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. 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!

  2. 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.

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


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

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

  5. 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:)

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

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

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

  10. 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.

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

    Yes, you can make kimchi using so many different kinds of vegetables such as bok choy, green onions,mustard green etc..
    check this out.


  12. Hello Maagnchi!

    I love your Job Chae recipe, it is very delicious. I have a question…it is possible to make kimchi with other non-cabbage items….besides radish and cucumber? I love cabbage kimchee but I have an allergy to it right now and I also can’t have cucumbers…I am a walking allergy right now but it will pass. For now if you know of any other kimchis that I could make with other veggies could you let me know! Thanks so much!

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

    I saw the photo of your jobchae you sent me now. It looks terrific! Spicy pork and spicy squid soup. I haven’t shown the recipe yet here. I will include it in the list of my upcoming cooking videos. Spicy beef? For some reason, I ‘ve never made spicy beef.

    Anyway spicy squid soup is very delicous and popular in the southern part of Korea. I’m wondering which squid soup you are talking about.

    I will post your jobchae photo soon in my blog. People will be encouraged to try it out when they see your photo.

  14. Hi Maangchi!
    Your instructions are marvellous! Even a beginner cook like me finds it very easy to follow. I made jobchae last night together with my mum – it was so easy and yummy – just like at the korean restaurants! I used chicken instead of beef as I cannot eat beef due to an injury at the moment. I will send you a picture soon!

    I am so eager to try your other recipes- I am going to try Spicy beef soup next! ;)I looked in recipes but I did not see one for Stir fried Spicy Pork or for Spicy beef, squid and vegetable soup – have I overlooked it?


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

    Hi, Cub,
    I’m glad to hear that you got lots of compliments from your father. You deserve it! I never think any cooking utensils with good brand name is much better than regular ones. I have 2 kitchen knives: Henkels and no name one from Korean grocery store. I have a good knife sharpener. As long as I have a good sharpener, any knives will be fine.

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