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 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. Sio lover Ksa joined 12/16 & has 46 comments

    I didn’t know that it was so delicious and yummy like this my dad ate it and he was surprised by how it tastes and how chewy it is thanks for the recipe ❤️

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  2. Zeetha Romania joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    Thank you for the recipe. I tried it yesterday and it was a delicious meal. I had to make some changes though ’cause I couldn’t get shiitake mushrooms and sweet potato starch noodles. I used bean glass noodles instead. I put pork in it and I added a zucchini.

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  3. ChefDreamer Algiers,Algeria joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    I made it without a beef and mushrooms but it was super delicious thanks Maangachiii you’re the best I’m always a big fan of Korean cooking !!

  4. VdubbauVW 33309 joined 4/18 & has 3 comments

    1st attempt Japchae. Parents and my Aunt Thelma were kind enough to be guinea pigs. Dad was not a fan of chewy noodles, otherwise everyone loved it!

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  5. VdubbauVW 33309 joined 4/18 & has 3 comments

    Was wondering if you ever use beets? I see that a lot of Korean cooking focuses on colors. Beets are such a strong color, I wonder if there is a way to incororate beets into the recipe…

  6. Foody Indonesia joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    I am a big fan of japchae and it always in my order list when i visit Korean restaurant. But then your delicious looking recipe inspire me to make it by myself. The result is amazing even without red bellpepper. The egg is too difficult for a beginner like me, so i just make scrambled egg
    Thank you so much for the recipe.

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  7. Kallidia Lyon (France) joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi
    I wanted to taste it so much as I was watching the recipe. As soon as I bought what was necessary I did it.
    So delicious!! Even my friend who is not a fan of asian food loved it.
    Thank you.
    I’m looking so much to try other recipes.

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  8. nellielevitt Canada joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    I am going to try this recipe tonight. What do you recommend to serve along side this dish? Thanks in advance and I can’t wait for dinner!

    • PeenyO Ga, Usa joined 5/18 & has 1 comment

      Typically you eat this dish with white rice because it has so much going on in it, but you can get creative and eat it with anything you like! I have friends who can’t do white rice and you can eat this wraped in
      Romain lettuce (or what you like) for a healthier option.

  9. xheh18 South korea joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    My first try on Japchae and the result is perfect according to my korean husband and my son^^~ thank u for the delicious recipe. Godbless you
    Huhi I cant comment the pic ㅠㅠ

  10. Elaine NC, USA joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    Made japchae last night, and the whole family LOVED IT! When I told them I was thinking of uploading the picture to show you, they told me: “Make sure to tell her we said thank you!” So a big thank you from our family, please keep doing what you do!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      How sweet of your family to thank me! Your japchae is full of colorful vegetables and noodles so I can say it’s kind of a high quality japchae. I sometimes see japchae as a side dish in Korean restaurants and they don’t use a lot of vegetables like yours. I always like lots of vegetables, that’s the best japchae!

  11. Alvi India joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    Can I use salt instead of sugar. Because I don’t like sweet taste. For the japchae.

  12. BrookMonroe DeLand, FL, USA joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    I just found out our downtown Asian grocery carries dangmyeon, so I attempted japchae tonight. My family loved it. I wish I’d taken pictures. I can get photos of the empty bowls, probably. :)

  13. Yass London joined 2/18 & has 1 comment

    Wonderful recipe Maangchi, only my second Korean dish made but I hope to do many more, thank you!

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  14. Collinyu Taiwan joined 2/18 & has 5 comments

    Yum yum, Friday night dinner~

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  15. Cornelius B. Ecuador joined 12/17 & has 42 comments

    My first try on Japchae. Had to use normal chinese noodles, as in my hometown Otavalo I cannot get Dangmyeon. Also no Shiitake avaliable: got to buy all this in my corean grocery in Quito, next time when I´m there.
    Japchae turned out tasty, though. As I prefer my noodles rather a little more salty, I used a little less sugar for seasoning them.

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