This easy recipe for classic Korean japchae is full of tender beef, veggies, & slightly sweet sweet potato glass noodles. Your new favorite dish to curl up to!
You can also make Spicy Korean Noodles if you like a little kick in your dish!
This recipe serves 20 people easily and can be scaled up to serve even more. If you are having a potluck at work or attending a family party, this dish is easy to transport and reheat. Plus, you will be sure to impress your friends and family by opening them up to a dish they probably haven’t tried, but will soon grow to love.
If you are feeling nervous about cooking Korean cuisine, don’t be! I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I became comfortable cooking Japchae. This dish is a great starting point for cooking outside your comfort zone.
What is Japchae?
Simply put, Japchae is the Korean version of Chinese Chow-Mein (which you probably already love). The main difference is that Japchae uses sweet potato glass noodles. This noodle dish offers a sweet and savory flavor experience that will make your tastebuds sing!
Ingredients You Need to Prepare Japchae
Traditional Japchae requires thin-sliced pieces of beef. At most Korean supermarkets, you can find this style of beef pre-cut in the butcher section. If you can’t find it, grab some sirloin from the store and slice it yourself. Japchae also incorporates a heft serving of veggies. I like to use carrots, onions, spinach and green onions, but feel free to add in some mushrooms if you like. If you don’t already have sesame oil and soy sauce on hand, you will need that to create the delicious sauce that brings the dish together.
What are Korean Noodles?
Korean sweet potato glass noodles have an excellent texture and offer a hint of sweetness. They are made using only sweet potato starch and water. When cooked, they turn a beautiful glass noodles.
How do You Cook Korean Glass Noodles?
Despite their delicate nature, these glass noodles are quite easy to cook. Bring a pot of water to boil, add some olive oil to the water and cook the noodles for 5-6 minutes. The oil will prevent the noodles from sticking together.
Where to Buy Korean Glass Noodles
Korean style sweet potato noodles are also referred to as starch noodles or Korean vermicelli. Venture into an Asian store to find them readily available and cheap. Or, order them on Amazon. Try this brand or this brand.
Calories in a Serving of Japchae
One serving of Japchae clocks in at under 250 calories, which makes it a great side dish. Double-up the serving to make it a low-calorie meal.
Bonus: Sweet potato glass noodles are low-carb and gluten free! If you have a gluten allergy, substitute your soy sauce for a gluten free variety.
Hacks for Cooking Japchae
- Are your noodles still sticking together after cooking? Run some cool water over the noodles in a colander to loosen them up.
- Try swapping the beef for chicken or shrimp.
- Like it spicy? Serve the noodles with a side of Gochujang, a Korean style fermented hot sauce that has a sweet and spicy flavor. Look for it in the Asian supermarket or order it on Amazon.
- Try serving Japchae with kimchi, a fermented cabbage side dish that Koreans love and serve with almost every meal. You can also find kimchi in the asian supermarket. However, most American supermarkets have caught on to the trend of kimchi and sell it in the produce aisle.
Other Asian Recipes to Try
- 2 lb Beef
- 1 lb Sweet Potato Noodles
- 3 medium Carrots
- 1 white Onion
- 1/2 bn Green Onions
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 lb Spinach
- 4 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 6 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
- Prepare the ingredients for the recipe.
- Prepare the ingredients for the sauce.
- Bring water to a boil, add a bit of oil. Add noodles and cook them for 5-6 minutes. Drain when cooked.
- Preheat skillet to high heat. Cook the pre-sliced beef until it's golden brown. Season beef with half portions of the following – soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar, while it's cooking.
- Place noodles in a large bowl, top them with cooked beef.
- Dice onion into long strips. Cut carrots into strips and chop green onion. Preheat an oiled skillet and toss in the carrots and onion.
- When the veggies soften up, add in the remaining half portions of the following – soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. Add in pressed garlic, green onions and cook for a few minutes until it's softened.
- Add diced spinach into the mixture and turn off the heat imminently.
- Add all vegetables to the noodles and toss everything together.
- Serve while it's still warm. This dish also reheats well.
I substituted Shrimps fir Chicken and this dish came out delicious. Thanks.
Hi Irene, that sounds like it came out delicious!! Thank you for sharing that. Enjoy!
I made this with chicken and it was so delicious! Simple and easy, but packed a flavourful punch. Would definitely make again 🙂
Hi Chere, I am so thrilled to hear you love this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback! Enjoy!
I have made this so many times. I love beef but have been trying to eat less meat and this is just as good with air fried tofu. I like it hot or cold. It is so yum! Thank you, def one of my faves! I will check out your other recipes!
Hi Mimi, thank you for sharing about tofu. This is such a great idea for a meatless Monday. So glad you love the recipe. Happy New Year!
This recipe is soooo goood it’s going in my monthly rotation. Easy to make too
Hey Moira, I am with you! I love this recipe so much, its always on repeat around here as well. Happy to hear you feel the same way.
"Skillet", not "skilled".
Hi there- thank you for catching that, we've updated the typo.
Hi, Natalya, I came across your website when looking for how much gelatin to use to make up this recipe I want to try.
I have spent a good hour looking your website and the meals are so easy to make following your simple instructions, and they look delicious!! I love your 'asian' section, even though I live in Thailand I don't like Thai cuisine very much, they use far too many chillies!! But I love all eastern food, but not too 'chillified'!!
Hi Ian- welcome! Glad you found our page, hope you enjoy all the recipes you try! 🙂
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!
I have been making this recipe for a few years now.
I have introduced many people to this dish which instantly becomes their new favorite meal. I even make it and deliver it for special occasions to my friends. I will be doing just that for Fathers' Day today.
Thank you for the fabulous recipe.
Debbie, your comment made me smile. Thank you so much for the enthusiastic feedback. Your friends are lucky to have you, delivering homemade meals to them! Take care 🙂
Natalya, THANK YOU for this dish!
IT was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
I felt like we were eating take out food from a high end restuarant since we have never had the glass noodles before.
We like mildly flavored dishes so we can add our own toppings and sauces like sweet and sour, sriracha or soy sauce.
This is definitely a KEEPER! Thanks!!
Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words and I'm so glad you enjoyed the japchae!
Oh yeah!! Definite keeper!
Thanks, Anthony! Glad you enjoyed it!
Delicious, my kids love this meal so quick and easy
Liliane, this is so great to hear. Thank you for sharing.
The vegetables should also be fresh and crunchy, so don't overcook them. Once you've got the perfect balance of ingredients, japchae is a delicious and healthy dish that everyone will love! Thanks again for sharing this recipe with us!
Thanks, Joseph. We totally agree - it's healthy comfort food. A win-win in our book. 🙂
I don’t eat added sugar. Can I leave out the sugar and still be left with and amazing recipe? Could I substitute date paste instead? Thanks
Hey Tria, I have never tried this recipe without sugar. If you do try it, please let me know how it came out. Thanks
I tried this without the sugar and it was still delicious! The next time I substituted with a little honey and that was really nice as well
Hi Corey, I am delighted to hear that the recipe was a success! Thank you for your feedback! The added honey sounds so delicious!!
This Dishes so delicious! Our family loves it! It’s so great as well for a self who is sensitive to gluten. The recipe says that this is 20 servings. I’m assuming that’s a missed type. It seems like there’s about maybe six servings or eight. I’m not quite sure how to count the calories of this dish because I assume that the calories relate to one serving and I’m not sure how to calculate this. Do you mind giving me some feedback? Thanks!
Hey Melissa, you are correct. I would say it makes 10 servings but we typically add a ton of sides so we have 20. We have updated the serving and calories are also updated. Enjoy
Is it possible to make this dish without soy sauce? Ie can you use coconut aminos or other? Thanks!
Hi, Catherine, yes you can replace it with coconut aminos.
Love this dish and so does the kiddos
So glad to hear that, thank you for your feedback!
Is the olive oil part of the sauce mixture? I see it is in the picture but it doesn't mention anywhere to put it in while cooking.
Hey Saly, oil is used in step 3 and you can also use it to brown the meat.
I add toasted sesame seeds, mushrooms and egg, sometimes crushed red pepper. Yummm
Sounds delicious! Glad you enjoyed it!
Amazing!!! I made it with chicken instead and was not disappointed. Thank you for inspiring me to cook. I have been trying a lot of your recipes as a new cook and I must say I am super pleased with all of them.
Kat, I'm so glad you have enjoyed our recipes, including this one, thank you for taking the time to comment!
I really wanna make it.. But i can't afford some of them😢
You can replace some of the ingredients. Which ingredients, in particular, do you need to replace?
Yummy! Added shiitake mushrooms and bokchoy! Also bean sprouts are great! Don’t forget the fried eggs!
That sounds like a great combo. Thanks for the tips.
Many Koreans also make a vegetarian version by adding mushrooms in place of the beef. Since so many people are vegetarian, now they can enjoy this delicious entree as well.
That is a great tip, Greg! Thank you 🙂
what is a "1/2 bn" measurement?
Hey Burl, It is a bunch. Hope you love this recipe. It's one of our favorites.
This turned out was Soo Soo delicious!! I made a few modifications - added habenero sauce for some kick; and then diced red, green, and yellow peppers near the end (when you add the spinach) so it’s still crunchy. I’ll prob make bigger pepper chunks, otherwise, ugh LOVED this!! Thank you!! 😍🥰😍🥰
Dami, I love all the tips that you shared. I want to try your version. Thank you for taking the time to share.
Hello, could you recommend another Asian oil in place of sesame oil...I have a sesame allergy. Thanks!
Hey Stephanie, you can use avocado or olive oil instead. If you are allergic to it, you will not miss the flavors. 🙂 Enjoy
I followed Meehees advice and marinated the meat & added mushrooms. I also doubled the sauce and added a tsp of honey and the sweetness was perfect. Next time I think I will triple the sauce.
Oh and substituted baby bok choy instead of spinach. It was really good! I’ll probably add some 🌶 next time because I like a little kick.
Kristina, very cool tips. I need to try your version of the recipe. Thanks for sharing!
What kind of beef did you use? Every dish I have made from your blog has come out fantastic! Just love your recipes!
I have a question to ask. Can I use any other type of noodles if I'm unable to get the glass noodles where I am and it's difficult to get?
Noodles make this dish great but spaghetti would work also. It would be an amazing dish but with a bit different texture.
I had an eye on this recipe for a long time and finally I made it today, I thought it would be better. Noodles are so plain, tasteless and overcooked. In a package it’s says 7 minutes and then rinse with cold water, but I did everything like you said in your recipe (5-6 minutes). Maybe I should have rinse in a cold water?
I should have read all the comments before I started cooking.
I am sorry that you didn't enjoy the dish. Noodles would typically have more texture and flavor would come from the sauce. I am summed out that it didn't come out perfect for you because its an amazing dish. I would say one of my top 10 dishes.
Today is the second time I am making this dish with the modifications based on Meehee’s comments and it’s absolutely delicious! My family loved it ❤️😋 Thanks Natalya & Meehee!
Hey Yuliya, thank you for sharing your feedback. It makes me so happy that you love the recipe. Thank you!
Soooooo... delicious and easy to make.
Hi Debbie, Thank you for writing your feedback. It means a lot to us! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Wow!!! It is really great to see the Japchae from your web site. As I am Korean, I recommend few things to make wonderful taste as below.
1. When you boil the noodle, please put a half cup of salt sauce with water. That makes your noodle much favor.
2. Marinate the meet before you stir your beef.
Add a soy sauce, sugar, pepper, ginger and sesame oil and mix together with meat about an hour.
3. Add mushroom! That makes soooooo delicious for you food.!!!^^
Enjoy your Japchae!!!
What is salt sauce?
How much ginger do you recommend?
Hey, 1 tsp would be good. Enjoy
Hey Meehee, thankyou so much for all your tips. I need to try your version next time. Excited!
Woops...not a slat sauce...soy sauce.^^ ;;