Japchae (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodles)
Made with bouncy sweet potato starch noodles, japchae (or chapchae) is a classic Korean dish that everyone loves! Find out how to make authentic and delicious japchae with this tried and true reader favorite! Japchae (잡채) literally means “mixed vegetables”. However, the main ingredient in this classic dish is Korean sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, […]

Made with bouncy sweet potato starch noodles, japchae (or chapchae) is a classic Korean dish that everyone loves! Find out how to make authentic and delicious japchae with this tried and true reader favorite!

Japchae (잡채) literally means “mixed vegetables”. However, the main ingredient in this classic dish is Korean sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, 당면), also known as glass noodles. Japchae is an essential dish for traditional festivals and special occasions.

There are many variations using different ingredients, such as Japchae with spicy seafood and Kongnamul Japchae.

For the traditional japchae, the chewy and elastic noodles are well served with thin strips of beef (or pork) and various vegetables in a slightly sweet and salty sauce. It is also common to add a garnish to eggs (jidan, 지단). Sometimes I also water finely chopped pine nuts.

To make vegan japchae, simply omit the meat and add a little more mushrooms or other vegetables. Seared tofu is also a good substitute for meat.

Serve it as an aperitif or as an accompaniment or on a bed of rice for a main course.

DSC5189 3 - Japchae (starch noodles sautéed with beef and vegetables)

How to make japchae

Noodles:

Sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, 당면) are a staple in Korean homes. I always have a few bags in my pantry. They are not only used for this iconic dish, but also soups and stews.

DSC4902 2 - Japchae (starch noodles sautéed with beef and vegetables)

There are different ways to prepare japchae noodles. Some people soak the noodles before cooking them. Some don't rinse the noodles after cooking. Even the packaging instructions vary by brand. I don't find it necessary to soak the noodles. The noodles cook fairly quickly without getting soaked. I boil about 8 minutes until the noodles are soft and elastic. These noodles should NOT be “al dente!”

I then rinse the noodles in cold water, drain them well, marinate them with the prepared sauce, then fry them to give them a soft but bouncy texture.

PicMonkey Collage - Japchae (starch noodles sautéed with beef and vegetables)

Meat and vegetables:

I usually use lean and tender beef, but pork loin is also very common among japchae. Classic vegetable additions are carrots, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and green onions. Other common vegetable options are chillies, bell peppers, garlic chives, cucumbers, etc.

Shiitake (pyogo beoseot, 표고 버섯) and wood ear mushrooms (mogi beoseot, 목이 버섯) are the most typical of this dish, but oyster mushrooms (neutari beoseot, 느타리 버섯) are also commonly used.

The japchae ingredients are cooked separately and combined at the end in a deliciously colorful dish. This traditional method is what makes this dish so special! Once you've got the meat and veg ready, cooking really doesn't take much time.

Here I have simplified the process a bit and cooked some of the ingredients together if necessary. Either way, don't overcook the vegetables. The vegetables should be slightly crunchy or “al dente” to go well with the soft noodles.

Seasonings:

The real secret to successfully creating the authentic flavor of this dish is finding the right balance between soy sauce and sugar. This japchae recipe will give you that right balance! Be sure to proportionally increase the amount of sauce if you are using more ingredients than the amounts stated in the recipe.

To make the process a little easier, I first prepare a bowl of sauce to use throughout the cooking process. Use brown sugar, if available, for color and a little more flavor.

How to store japchae leftovers

Leftover japchae should be stored in the refrigerator. It keeps well for 3 to 4 days and heats up well in the microwave. The noodles will become soft and chewy again when reheated.

Have you tried this japchae recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This japchae recipe was originally posted in January 2010. I've updated here with new photos, more information, and minor changes to the recipe.





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There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.

You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the terminal product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.

Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.

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Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.

This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. to avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.

Prepping céréales in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.

So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) brunch. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.

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You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.

The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.

You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy matière we know and love.

It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.

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