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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415 Comments:

  1. Candy87 South Lake Tahoe joined 12/13
    Posted February 8th, 2014 at 6:48 pm | # |

    Trying out this recipe today along with the bulgogi recipe. Cannot wait for every one to try it!

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  2. seolryeo0227 malaysia joined 1/14
    Posted January 29th, 2014 at 6:54 am | # |

    hi maangchi~what type of sesame oil should i use? white or black?

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  3. drama_lover2503 Costa Rica joined 1/14
    Posted January 14th, 2014 at 2:54 pm | # |

    Oh God! That looks so yummy and simple! I’m going to try to make it this weekend, thanks so much for the recipe, I love your food! >w<

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  4. HyeNa New York joined 12/13
    Posted December 9th, 2013 at 6:55 pm | # |

    Can I use wood ear mushrooms instead of white mushrooms? What variations or additions can I make to this recipe? Chives? Bell peppers?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 9th, 2013 at 7:50 pm | # |

      yes, you can use wood ear mushrooms or both. chives and bell peppers, all sound good to me.

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  5. David San Francisco joined 5/12
    Posted November 8th, 2013 at 12:33 am | # |

    Made a double vegetarian batch (just subtracted out the meat) last night for my classmates tonight. The entire double batch WAS GONE in about 15 minutes! Everyone loved it!

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  6. musiqueducoeur2 Ohio joined 8/13
    Posted August 1st, 2013 at 7:07 pm | # |

    Fantastic job! I made this tonight after watching your bulgogi video and thought it would taste good in Japchae! So I marinated the meat in your smelled like heaven marinade (used tenderloin beef) but still used your recipe as follows to make sure I had that Japchae flavor. Not a mushroom fan and put the minced garlic in with the onions as I sautéed them. Used more soy sauce and used less oil (trying to keep it lower in fat) but my goodness I have made this recipe before and those tasted like garbage compared to yours! You really know how to bring out the flavor in food! Can’t wait to try more from your site! Oh yeah your bulgogi recipe is out of this world! That I did not change a bit and would never think about cause it is perfect!!

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  7. franseen New York City joined 7/13
    Posted July 9th, 2013 at 4:55 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, does it matter what kind of soy sauce or sugar I use? Dark Soy, Light Soy? White Sugar or Brown Sugar?

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  8. hyunjinah San Diego joined 7/13
    Posted July 1st, 2013 at 3:02 pm | # |

    Every time I cook these noodles, they come out in a huge sticky clump :-\ I’ve tried adding more water, oil, soy… Do you have any suggestions or know what I’m doing wrong? Thank you!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 10th, 2013 at 9:35 am | # |

      oh Add more oil then.
      Please check out the step 2:
      “Cut the noodles several times by using scissors and add 1 tbs of soy sauce and 1 tbs of sesame oil. Mix it up and set aside.”

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  9. Nabi972 Dallas, TX joined 6/13
    Posted June 21st, 2013 at 12:18 am | # |

    Maangchi, you’re great! Thanks to you, I can cook Korean dishes for my husband and parents! Also, I’ve used your recipes to impress friends and in-laws. My daughter loves chap jae! Your recipes have come in handy. Thank you!!!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 22nd, 2013 at 1:06 pm | # |

      wow it sounds like you have been busy cooking and sharing your delicious food with your family and friends! Great!

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  10. Vegetarian Chopsticks San Jose, CA joined 4/13
    Posted April 3rd, 2013 at 3:05 pm | # |

    Thanks for the recipe! I made a vegetarian version of it: http://vegetarianchopsticks.blogspot.com/2013/03/korean-chapchae.html

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  11. mcaren Virginia Beach, VA joined 3/13
    Posted February 28th, 2013 at 8:57 pm | # |

    Wow maangchi — what a great video! I was trying to figure out what those transparent noodles were called when I stumbled onto your site — thanks for the instructions. I can’t wait to try the recipe! I know my daughter will love this. Thanks!

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  12. Ethlenn Poland joined 2/13
    Posted February 26th, 2013 at 7:19 pm | # |

    I could eat this everyday, my favorite Korean food ever!! But since I’m not fond of shiitake, I use mun mushrooms or white mushrooms^^

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 26th, 2013 at 9:23 pm | # |

      I often use white mushrooms in my japchae, too. Happy cooking!

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  13. Winchesquirrel Quebec, Canada joined 10/12
    Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 6:48 pm | # |

    I tried it with Bean Sprouts instead of Glass Noodles, since I couldn’t find the exact kind of noodles I needed and didn’t want to mess it all up … I pan-fried the sprouts in olive oil and added the sesame oil / soy sauce as you said to do with the noodles. I didn’t change anything else and served it on top of rice. My family loved it ! It felt like we were eating out ! So tasty ! c:

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 26th, 2013 at 9:22 pm | # |

      It sounds very delicious! You replaced the noodles with mungbean sprouts. : )

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  14. Jasper Philippines joined 5/11
    Posted July 6th, 2012 at 10:47 am | # |

    My mom and I live far apart from each other (3hours drive) because I’m studying a university now. Last June 18 was her birthday. I was hesitant about going home, because the very next day, I’d have classes. It would be so stressful. But in the end I decided to come home, and I cooked japchae for her. We’re Filipinos, but my mom just loves this dish.

    I used to read in your site that people expressed their love to people they valued through cooking. I didn’t understand it at first. I thought, “Hey I’m just cooking because I love to cook, and because I love to eat delicious food! What does this have to do with love?” But that day I sort of understood it. My mom told me, “Oh life is so hard these days. We’re so busy working to send you guys to school, that we don’t have time to eat proper meals anymore. It’s great that I’m able to eat delicious food again! I love this Korean noodles!Thank you for coming home and cooking for my birthday.” Oh yes, I felt touched that time. I also thought, “Oh, I’m not the best child to my mother all the time. Sometimes, I do things that hurt her. I don’t know how to make up for it all, but at least through my cooking, I could express my love for her.”

    Thank you Maangchi. You taught me how to cook delicious food that made my mother happy. :) You’re really great.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 7th, 2012 at 4:19 pm | # |

      Thank you very much for sharing your touching story with us! Yes, food is always more than food and it’s also our emotions and memories. You are such a good daughter. It makes my heart warm. Cheers!

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  15. driskell938 Cape Coral, FL joined 6/12
    Posted June 20th, 2012 at 4:28 pm | # |

    Thank you so much for your wonderful website. My korean mother-in-law has taught me several recipes but since she goes very fast and only measures by hand and taste I have been unable to keep up with her. I showed her your site and she loved it!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 7th, 2012 at 4:20 pm | # |

      Great news! You make your mother-in-law become my reader! : )

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  16. kat kalashnik United States joined 3/12
    Posted May 7th, 2012 at 10:48 pm | # |

    made japchae at home the first time and it came out great and ended up eating all myself. the second time i made the meat differently. i used the bulgogi marinade on the beef and set it overnight and the next day i made the japchae with that meat and it came out so masita.. my family just loves it. thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 8th, 2012 at 9:26 am | # |

      Thank you for your update! “my family just loves it” They must be proud of you!

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  17. fluffycakes The Netherlands joined 4/12
    Posted April 28th, 2012 at 10:23 am | # |

    Hmm… looks delicious! I might want to make this tonight. Can I use Chinese cabbage instead of spinach, too?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 30th, 2012 at 12:07 pm | # |

      yes, you can. Use more green part of the cabbage then. Happy cooking!

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  18. Eggy24 Singapore joined 3/12
    Posted March 28th, 2012 at 12:11 pm | # |

    I tried making it according to ur receipe bt can’t seem to get the taste I ate at restaurant. Think I forgot to add sugar. Is it a important ingredient? Do I have to get Korean sesame oil to make the dish taste better?
    Thanks

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 29th, 2012 at 8:50 am | # |

      yeah, sugar is an important ingredient for japchae or bulgogi. If it’s not sweet enough, it’s not tasty. But if it’s too sweet, it’s not tasty, either. Follow the recipe tightly please.

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  19. hellokitty08 joined 5/10
    Posted March 14th, 2012 at 4:45 am | # |

    Hello. I just made this. I want it sweeter, how can I do that? I already added moreee soy sauce and like 5 tablespoon sugar.

    Also, do I leave leftover in fridge? or outside?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 14th, 2012 at 9:51 am | # |

      Add more sugar then. Keep it in the fridge and reheat when you eat it later. Happy cooking!

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  20. nsbose Boston joined 2/12
    Posted February 7th, 2012 at 11:55 pm | # |

    Maangchi, I don’t really eat beef, can I use any other type of meat to make this instead? Pork Belly? Chicken??

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 9th, 2012 at 6:07 am | # |

      Use pork or chicken. Japchae is delicious even without using meat.

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  21. alfalazcares Mexico joined 1/12
    Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 12:40 am | # |

    I’m totally trying this tomorrow, I just got my last two ingredients from a couple of Korean markets here in Mexico City. I hope it will turn out nice, cause It’s totall my first time cooking something by myself… wish me luck!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 8:41 am | # |

      oh there were several Korean grocery stores in Mexico city! I feel like flying to Mexico city now to taste my favorite taco! https://www.maangchi.com/blog/food-food-in-mexico
      Good luck with your first time Korean cooking!

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      • alfalazcares Mexico joined 1/12
        Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 6:24 pm | # |

        I’m so glad you had a great time here in Mexico! Specially in Oaxaca since botn of my grandparents (from my mothers side) are from there, and you tried Mezcal! I hope you can come back to eat some of those tacos :)
        Well, my mom and I got around making this recipe and we totally loved it! I think we still have to work on the amount of soy and sesame oil, but it tasted super great, and mom also loved it! Thankyou so much for the recipe and video, my mom doesn’t speak english, but with your video she understood everything, and I just help her translating some things (I’m 25 by the way and loving Korean food) We are making this again one day, and we are also gonna try something else like the bibimbap and some chicken dishes.
        Anyway thank you sooooo much again, and lastly I’m leaving a pic of our first try at japchae! http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b215/darkdirtyalfa/120202_160201.jpg (we added some sweet pepper)

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        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted February 3rd, 2012 at 10:27 am | # |

          Imagining you and your mom’s cooking together makes me feel warm! Your japchae looks awesome! If you make more, please upload it on my website so that more people can see your delicious food photos!
          Say hello to your mom!

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  22. KatieKinzLuvsYou USA joined 11/11
    Posted January 29th, 2012 at 1:33 am | # |

    I’ve heard that glass noodles can be used to make Japchae. Are glass noodles like the equivalent of the starch noodles and can they be used for this dish?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 29th, 2012 at 6:15 pm | # |

      yes, it’s called glass noodles or cellophane noodles, too.

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  23. Walkinlove Twin Cities, MN joined 12/11
    Posted December 6th, 2011 at 2:06 pm | # |

    I add leftover cilantro stems and added to the dish. It smelled so delicious and taste so crunchy!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 6th, 2011 at 6:29 pm | # |

      yes, adding cilantro stems sounds great to me!

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  24. Leah Boise, ID joined 11/11
    Posted December 2nd, 2011 at 11:48 pm | # |

    I made japche for dinner tonight. My husband ate 2 plates. After my 17 month old son was done throwing his noodles around, he picked them off his face and shirt and ate every last bite. So yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us :-)

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 6th, 2011 at 6:28 pm | # |

      ” he picked them off his face and shirt and ate every last bite” haha, so cute!!!

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  25. DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09
    Posted December 1st, 2011 at 6:56 pm | # |

    Just made this – what a quick and easy dinner! Looking forward to my boyfriend coming home so we can have this with some barley rice and steamed shishito peppers side dish. Since you say this is best fresh I made 1/2 the recipe for the 2 of us. Thanks again for making my belly happy, Maangchi!

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  26. Mimi102 HCMC joined 11/11
    Posted November 28th, 2011 at 1:15 am | # |

    Just try making it today! Though a few thing are missing :p it still turned out great! My family loves Japchae. Thank you Maangchi, for the nice recipe, detailed demonstration and your dedication.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 28th, 2011 at 4:50 am | # |

      Great news! Happy cooking!

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  27. chef Benedict Manila, Philippines joined 11/11
    Posted November 19th, 2011 at 7:45 am | # |

    Japchae is one of my favorite Korean dishes. It is perfect for a snack, and to bring as a potluck. My Korean friend brought this dish just for us. I found it is really delicious. I used to sell this dish and give this for those of my friends who is going for their potluck parties. I cook this dish in a braising way not boiled noodles then toss it right away.

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  28. cufa seoul joined 11/11
    Posted November 19th, 2011 at 12:00 am | # |

    goodday! may i ask if pork can substitute the beef? or is it fine if there is no meat added on japchae? thank you^^

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 19th, 2011 at 12:12 am | # |

      yes, use beef. Yes, without meat, it will still be delicious. Use more mushrooms. I sometimes use shredded fish cake for my japchae instead of meat.

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  29. fuyustale Philippines joined 11/11
    Posted November 11th, 2011 at 8:55 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    This is my first post/comment ever but I’ve been visiting your site for over 2 years now (it was just today that I signed up and why hadn’t I, right? Haha!).

    Your recipes have made cooking Korean food so easy for me and my family. Our Korean pastor says my japchae tastes authentic! And that’s because of your videos! Thanks so much. I’m cooking this today for my sister’s birthday celebration. This is her favorite Korean dish.

    God bless you Maangchi!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 18th, 2011 at 10:23 pm | # |

      oh, awesome! Thank you very much!!

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  30. Emadra USA joined 10/11
    Posted October 28th, 2011 at 9:33 pm | # |

    I’m having to do a project for school (my Nutrition class) and we are having to make a recipe from other countries. I picked South Korea and I found your recipes, so,
    My grandma and I are going to make this one Sunday night for my project!
    I can’t wait to make my first Korean dish, thanks Maangchi!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 18th, 2011 at 10:24 pm | # |

      I hope you did good job on your school project! Let me know if you have an interesting story about it.

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  31. Give Thanks Indonesia joined 8/11
    Posted October 27th, 2011 at 12:02 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi…
    I heard that u’ll come to Jakarta at 8Nov? Too sad I can’t make it bcoz it’s a school days and no one take care of my kids, I have 3 kids and all of them are already school, So I’m still find a ways so that I can make it , wish me luck!! :)
    I loves this dish, Japchae, I know about this dish from 1 of korean drama > Full House, the character try to make it but she having trouble with it, so I’m curious about the dish
    even I’m not a korean, I’m a chinese and lived in Indonesia, I often make this korean noodle in my kitchen, and from the first time I serve it at my dining table this dish bacome 1 of our comfort food :)
    Whatever our nationality is as long as all family member enjoy the dish and waiting for it to be serve again, that is a comfort food, agree ? :)
    Tq for introduce this comfort food wish us!
    I make a post about it here :
    http://elieslie.blogspot.com/2011/10/japchae-korean-sweet-stir-fried-noodle.html

    Tq maangchi!! ;)

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  32. summer-el NY joined 10/11
    Posted October 17th, 2011 at 10:19 pm | # |

    Hi… It sounds like a great recipe, but I wanted to ask you: is it possible to use rice noodles instead of the starch noodles?
    Thanks… I can’t wait to try it :)

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  33. J2mes Toronto. ON joined 10/11
    Posted October 16th, 2011 at 11:24 pm | # |

    Hi.. Maangchi :)
    I like your recipes and especially your Presentations….simple and easy to follow…
    i want to ask you..Why you cook the vegetables one by one ? why not just cooked all the vegetables in one frying pan ? Is the taste change if i fry together all the vegetables ?

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  34. wolaq philippines joined 10/11
    Posted October 16th, 2011 at 4:20 am | # |

    annyeong haseyo!!!! this site is great…i love it. i’ll try this recipe tomorrow, by the way i made your bibimbap recipe and the taste is awesome,i posted the pics in my facebook… kamsahamnida

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  35. carastern Canada joined 10/11
    Posted October 11th, 2011 at 9:50 pm | # |

    I made this recipe today. I’ve never cooked Korean food, but with your instructions, it turned out great! My boyfriend said it was almost as good as our favourite Korean restaurant, which is a huge compliment to me considering how much he loves it there.

    I’m going to try your kimchi jjigae recipe tomorrow. Hopefully it will go equally well!

    Thanks!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 16th, 2011 at 7:54 pm | # |

      yay! I’m glad to hear that! I hope your kimchi jjigae turned out good, too!

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  36. Food Lover Somewhere in Asia joined 10/11
    Posted October 6th, 2011 at 6:24 am | # |

    I love cooking! know I know how to cook JapChae! Thanks!

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  37. jdiones USA joined 9/11
    Posted September 25th, 2011 at 10:28 am | # |

    great job, maangchi im so blessed to have stumbled in this website, you got great recipes. Kamsahamnida!!!

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  38. mystique3298 malaysia joined 9/11
    Posted September 9th, 2011 at 9:06 pm | # |

    hiii mangchi… thanx god i found your website cos i really like to taste korean food as i always saw all the delicious korean cuisine when i watch korean drama … :) This is one of my favourite.. i tried this recipe once and once i am used to it, i started to modified a bit due to ingredient lacking. and it just taste so great… anyway thanxx for this great recipe …

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 25th, 2011 at 11:03 am | # |

      Great! Let me know how you modify the recipe by using different ingredients. It will be a good tip for those who have problems getting Korean ingredients, too.

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  39. Sweet-Tangerine OR joined 9/11
    Posted September 7th, 2011 at 3:53 pm | # |

    Hi there Maanchi!! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes! I want to make this dish for a party, but have to make it early. How do you suggest I warm it up before the party starts? Thank you!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 9th, 2011 at 8:29 am | # |

      Japchae tastes best right after it is made, but as you say, you have to make it in advance and keep it in the fridge. Before going to your party, reheat it. Heat up a large wok or frying pan and place your japchae in, and stir it until the noodles look shiny and translucent again.

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  40. Jaydy222 Philippines joined 8/11
    Posted August 31st, 2011 at 11:35 am | # |

    Hi maangchi,
    I tried your recipe today and my whole family loved it. Thanks for sharing and more power toyou and your show!
    Regards,
    Jayson

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