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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430 Comments:

  1. serenTipidy Philippines joined 11/17
    Posted November 28th, 2017 at 1:37 am | # |

    Hi, Madame Korean cuisine guru. I am happy to inform you that you inspired a Filipino “cookbook cook” to try my first ever homemade Korean dish – Japchae! And it was a hit! I made some variations in the amount of seasonings based on our taste preference and it looked like the ones sold in Korean restaurants here in the Philippines. How interesting! At this point, I already have in mind what to try next – a side dish. Wish me luck. Keep on doing what you selflessly do. More blessings to come your way…


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 28th, 2017 at 8:16 am | # |

      The japchae looks delicious! Of course, I wish you good luck with your Korean cooking!

  2. Janinkaaa Czech Republic joined 11/17
    Posted November 27th, 2017 at 4:55 pm | # |

    Great! Successfuly done! :) Just my marinated beef weren’t as delicious as I thought it would be. I will do it on my own next time. :) Other than that just a great dish! Thanks a lot.


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  3. bertman4 Seattle, WA joined 10/17
    Posted October 13th, 2017 at 1:05 am | # |

    I have tried several japchae recipes but so far this is my favorite!


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  4. pakalana Hawaiʻi joined 9/17
    Posted September 14th, 2017 at 7:41 pm | # |

    Thank you for the recipe! It was soo delicious. Your instructions were easy to follow and we were so very excited to eat it.


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 19th, 2017 at 8:52 am | # |

      The noodles are so translucent and shiny, and everything is such a beautiful color! I’d love to taste your japchae!

  5. TianTian Denmark joined 9/17
    Posted September 14th, 2017 at 3:07 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi! My girlfriend and I just made this dish along with some Sukjunamul-muchim. We made it for the rest of my family, and even my brother who is usually picky really liked it! We love watching your videos, and I even got my girlfriend your cookbook as a gift! You make cooking so much fun. We have already made some of your recipes, and we look forward to trying more of them. :)

    Love from Sebastian & Alicja


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 19th, 2017 at 8:51 am | # |

      Your jidan (shredded egg paper) looks so well-made, it makes the japchae look gorgeous! Good luck with your Korean cooking!

  6. Moochie UAE joined 9/17
    Posted September 8th, 2017 at 12:21 pm | # |

    My first try at making Japchae. I’ve been meaning to cook this for a year. My resident tester/roommate approves! Had to cook some of the other vegetable dishes a few days before the noodles and I had to substitute the spinach for snowpeas cut into strips. It still turned out great! Haha!

    Thank you for the recipe Maangchi! It’s also very simple to follow!


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 14th, 2017 at 8:52 am | # |

      Wow those noodles look delicious!

  7. duday76 USA joined 12/16
    Posted September 5th, 2017 at 6:26 pm | # |

    Thanks maangchi! This is superb!


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  8. Lorrainejo Riyadh joined 8/17
    Posted August 26th, 2017 at 6:36 am | # |

    thought it was going to be difficult to make but it was quite easy. Will be sharing this with my friends at work.Thanks!


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 31st, 2017 at 9:56 am | # |

      Wow this japchae looks so great: colorful vegetables and shiny translucent noodles, perfect!

  9. FrancescoMartire Rome, Italy joined 6/17
    Posted June 20th, 2017 at 7:40 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I moved to Italy from Australia almost 2 years ago and I can’t believe how much I missed Korean food! My favourite is bibimbap but I always had a curiosity for Japchae… So today I made it! Delicious!! Thank you! This is a photo on my Instagram after I made Japchae a second time… 2 days after I made it the first time!


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    • FrancescoMartire Rome, Italy joined 6/17
      Posted June 20th, 2017 at 7:41 am | # |

      I made it with chicken as I didn’t have beef but it was still amazing!

  10. BelaCooks Sydney Australia joined 5/17
    Posted June 5th, 2017 at 4:58 am | # |

    Does this dish keep well or taste good cold? I’d love to take leftovers to work the next day if there’s any left

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 5th, 2017 at 10:32 am | # |

      You can serve japchae hot, warm, or room temperature but never cold. Keep the leftovers in the fridge and reheat them just before serving. You can use either a microwave oven or stove top. If you use a stove top, put the cold japchae in a pan and add just a little bit of water. Heat it up over medium high heat and stir it until the noodles are shiny and transparent again.

      • BelaCooks Sydney Australia joined 5/17
        Posted June 5th, 2017 at 8:08 pm | # |

        Thanks so much for replying. That really does help xx

  11. Ham_Bandit Florida, USA joined 5/17
    Posted May 30th, 2017 at 8:58 am | # |

    Thank you for the delicious recipe Maangchi, your instructions are so easy to follow! I look forward to trying more of your recipes soon


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