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.

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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!

Ingredients

 (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

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Directions

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)

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385 Comments:

  1. hansiklover Kazakhstan My profile page joined 9/16
    Posted September 24th, 2016 at 3:31 pm | # |

    Thank you, Maangchi!!^^
    It taste good, but not so good as your i think =)


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  2. hansiklover Kazakhstan My profile page joined 9/16
    Posted September 24th, 2016 at 3:27 pm | # |

    Thank you, Maangchi!!^^

  3. Eomma ma Busan,SouthKorea My profile page joined 9/16
    Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:10 am | # |

    Annyeong!
    Im so thankful to have a site like this ~♡♡♡
    Really help me a lot and give me idea, what to prepare everyday for my family. ^^
    By the way thank you so much for this recipe , i tried it and my husband love it so much.^^♡♡♡
    So im planning to cook this one for my son’s baek il. My husband and I planning to have small party at home with my friends and family. Hmmn can i ask more food suggestion in additional in my menu for baek il? We already order tteok im still thinking what to add with japchae. TIA!

  4. Jinkimbap Greece My profile page joined 9/16
    Posted September 1st, 2016 at 5:44 pm | # |

    Maangchi i just made my very very first japchae! It actually tastes pretty good. Tastier than the one I had at the restaurant lol. Awesome recipe!!
    I’ve never cooked korean food before so this is actually a good start for me :D
    Love you and your recipes!
    Take care~


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    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 8:45 am | # |

      You made fantastic japchae! Your first Korean cooking turned out very successful, so I’m sure you can make any Korean dishes from now on. Good luck!

      • Jinkimbap Greece My profile page joined 9/16
        Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 8:58 am | # |

        Thank you for your sweet response!
        It really made my day :)

  5. magiesong Los Angeles My profile page joined 8/16
    Posted August 25th, 2016 at 11:07 am | # |

    Maangchi, I am going to make this without meat for a big party of 20 people. There will be other dishes on the table, as this will be a potluck. Should I quadruple the recipe? And, how long can I keep this at room temperature? Again, I will not add meat.

  6. AnnTan Philippines My profile page joined 8/16
    Posted August 6th, 2016 at 6:00 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    Is it okay to replace the glass noodles with rice noodles? Thank you.

  7. amelLiu Indonesia My profile page joined 4/16
    Posted April 25th, 2016 at 1:08 am | # |

    Hi maangchi! Thankyou for sharing many delicious recipes.. today i made japchae and it tasted very very very delicious.. but i forget the sesame seed.. thankyou for sharing maangchi.. i’ll always keep watching your video ^^


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  8. fridabag15 New Jersey My profile page joined 5/10
    Posted April 17th, 2016 at 1:55 am | # |

    It’s good to be back making Korean food! After making this, I remembered the street food I had in Korea last winter. One of them was japchae hoddeok and it was sooooo delicious! It was so warm and it hit the spot. Guess I know what my next dish will be haha. I know I’ll have to do some experimenting to get it right but I’m determined! :)


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  9. Lauriehappy5 Florida My profile page joined 4/16
    Posted April 14th, 2016 at 6:21 pm | # |

    I was introduced to Korean culture last year through my oldest daugher’s Korean friend. I now shop at the Korean market in order to purchase the best ingredients to make some of your recipes. Japjae is my all time favorite. My children have adjusted to my new style of cooking –lots of Korean dishes!– thanks to you. We will be visiting NYC over Mother’s Day, and I can’t wait to visit K-Town. Hopefully, one day we will visit Korea.

  10. yanamana Colorado, USA My profile page joined 4/16
    Posted April 7th, 2016 at 5:38 pm | # |

    안녕하세요 Maangchi^^!

    I visited Korea 2 years ago and loved how healthy the food was! When it came time to make my own food, at first all I cooked was fried rice and spaghetti :). I wanted to add more variety to my diet and I found your website/youtube channel. Thank you so much! And my stomach thanks you too!^^

  11. RosalinaS Indonesia My profile page joined 2/16
    Posted February 25th, 2016 at 11:32 am | # |

    I’ve tried so many of your recipe but I would say this one turned out to be the most successful recipe! My mom and aunty loveeeed it! I also tasted it as a good food but strangely I can’t eat a lot after cooking it bcs it’s really exhausting lol soo many ingredient and so many stir fried to do. THANKS MAANGCHI YOU SAVED MY LIFE from eating junkfood over and over again


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  12. kathing My profile page joined 1/16
    Posted January 10th, 2016 at 10:02 am | # |

    Tried this when I went to Korea and fell in love with the dish. Decided to try and make it myself, so I ended up on your site. The result was amazing, and it tasted almost exactly the same as the one I tried on my travel <3 Thank you for sharing!

  13. ErikHokay My profile page joined 1/16
    Posted January 6th, 2016 at 1:26 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi!

    Japchae has been one of my favorite Korean dishes since I tried it years ago in a local Korean restaurant! I am very excited to try making it following your recipe! I intend to practice a few times before I make it for my boyfriend, who is half Korean. However, he does not like spinach OR mushrooms! Do you or any of your viewers have suggestions for replacements for the spinach and mushrooms? I was thinking perhaps water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, or thinly sliced broccoli or cabbage. What are your thoughts?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 7th, 2016 at 9:09 am | # |

      You can add any of your favorite vegetables to your bibimbap but I would use cucumber or broccoli(as you said) instead of spinach and skip mushrooms. If you use cucumber, slice it thinly and sprinkle with some salt. 5 to 10 minutes later, squeeze out excess water and pan fry with a drop of cooking oil for 20 seconds and use them.

  14. Nelsianne My profile page joined 1/16
    Posted January 4th, 2016 at 1:07 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I just made japchae and it taste really delicious! My boyfriend and I finished the whole serving together! We’ll definitely try this for the second round… =)

    Thanks for sharing this awesome, delicious and simple korean recipe! Have a prosperous 2016 to you and to your family… =)


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    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 4th, 2016 at 11:03 am | # |

      yes, your japchae looks terrific! I made japchae on Jan.1st 2016 for my family, too! Homemade japchae is always more delicious than restaurant japchae because we use lots of colorful and good ingredients. Yours looks awesome!
      Happy New Year to your and your family, too!

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