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The Perfect Korean Japchae Glass Noodle Stir-Fry Recipe

The Perfect Korean Japchae Glass Noodle Stir-Fry Recipe

Japchae, a famous Korean noodle dish, has captured hearts with its unique blend of sweet potato starch noodles and vibrant stir-fried vegetables. This delicious japchae recipe is perfect for special occasions and can be easily adapted as a cherished side dish or main at your family dinner. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned cook, making japchae at home brings a taste of Korean food right into your kitchen. This is a staple in our home and is so easy to prepare – you’ll feel like you’re eating in a Korean restaurant! Involve the kids in the prep and you’ve got a perfect weeknight meal for the family.

What Makes Japchae So Special?

At the heart of this dish are the chewy glass noodles made from sweet potato starch, known in Korean as dangmyeon. These noodles soak up the savory sauce, a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and a hint of sugar, providing a delightful flavor base. Accompanied by a colorful array of vegetables and tender strips of beef (or any other meat of choice – chicken and pork work well in this dish too), japchae is as nutritious as it is delicious. Seriously, my toddlers AND my teens gobble this up!

Key Ingredients:

  • Korean sweet potato noodles (Dangmyeon)
  • Thin strips of beef
  • Shiitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms
  • Spinach, carrots, and bell peppers
  • Eggs
  • Soy sauce and sesame oil
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper
japchae ingredients beef sesame soy glass noodles

Cooking Japchae: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s how to create an authentic japchae experience at home, perfecting it to be al dente with a burst of flavors that mimic those found in the best Korean restaurants.

Preparing the Ingredients:

  1. Noodles: There are two options to cook the noodles.
    • Start by soaking the Korean glass noodles in cold water for about 20 minutes. Once they’re pliable, cook them in a large pot of boiling water until they are just al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
    • Or, and this is my preferred method, drop the noodles into a pot of boiling water, cook for 5 minutes and then drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
  2. Vegetables and Beef: While the noodles soak, marinate the beef strips and mushrooms in a mixture of soy sauce, a little bit of brown sugar, and rice wine. Stir-fry the beef in a large skillet with vegetable oil over medium-high heat until just cooked. Remove and set aside.
  3. Vegetables: In the same skillet, add a bit more oil and sauté the bell peppers and carrots until they are just tender. You want to maintain a bit of crunch to add texture to the dish. Cook spinach in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain, squeezing out the excess moisture.
  4. Eggs: Japchae is all about color. For this recipe we are just using the egg yolks so we can have a bright, beautiful splash of yellow in the dish. Take two mixed eggs yolks and add them to a pre-heated skillet that has been brushed with a bit of oil (avocado, sesame, or butter work great). Quickly turn the skillet to spread the yolk over the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Turn off the heat and allow the yolk to cook through. Flip the egg and warm through the other side, then move to a cutting board and slice into beautiful, thin strips.
egg yolks cooked and sliced into ribbons for japchae

Mixing and Seasoning:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the noodles with the cooked vegetables and beef. Add the japchae sauce—a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, a little bit of sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Toss everything together until the noodles are beautifully coated and glistening.
  2. Adjust the seasoning with black pepper and additional salt if needed. The key is to layer the flavors just right, ensuring every bite is packed with umami and sweetness.
  3. Lay the beautiful egg strands on top of the dish.


Garnish your japchae with toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions. For those enjoying this dish on special occasions like New Year’s Day or family gatherings, serve it warm, allowing the comforting aromas to enhance the festive atmosphere. It is also yummy eaten cold the next day!

Don’t forget to pair a traditional banchan (side dish) with your japchae – check out my super quick and easy recipe for fish cake as this pairs so nicely with flavors of japchae.

japchae plated with delicious sesame oil coated vegetables served with glass noodles

Why Japchae Is a Perfect Dish for Any Occasion

The versatility of japchae makes it a favorite among Korean dishes, suitable for a hearty meal or as a side dish to complement Korean BBQ or other main dishes. Its ability to be served at room temperature also makes japchae a convenient option for potlucks and picnics. I have made big batches of this for family reunions and it is always a hit. My teenagers take the leftovers for school lunches because it tastes just as good cold or room temp!

For those exploring Korean cuisine for the first time, japchae provides an excellent introduction. Its flavors are robust yet accessible, and the cooking process is forgiving, ideal for those new to Asian culinary techniques. Plus, the ingredients for japchae can be found at any Asian market, making it easy to gather everything you need for this great recipe.

A Peek into the Past: The Origins of Japchae

Since I am sharing this family-favorite recipe, I thought it might be a good time to understand the history of the dish too. I found out that Japchae has a storied past that takes us back to the 17th century in Korea. Originally conceived for the royal palate, japchae was first introduced by a palace chef as a simple dish made of vegetables stir-fried in sesame oil. Its vibrant colors and delightful flavors quickly earned it a favored spot at the royal table.

The dish evolved over the years, especially after the introduction of sweet potato starch noodles from China. These noodles, now the hallmark of japchae, transformed the dish into the hearty, textural delight we enjoy today. From its humble beginnings as a noodle-less vegetable dish, japchae has grown to include a variety of ingredients such as beef, mushrooms, and colorful vegetables, making it a comprehensive and beloved meal.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Whether it’s your first time making japchae or you’re already a fan of this dish, I promise it’s easier than you might think and oh-so rewarding.

As a mom who loves exploring flavors and sharing them with my family, I find japchae to be a wonderful way to introduce my little ones to the joys of Korean food. It’s fun to prepare, and even more delightful to eat, making our meal times special, especially during those family movie nights where we all curl up and watch a Kdrama.

So, grab your apron, and let’s make some japchae together! It’s a perfect dish for gathering everyone around the table, sharing stories, and creating memories—one delicious bite at a time.

Japchae – Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry

Experience the vibrant and satisfying flavors of traditional Korean japchae, a perfect blend of sweet potato noodles, succulent beef, and colorful vegetables, all tossed in a deliciously sweet and savory sauce.
Cuisine korean
Servings 4


  • 250 g Korean sweet potato noodles dangmyeon
  • 200 g beef cut into thin strips (I prefer ribeye)
  • 100 g shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 100 g oyster mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large carrot julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil I often add more, I love sesame oil!
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or white sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar or white sugar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • Green onions thinly sliced, for garnish


Marinate the Meat

  • In a small bowl, mix beef and mushrooms with soy sauce, brown sugar, and a splash of rice wine.
  • Let marinate for at least 15 minutes but preferably for one hour.

Prep Noodles

  • Drop the noodles into boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, drain, and immediately rinse with cold water.
  • Set aside and toss with some sesame oil.

Make the Sauce

  • Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp sugar, and 2-3 tbsp sesame oil.
  • Mix well and set aside.

Cook All The Things

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir-fry the beef and mushrooms in oil of choice until just cooked.
  • Remove beef and mushrooms from pan and set aside.
  • Quickly rinse pan and return to heat.
  • Add a touch more oil and sauté bell peppers and carrots until just tender but still crisp.
  • Blanch spinach in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, and squeeze out excess moisture.
  • In a non-stick skillet brushed lightly with oil (avocado, sesame, or butter), pour mixed egg yolks.
  • Tilt pan to spread yolks thinly.
  • Cook on low heat until set, flip to warm through the other side.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and slice into thin strips.

Combine All The Things

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles with cooked beef, mushrooms, and vegetables.
  • Drizzle sauce over japchae and toss well to coat.

Garnish and Serve

  • Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper and sesame oil.
  • Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
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