the noodles and vegetables:japchae vegetables

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then take it out with a slotted spoon or strainer. Let the water keep boiling to cook the noodles.
  2. Rinse the spinach in cold water to stop it from cooking. Squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water. Cut it a few times and put it into a bowl. Mix with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Put it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir them with a wooden spoon so they don’t stick together. Cover and keep cooking for another 7 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy.
  4. Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl next to the spinach. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix well by hand or a wooden spoon. This process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  5. Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion, the green onion, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  6. Heat up the skillet again and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the white mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened and a little juicy. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  7. Heat up the skillet and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add the carrot and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper strips and stir-fry another 20 seconds. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  8. Heat up the skillet and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the beef and mushroom mixture and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the mushrooms are softened and shiny. Transfer to the noodle bowl.japchae beef

Mix and serve:

  1. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the mixing bowl full of ingredients. Mix all together by hand.japchae (잡채)
  2. Add the egg garnish and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Mix it and transfer it to a large plate and serve.

japchae (잡채)


Other delicious stuff on maangchi.com:


  1. twinmama14 My profile page joined 9/15
    Posted September 9th, 2015 at 3:05 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi-
    This is my first (ever) attempt at making a Korean dish. We moved to Nicaragua from the US and are missing our favorite Korean restaurants so much. I added more marinated mushrooms and increased the meat in the dish because we were so hungry. The final result was so outstanding! Thank you so much for sharing your enthusiam for cooking with us. It is contagious!

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    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 10th, 2015 at 12:09 pm | # |

      Your japchae looks great! I’m so happy to see the yellow egg garnish was well made!

  2. meleenween My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 20th, 2015 at 8:25 am | # |

    So, for a really long time, my Korean friend’s mom made Japchae and many other dishes for me whenever I went to their house. She called me her “daughter” and always sent me home with leftovers. About a year ago, they moved out of state and I’ve been missing her and her food like crazy. I got your cookbook over the weekend and started with this dish. I almost cried when I tasted the first bite, as it was so amazingly delicious and it also brought back great memories. Thank you, thank you.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 7th, 2015 at 9:47 am | # |

      “I almost cried when I tasted the first bite, as it was so amazingly delicious”

      Thank you for sharing your story , and congratulations! I feel your passion for cooking. I do the same thing when my cooking turns out well.

  3. sujatasingh My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 20th, 2015 at 6:53 am | # |

    Delicious!!! Sooooo damn tasty! Thank you maangchi for such a brilliant dish which doubles as a lovely snack. But it probably won’t last that long.

  4. Chanelbg My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 17th, 2015 at 11:56 pm | # |


    I just made this recipe among other ones from your website and I am always impressed! Thank you for the time and effort you put into making these recipes and posting them for us.



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  5. Sara Alice My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted August 15th, 2015 at 11:46 pm | # |

    Maangchi, this my second time making this dish. The first time I made it, I used mung bean glass noodles just to see what it was like. But this time, I used sweet potato starch glass noodles and this dish is so much better than the first time I made it. These noodles are fantastic. Please continue to post your wonderful recipes. Take good care! :)

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  6. yunxuan84 My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 14th, 2015 at 7:47 am | # |

    Thanks for your recipe~I’m make this for my husband he love this so much!
    Last time I’m try by myself but too oily,but this time use your recipe is success.
    Thanks so much~

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  7. lilianhoh My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 12th, 2015 at 11:02 am | # |

    I made this recipe twice and loved it, cooked it with beef. I plan to make this for a batch of around 10 adults but plan to cook it the evening before and keep it overnight in the fridge. Will the texture of the noodles and flavour still be good? The vegetables won’t turn soggy and cause the noodles to be watery right? Is it better to serve it again room temperature or cold? Thanks if uncan reply asap.

    • battlekittyspastica Seoul My profile page joined 9/10
      Posted September 5th, 2015 at 12:10 pm | # |

      Koreans usually make large batches of side dishes like this and then eat a little at each meal until it’s gone. Thus, any of Maagchi’s recipes you make will keep beautifully in the fridge – just keep them tightly covered. Specifically with chap-chae, be sure that you cook the noodles enough. If you undercook them, they’ll dry out & get weird in the fridge, no matter how well you cover them. Other than that, the noodles keep their consistency very well. After about 5 days the veggies might get watery – then it’s time to throw away any leftovers (leftovers?!).

      Another tip, especially for “dump cooks” – don’t season the warm noodles to taste. The flavor weakens as the noodles cool. If you make the flavor twice as strong (on warm noodles), the cool noodles should be just about right. (And if it’s too strong or salty, add some strips of fresh Korean pear (or more veggies if you can’t get the pear).)

  8. theochagirl My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 31st, 2015 at 12:52 am | # |

    This recipe is so delicious! My entire family absolutely loves it. My daughter has an egg sensitivity so I used yellow pepper instead of egg yolk to add colour. Thank you Maangchi!! <3

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  9. tyfoo My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 24th, 2015 at 7:02 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi
    Super elated as i completed the mission of following your video step by step! Love the results!! Made it for my hubby..Was meticulous work but so worth it. Thank u thank u!!

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  10. Mynametina My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 16th, 2015 at 12:15 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi.
    i’m Tina from Indonesia. And i love your korean recipe. It’s simple but very delicious.
    And this is my 2nd try to cook japchae.
    It look a bit pale. But it tasted great! Just like the ones at my favorite korean restaurant.

    Thank you Maangchi.

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    • Cutemom Indonesia My profile page joined 3/13
      Posted August 28th, 2015 at 3:05 pm | # |

      Hi, Tina.
      Did you remember to season your noodle with soy sauce & sesame oil? Then again at the end of the process?

      It does look pale and look lacking soy sauce

      Ima (Indonesia)

  11. rocknchick Rockford, IL My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted July 13th, 2015 at 1:32 pm | # |

    I made this for dinner last night. It takes me forever to cut carrots into matchsticks, so I used this spiral cutter I have, instead. I cut the carrot spirals into pieces about 2 inches long. I was afraid they wouldn’t be good cut this way, but it actually made it easier to pick up and eat! I used a fork, but it would help with chopsticks, too. I love my spiral cutter. I use it to make zucchini “noodles”.

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  12. rhodadlr L.A. My profile page joined 8/11
    Posted July 4th, 2015 at 5:19 pm | # |

    Made a whole tray for 4th of July and it looks and tastes delish! I always make a big batch as I have a big family who loves to eat.

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  13. Lisa2321 USA My profile page joined 5/13
    Posted June 30th, 2015 at 8:35 am | # |

    I almost wanted to cry when I took my first bite of this dish… it was sooooo delicious! My first time trying japchae was at my local Korean restaurant a few years ago and I did not think it was so great… until I tried Maangchi’s recipe. Oh, my goodness. The flavors! I don’t eat meat other than seafood, so I made it with shrimp instead. This is one of my favorite dishes for sure. Thanks, Maangchi!

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    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 30th, 2015 at 10:08 am | # |

      “I almost wanted to cry when I took my first bite of this dish…” omg, you are like me! When my dish turns out perfect, I feel the same way! You are one of my foodie readers! BTW, your japchae looks perfect!

  14. culinandy My profile page joined 6/15
    Posted June 16th, 2015 at 8:33 pm | # |

    Oh boy, this recipe surprised me. I made it, everything smelled delicious, and then I took a bite and was disappointed. It landed flat. THEN, I realized I had forgotten the sugar in the last step. Added the sugar, mixed it around, and it became incredibly delicious!

    Then I added about 2T of chili-garlic paste to my bowl to give it some heat, and it went from delicious to remarkable. This is going to be one of my favorite dishes. Thank you!

    P.S. You are adorable and I could watch your videos for hours. Thanks for all your hard work and the delicious recipes!!

  15. Vickykoay0711 Singapore My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 19th, 2015 at 10:02 am | # |

    Just cooked for my dinner! It’s delicious ^^

  16. janelle melbourne My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted February 24th, 2015 at 12:17 am | # |

    May i ask, can i stir fry all the vegetables together instead of cooking them separately as mentioned in step 5-7? It seemed like all the ingredients for stir frying the vegetables are the same. In the end, all of them get mixed up with the noodles anyway.

    • battlekittyspastica Seoul My profile page joined 9/10
      Posted September 5th, 2015 at 12:24 pm | # |

      It depends on how sensitive your taste buds are, I guess. On lazy days, I’ll cook everything together (adding onions first, because they take longest to cook, and spinach last because it only needs a few moments). However, the flavors get cooked together. Each bite of this chap-chae tastes the same and gets rather boring. If you cook each item separately (I even wipe out the pan & use fresh oil for each thing) they keep their “flavor profiles.” Each bite of this chap-chae is a surprise. One mouthful might have more spinach so you get more bitterness; the next mouthful might have more meat or carrot so you get more richness or sweetness. This variety, if you can taste it, is a major part of chap-chae’s appeal (for me, at least). If you’re as taste-sensitive (and picky) as I am, cook everything separately. If not, go the easy route! :)

  17. Jojo77 Ohio US My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted February 14th, 2015 at 5:46 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe. I just would like to ask if it is possible that I replace beef with some seafood like scallop or seafood mix, and season them in the same way? Thank you so much.

  18. WhipItGood Paso Robles, California My profile page joined 1/15
    Posted February 4th, 2015 at 10:12 pm | # |

    Wow! Incredibly delicious! I am so thankful for all of your delicious recipes Maangchi.

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