Japchae is a simple Korean noodle dish made with a combination of sweet potato noodles, marinated beef, mushrooms, eggs, and an assortment of vegetables. The various textures and harmonious flavors make up to be one of the most satisfying dishes in Korean cuisine. Make your own batch of Japchae today using this easy recipe!
What is Japchae?
Japchae (잡채), which translates to “mixed vegetables” in Korean, is made with a base of sweet potato noodles, complemented by a wide range of vegetables, beef, and mushrooms. It is served as a popular side dish in many Korean restaurants, but traditionally, it is a dish that is made to celebrate special occasions and events in Korea.
Japchae is one of my absolute favorite Korean dishes to make, as it brings together a diverse range of vegetables to bring together an explosion of taste and texture in each bite. The cooking process is also incredibly simple, so long as you have some time on hand.
To ease the cooking process, I have simplified the recipe as much as I could while maintaining all the core elements that make up the most delicious Japchae. Please feel free to replace any ingredients based on your preference, or create a vegetarian rendition of the dish by omitting the beef.
What do I need to make Japchae?
Making japchae is delightfully easy, and similar to preparing kimbap rolls in that it’s mostly preparing the toppings to be mixed into a single dish. Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- Dangmyeon (Korean sweet potato noodles), to be cooked to al-dente and rinsed
- Stir fry beef (sirloin or rib eye) and mushrooms, to be marinated for extra flavor
- Shiitake mushrooms are great for Japchae, however, please feel free to use common mushrooms such as Portobello, Cremini, or any common mushrooms that you have on hand
- Onion and green onions, to be sliced and stir-fried with a dash of salt
- Spinach, to be blanched and lightly seasoned
- Carrot and red bell pepper
- Eggs, cooked into a thin omelet and sliced
- Ingredients for the base sauce:
- Soy sauce, white or brown sugar, ground black pepper, sesame oil, minced garlic, and toasted sesame seeds
All of these ingredients come together with the noodles to make up a flavourful profile full of various textures. If you are missing some ingredients, please feel free to substitute for a topping of your choice. The key is to prepare all ingredients in thin slices to blend in with the noodles, to create a satisfying dish that is packed with flavor for each bite.
To make this dish vegan, simply omit the beef and the eggs, and supplement with an equal amount of extra veggies and/or tofu! The kitchen is your creative space. 😊
Essential tips and tricks
- I HIGHLY recommend using a julienne peeler to prepare the vegetables. This is such a helpful tool in the kitchen especially for stir-fried dishes like Japchae, as well as making Kimbap rolls, etc. It makes preparation so easy and seamless and saves so much time and energy when preparing a wide variety of ingredients.
- Prepare all the ingredients in advance. Japchae can be such an easy dish to make as it’s simply a combination of vegetables and meat.
- It’s useful to have two cooking stations in action, one for blanching the spinach and cooking the noodles, and the other for stir-frying all the vegetables. Simply combine all prepared ingredients in one bowl, and voila! an entire batch of delicious Japchae. I use a wok to stir-fry the veggies to ensure nothing goes flying out.
- Cut each component into bite-sized pieces. This helps to easily incorporate everything together. I recommend julienning the vegetables, and cutting the noodles into about 6-7 inch pieces.
- Mix with hand! I use disposable food handling gloves like these when preparing many of my Korean dishes. This is a traditional method and works best to mix everything thoroughly, without having chunks of separated components. Please refer to the assembly video for a visual reference!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, please leave a comment below or send me a message on Instagram if you have any questions. Enjoy!
Other easy dinner recipes you may like:
- Korean Marinated Eggs (Mayak Eggs)
- Chinese Tomato Egg Stir Fry
- Kimchi Udon Noodle Stir Fry
- Easy Teriyaki Chicken
- Shrimp Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce
- Korean Shrimp Burger
Japchae (Korean Stir-Fried Glass Noodles)
- 6 oz dangmyeon (Korean sweet potato noodles)
- 4 oz stir fry beef cut in bite-sized pieces
- 6 shiitake mushrooms or any mushrooms of choice, sliced
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 2 green onion cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 carrot julienned
- 1/2 red bell pepper julienned
- 3 eggs lightly salted and beaten
- 1 bunch spinach rinsed
- 5 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp honey, sugar, or Oligo syrup
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds and more for garnish
- Mix all seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Add the beef and mushrooms together in a bowl, and mix in about 2 1/2 tbsp of seasoning to marinate the ingredients. Set aside.
- Prepare the sweet potato noodles according to package instructions, about 6-7 minutes. Rinse, drain, cut the noodles to about 6-7 inch lengths, and set aside.
- In a lightly oiled skillet on medium heat, add the onion and green onion. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Remove and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add a little more oil and add the carrots and red bell pepper. Lightly season with salt and cook for about 1-2 minutes, ensuring the vegetables are still crisp. Remove and set aside.
- Lightly oil the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the beaten eggs into a thin omelet, and flip when the bottom is cooked. Transfer to a cutting board, let it cool slightly, and cut into thin strips.
- In the same skillet, add the marinated beef and mushrooms and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer back into the bowl.
- Lightly blanch the spinach by adding them to a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Rinse and squeeze out any excess water. Lightly season with salt and pepper (and garlic, if preferred), and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a lightly oiled skillet on medium heat, add the rest of the seasoning and the prepared noodles. Mix well and stir around until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce. When the sauce is absorbed into the noodles, remove from heat and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the prepared onion, green onion, spinach, carrot, red bell pepper, beef, mushroom, and eggs into the noodles, and mix thoroughly until all ingredients are evenly combined. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, adding more soy sauce and/or sesame oil to preference. Serve warm and enjoy!