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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425 Comments:

  1. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted September 3rd, 2007 at 11:18 am | # |

    Hi,lost_cluster,

    My my response about your message is posted as a new topic.
    Check it out, please.

  2. lost_cluster
    Posted September 3rd, 2007 at 2:41 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, i´m manonpiano from youtube I´ve found your blog, thats great to have a blog of korean cooking! :P congratulations, i´m pretty shure that you are going to be famous if your are not already ;) you are some kind of dream came true to every korean food lover i´ve found that korean people is very jelaous of their costumes specially on their cooking :P just as you don´t ask on how they cook every korean is incredibly hospitable and you feel great with them, but finally i found somebody who isn´t that way and is sharing this wonderfull recipes.

  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 28th, 2007 at 8:23 am | # |

    Hi,
    Yes, it’s called glass noodles because it looks translucent.
    Good luck with your making Jobchae!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted July 28th, 2007 at 2:54 am | # |

    Thank you for posting your cooking videos! It sure gives us amateur cooks a ‘clearer picture’ on how to prepare the dish =) I’ll definitely make this Job Chae. Can I clarify if the noodles that you are using is similar to the ‘glass noodles’??

    Rdgs
    Ma-li

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 25th, 2007 at 7:26 am | # |

    Hello,
    I am quoting some comments from my youtube because you might be interested in it.

    phantomer commented

    i just got an instant bowl version of this noodle. havent tried it yet, but i only bought it out of curiosity and it’ll suck compare to hand-made like yours.
    anyhoo i dont know why some call it stir fried noodle, if only vegetables are stir fried. it’s nothing like chinese/japanese fried noodles like chowmein/yakisoba/etc etc. it’s more like sweet glass noodle with vegetable, or something……
    keep up the good work ms.hammer

    My answer:

    phantomer,
    You are right, it shouldn’t be called stir-fried noodles with vegetables because I didn’t do stir frying for the noodles. There are 2 ways of cooking: one is the way I did, and the other is stir frying all. I don’t like greasy food, that’s why I use the first method. Good comment, I should copy and paste your comment on my blog. : )

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 20th, 2007 at 7:51 pm | # |

    Hi, James!

    Jobchae nooldes’ color will be a little brownish which is from soy sauce or brown sugar. No need to use any artificial color.

    Thanks!

  7. james
    Posted July 20th, 2007 at 7:21 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I’ve made this dish twice now (last time was this afternoon) but each time it’s not the characteristic ‘orange-y’ color that I remember. Last time, I added annatto for color. Could you tell me what gives the dish an orange color?
    감사합니다!

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 19th, 2007 at 5:39 pm | # |

    I’m very glad to hear your making Jobchae is succesful!

  9. Lillian
    Posted July 19th, 2007 at 3:46 pm | # |

    Thanks Maangchi,

    I just made Job Chae and it was really good! I had no idea how easy it was until I watched your video. I didn’t have any beef so I put a fried egg on top. I will definitely make this recipe often in the future.

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 18th, 2007 at 10:20 pm | # |

    Hi,lillian,

    Sesame oil is made from roasted sesame seeds, so its smell is really good. You can ask “Sesame oil” in any Asian grocery store.

    Let me know how it goes.

  11. Lillian
    Posted July 18th, 2007 at 8:54 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I love your cooking videos. I can’t wait to try the kimchi later this summer. I would like to make the Job Chae but I am wondering about the sesame oil–what type do you use? Is it roasted or plain?

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 17th, 2007 at 12:22 pm | # |

    Hehe keep forgetting to sign my comments.

    Z

  13. Anonymous
    Posted July 17th, 2007 at 12:21 pm | # |

    Awesome. It looks like it would take a long time to make. I’m not sure I like that kind of noodle, so maybe I’d use a thin udon or yeah spaggetti!

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted July 16th, 2007 at 9:53 pm | # |

    It sounds good! I sometimes use leftover spagetti noodles for Asian style of noodle soup. why not!

  15. Ahngele
    Posted July 16th, 2007 at 9:27 am | # |

    This is one of my favorites because my kids will eat it even when I put in all the vegetables. I even make it with spaghetti noodles sometimes.

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