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 toasted 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
  • kosher 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 toasted 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 toasted 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 toasted 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 toasted 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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  1. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Please ask about my recipe that I write. Nobody uses corn starch in Japchae!

  2. Maangchi, may i ask you if corn starch is needed in making 잡채? (i read it in one of the reply in this page) If yes, when should i add the corn starch?

  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    yes, you can use chicken instead of pork or beef. Thank you

  4. Maangchi씨, 소고기를 먹지 않아요. 닭고기를 써도 돼요?

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Thank you for the update! I’m glad to hear that your bulgogi and Japchae turned out delicious!

  6. Hi Maangchi!

    I made both japchae and bulgogi today! Here are some pictures!~


    Both turned out extremely delicious~! I’ve made japchae before, but I love your recipe the best. And this is my first time making bulgogi, and it was mouth-watering! It came out so tender! I pan-fried it instead of grilling it, but it still came out really yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipes!! =DDD

  7. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    very nice! I’m already looking forward to your update! : ) I hope it turns out good!

  8. Well done video. I watched it with the sound off and feel confident I could do it. Thanks for making this look easy and doable.

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Yeah, japchae is always popular for pot luck when people get together. Happy Thanksgiving day!

  10. Hi Maangchi,

    I’m really excited to make this dish again and this time for a family pot luck for thanksgiving. Thanks again!

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I posted yeolmu kimchi recipe, too.

    Spinach and bean sprout side dishes don’t last fresh for a long time in the refrigerator. You will have to eat it in a day.

  12. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. I followed it step by step and my friends said that it tasted very close to the one we had in the restaurant. Many Thanks. I am so inspired by your videos. I am going to try the other dishes as well. Could you suggest some kimchi dishes besides radish, napa and cumumber? Also, could you tell me how long i can keep the spinach and bean sprout side dishes?

  13. hi maangchi.. i always like your cooking and i really love korean food. now i’m eating the japchae as my diet meal and it’s really work!!i make it as a vagetarian food as i never put any meat! it taste great.. thank you very much

  14. hello!im so glad because i found your website,i really love korean food so when i watch your cooking video im really happy…because i can make my own korean food thanks keep up the good cooking….

  15. Not long ago a Korean friend decided to make jobchae for a group of us and he is still trying to live down how it turned out. Finding your recipe later confirmed my instincts about what went wrong – corn syrup! He now has the link.

    Thank you so much for all your recipes. I am cooking more and eating quite well because of them.

  16. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    wonderful news! Thank you for your update!

  17. Thanks for the recipe. I have tried it out today for my dinner. It’s turned out great and my family also like it.

  18. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    haha, I have not seen Daejanggeum series yet. There are some huge markets where you can get Korean traditional cooking utensils. Check out “Namdaemun market” there.
    Thank you!

  19. thank you for sharing your recipes…. i love to eat japchae

    im planing to go to korea next year …is there still a place in korea selling traditional cooking utensils (like the cooking utensils in jewel in the palace a.k.a. DAE JANG GEUM series used…the pan JANG GEUM used in stir frying the vegetables..

  20. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    haha, you make me look up Wikipedia. Yes, they are the same. : )

  21. Portugalbear& has 16 comments

    I made this over the weekend and it was really WOW! the taste of the shitake mushroom is so rich with flavour. and the colors when you mixed it all up looks like. I added chopped scrambled eggs to make it more colorful. One question Maangchi. Is white mushroom the same as button mushroom?

  22. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    The photo of jobchae that you made is on my website now. Thanks, it looks delicious!

  23. ahnneong maangchi!

    this is dish number 2 that i’ve tried from you. it has turned out great and i thank you a hundred times over. i’ll send a pic too. thanks and i’ll let you know what i cook next!


  24. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    Using olive oil is not typical for Korean cooking.
    I like the flavor of olive oil. I sometimes use just vegetable oil, too.

  25. Hi Maangchi,

    I am so glad to have found your website and can’t wait to try some of your recipes. I was wondering why you always use olive oil. Is that typical for korean cooking?

    Thanks – keep up the great work!

  26. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    haha, I heard it from some other people,too. They don’t like to cook, but watch my video recipes. I think it means they may cook someday.

  27. Maangchi,
    What a GREAT site. Your recipes are great — yet just watching you cook makes me happy. Keep it up.


  28. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    no problem! Thank you for letting me know that your bibimbap was successful.

  29. Hi maangchi,
    So sorry, I think my internet line is very slow. Your video on job chae is working now. Wanna try dish dish soon:)

  30. Hi Maangchi,
    Thank you so much for your tutorials:) without your videos it would have been hard to follow through some of the recipes. I tried making bibimbap yesterday for my family and it came out great. We had it for both lunch and dinner! By the way, I could not access your video on job chae, it seems to be “no longer available”. I would love to learn this dish too very much. Thanks again.

  31. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    You must be a good cook! I’m very happy to hear that your jobchae turned out good. Your mom would be proud of you!

  32. Hi, Maangchi!

    I have been watching your videos for about a week now! I just finished making job chae! My mother (who is Korean) usually makes it for me, but I am away now at school and I miss her cooking.

    Now I can make it myself! My mom is so surprised!

    Thank you!

  33. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I’m looking forward to your update about your korean cooking!

  34. hi maangchi:
    i have been watching your cooking videos; awesome. i like your cooking technique.before i thought this is stir-fried because that’s what it looked like until i watch your video. i should try more of your recipes and venture into korean cooking more.
    thank you for sharing.

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