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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512 Comments:

  1. MarieMarie Washington State joined 5/19 & has 2 comments

    Hello Maangchi!
    I’ve been following you for a while now and have successfully made numerous recipes of yours but I don’t think to post a picture. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make Korean food and now I have been, thanks to you!

    Hers my japchae I made tonight and it was a huge hit so THANK YOU!!!


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  2. Ume Australia joined 4/19 & has 1 comment

    Hello Ms Maangchi!
    I love your videos and recipes! As a Korean adopted teen it makes me so happy that I can get closer to a small part of korean culture. I made Japchae and 시금치나물 and my mother enjoys it too!
    Thank you so much for giving me this chance to become closer to Korea, I am trying to learn language and the cooking! And finally I get to visit Korea for the first time this year too!
    감사합니다!


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  3. Karapot16 USA joined 3/19 & has 2 comments

    We love japchae! Thanks for the recipe


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  4. kitchenfreak73 San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines joined 2/19 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, good day to you! I tried to make your japchae recipe and my family loved it! Thank you for sharing with us your Korean cuisine recipes. I’ve been trying different stews from your recipe as well.


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  5. [email protected] carmel ca joined 3/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, I have tried making japchae about 3 times and each time my noodles are grayish. I keep thinking the sauce will turn it that nice brown amber color, but it doesn’t. Can you tell me what I am not doing right? To me the color is very important in this dish. I cannot get an appetite up for gray noodles, even if the taste is there. Am I using the wrong noodles? I am using sweet potato noodles. Thanks so much. Love your food.

  6. marissaplichauco Mariveles Bataan Philippines joined 10/18 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I tried preparing bibimbap, my family and friends loved it,
    I even recieved orders
    Thank you


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  7. marissaplichauco Mariveles Bataan Philippines joined 10/18 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I tried to cook Japchae and my family enjoyed it.
    Thank you


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  8. LaEmeJota A Coruna, Spain joined 2/19 & has 2 comments

    We made this dish last week and it was really satisfying!! So complete with nutrients! We accompanied it with napa kimchi and miso soup.


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  9. Naruchan Semarang Indonesia joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Finnaly I know what is 집채 n how to make it. Thanks


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  10. lucassmom joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I have made this recipe several times and it has always been a hit! I need to make it and take it to a friend’s house but I don’t want to lose any flavor during the transport. What is your suggestion? I was thinking I should boil the noodles when I get to my friend’s house or should I just make it and re-fry it when I get there? Also, she is only 5 minutes away. Your recommendation is highly anticipated!

  11. [email protected] New Zealand joined 12/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi from New Zealand, wanted to let you know I just absolutely love your channel and watch everything. Your bubbly personality shines through and makes learning to cook Korean exciting and enticing.

    I made Japchae for dinner tonight for my granddaughters who are visiting, and oh my goodness, it was soooo good. Thank you for giving me an insight to your world. I’m looking forward to making spicy octopus.

    Warmest regards to you
    Lylian


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  12. prugina1 Florida joined 12/18 & has 1 comment

    My sister-in-law and I went out for Korean and we had a pickled watermelon radish side dish. It looked as stunning as it tasted. It was sliced very thinly not like match sticks. Could you possibly tell me how to make this?
    Thanks, Gina

  13. Jolly Jane Philippines joined 11/18 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    Thank you for this recipe yesterday i cooked this and my friends loved it

  14. [email protected]l.com Falls Church, VA joined 11/11 & has 3 comments

    What brand of eggs do you buy to get the dark yellow/orange eggs? I have bought all kinds of egg from organic not-caged chicken, also from the farm markets, all their yolks are pale yellow. So I need to know the name on the box to get the same kind of eggs that you used.

    I love all your recipes.

  15. sarahprijatna indonesia joined 11/18 & has 2 comments

    made your recipe earlier today, but i added more soysauce and sugar since i prefer stronger taste. it was amazing! thanks


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