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. I made this today and it came out better than the stuff i get in restaurants. . . Thanks Maangchi!

  2. Hi Maangchi~ This is my first comment in this site. Japchae is my favorate! I like your recipe because it is good and simple.

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe! I went to Korea last summer to study abroad and have been craving this for so long. I just went to the Korean Market got the ingredients (practicing my broken korean lol) and just finished making it is is so yummy kamsahamnida!

  4. I am really excited about making japchae. I love ordering it whenever i go get Korean food. If i left the mushrooms out wwould it mess up the taste. Im not a big fan of mushrooms. I’ll use it if i have to, but if i can avoid it i would prefer to. :)

  5. Nicole Urdang& has 1 comment


    That was a great video!
    Thanks for sharing your time and expertise.

    I have two very different websites: one is for free help for all of life’s transitions and crises (holisticcounseling4you.com); while the other is all about chocolate (chocolateraings.wordpress.com).


  6. I think Bulgogi would work in this dish. There is a restaurant that serves it with bulgogi.

  7. Maangchi,

    Can I put kosari in this dish? I have some leftovers. :) Hehe. Thank you very much!

  8. i follow you to make this japchae, very delicious. i like it very much. Thankyou for sharing. ^__*

  9. hi Maangchi!
    i love your videos! and i also looove Jap Chae! i tried making it the other, my first time, and it turned out pretty good!!! i only want to know what’s the proper way to cook the noodles. do i rinse it in cold water after boiling them or not? my noodles wasn’t as thin as the ones i had before. i rinsed mine so they wont stick together and i noticed in your video that you didn’t rinse your noodles after cooking it. did the cold water cause the noodles to bloat? the korean lady told me to use rice syrup when i cook the noodles so it wont get big but since i didn’t have any idea where else to use the rice syrup, i didn’t buy it.
    how do i use the rice syrup with the noodles, if i do need it to avoid getting bloated noodles, and where else can i use it?
    thanks in advance!

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

      rice syrup? I don’t know! forget about it. : )

      Anyway, just follow my video direction. I don’t rinse the noodles in cold water after cooking when I make japchae. I use some sesame oil and mix the noodles right after cooking them instead.(in the video)

  10. babyjess& has 1 comment

    Hi Maanchi,

    I am newbie here. I visited your website today and totally impress. By the way, I am Vietnamese and totally in love with Korean food. Yum..

    I got a question on the way you prepare this dish. For Chinese/Vietnamese cuisine, we normally stir fry everything together on the fire. But it seems like you actually do it one by one and then mix together. What is the reason behind this?

    Again, by seeing your website, I feel like creating a space for my Vietnamese cuisine though. I don’t grade myself a great cook but I definitely love cooking.

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

      I have many reasons why I cook all ingredients separately. As you see, Japcahe is made with so many different ingredients.

      Cooking all vegetables, meat, and noodles separately will help to keep each taste distinct and more colorful. Cooking time for each ingredient is also different.

      “I feel like creating a space for my Vietnamese cuisine ”
      Wonderful! Share your delicious Vietnamese recipe here:

  11. Hi Maangchi,

    First, thanks so much for your recipes (especially the videos). I’m Korean and live in Holland, far away from my family and during my pregnancy, I craved my mother’s cooking but couldn’t find the ingredients here to make them. Watching your videos was the next best thing. You made me very happy!


    I want to make japchae for a party next week. Can I make it 1 day in advance. Does it keep well and what’s the best way to store it until the next day?

    With warming greetings,

  12. Thank you! It looks awesome :] Can’t wait to try it sometime.
    Great video!

  13. can we use chicken instead of meat?

  14. hey, maangchi! i’m going to be making japchae for my birthday here in denmark… i don’t think my danish friends have ever tried anything like it and i’m anxious to show them something new. but i have one question; what kind of wine goes well with it? i’ve heard chenin blanc and riesling are good choices, but i’m not sure about korean food with wine in general. any tips? (:

  15. Thank you so much for all your wonderful videos! I made this for the first time and it turned out delicious. I’m excited to try some of your other recipes!

    Best Wishes,

  16. I’m having a baby shower and decided to make korean food for the party. I am making jap chae for sure, but i dont know what else to make. What do you suggest? there will be about 20-25 people there and only about 5 of them are korean. Thank you!

  17. Thank you so much for this recipe~ I tried it this afternoon and it was a big success! I actually used 3 bundles of noodles and 2 spinach bunches so I had to add a lot more of the sauces when I mixed everything together. I am so happy now that I can make this myself so I don’t need to always get this from a Korean shop or restaurant.

  18. hi,

    May i know what kind of Soy Sauce do you use?

    Is it the “ABC Sauce” (Sweet kind) or
    Light Soya Sauce (Salty kind) or
    Dark Soya Sauce (Similar to ABC Sauce).

    Thanks a lot.

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

    Bento Pet,
    Thank you very much! You have such a nice blog!

  20. Bento Pet& has 1 comment

    Maangchi! I tried your recipe for Japchae today and it was excellent!! Thank you so much!
    I blogged about you here: http://onabentofrenzy.blogspot.com/2009/03/bento-197.html

  21. i really like your website. the question came up earlier about dull knives. may i recommend an aladdin knife sharpener and get a steel hone. it truly only takes a few minutes to get a good sharp knife and is nearly foolproof.

  22. Oh yum! I can’t wait to try this one out. I’m hooked Maangchi! Hooked on your site. You make cooking Korean food look so easy! :)

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

    oh yeah? I’m happy to hear that you were satisfied with the taste of japchae you made! Japchae could be made with so many different kinds of ingredients. I make “buchu japchae” with only beef and asian chives (buchu: 부추). I sometimes add thinly sliced fish cake without using meat which is very delicious.

    You must be good at cooking even though you say you are new to cooking. I’m encouraging you now. ; )

  24. I just finished making it! I didn’t add onion or green onion since I didn’t have any. I also added zuccini. In the end it still tastes great. I’m a newbie to cooking and this was really easy! Thanks for the video and recipe. I’ll be sure to try it with onion and green onion next time to see how much flavor it adds =)

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

    I use dark soy sauce called “jin gan jang” in Korean.

  26. Wow! It looks good! What kind of soy sauce did you use?

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

    Any tender part of beef will be ok. Short Loin or sirloin part is good.

  28. Hello- I found your wonderful youtube and website. Can you tell me what type of beef you bought for japchae? Also, is it supposed to be darker looking like the ones we buy from the korean supermarket? Is it more brown because they add more soy sauce?

  29. Hi Maanchi!

    Thanks for the Video. A friend of mine kept talking about Chapchae until we went to a new Korean restaurant here in Freiburg (Germany). Well, we weren’t impressed with the Japchae they served, so I looked for a recipe to try it out myself. I followed your recipe today and it turned out well. The noodles taste pretty much like the ones made of tapioca (cassava) we have in Thailand. But at home we use them for dessert :)

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

    I never remove spinach stems. You did a good job! : )
    Thank you for the update!

  31. opps. i meant i succeeded in making the japchae.

    i followed everything you did and it tasted good even my relatives said so. the only thing is that they said that i needed to remove the surface of the stem of the spinach. i asked because they said something contrary to what i followed.

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

    jungham (정함),

    I don’t understand what you mean. Just follow the recipe and watch video please.

  33. 잡채를 요리하는 것이 성공!

    By the way maangchi, did you do anything to the spinich besides cutting away the roots and putting them into boiling water?

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

    You have already made good hobakjuk and mandu. I’m sure your next cooking japchae will turn out great! Congratulation!

  35. Hi,
    I have tried mandu and hobakjook and they both turned out great, so I am planning on venturing into making japcha next. wish me luck. Thank you for the great receipe and video.

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