Japchae, the famous Korean noodle dish

by Beyond Kimchee on March 15, 2010 · 50 comments


Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my very first blog posting and I don’t think anybody will find this or read this posting but why am I still nervous? Would you allow me to go and grab plateful of Japchae and I will continue to write this down as I am eating….?

Japchae (잡채) is perhaps the most famous Korean noodle dish. It is a must for any banquet or feast table. You can eat this dish alone or with some rice. This can be a great vegetarian dish as well if yo omit the beef. The key to making flavorful Japchae is seasoning each ingredient separately. Let me show you how you can make this beautiful dish to impress your significant others. Are you ready?

These are what you need.
For dish: Sweet potato noodles(당면, dang-myon), beef, shitaki mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, spinach, carrot, onion.  
For seasoning: soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, pepper, rice wine.

First, using paper towel gently press beef to remove some blood.

Slice beef (cross grain) into 1/4″ sticks as shown above.
That’s easy so far, right?Season beef with soy sauce, sugar, garlic and rice wine.
Set aside to marinade.Clean mushroom with brush or paper towel. slice or tear mushrooms into strips.

Blanch mushrooms in boiling water for 2 seconds and rinse them in the cold water.

Squeeze excess water out and season with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil. Set aside

Now look at these beautiful Korean spinach!
You gotta clean them well first by soaking in the water to get rid of all the dirt.

Blanch the spinach in the boiling water with a little bit of salt. Be quick on this because they only need 3 seconds to blanch.
Mine got cooked 10 second because I HAD TO TAKE A PICTURE!
I blanched the spinach right after I did mushrooms in the same water.

Squeeze out some excess water but not too much.
If you squeeze too strong you are removing too much of it’s own moisture and the spinach will get tough.
Season with salt, sugar sesame oil and set aside.

Cut carrots into about 2″ long, 1/8″ thick sticks.
Slice onion and chop some garlic.

In non stick pan heat some oil (I use grape seed oil, olive oil is good choice, too) on medium heat and saute onion with some salt. Set aside.

Saute carrots with some salt and sugar until tender crisp. Set aside.

Cook the beef in medium heat until done. No oil is needed. :) Set aside.
Keep the juice from the meat in the pan.
You will use the juice to season the noodle later.

Now you have all the ingredients ready. Let them cool down.
Not too bad, right?
Wait a minute, we still need to cook noodles! :(

This is the dang-myun (당면), comes from sweet potato starch.
It is slightly thicker than rice vermicelli.
When cooked it gives very nice chewy texture.
Boil water and just dump the noodles.

After you dump the noodle stir them so they don’t stick together.
Cook them on medium heat for 6 minutes or follow package direction.

Rinse them under the cold running water. You need to rinse these noodles to get chewer texture.
This is important step so do not skip!
Massage these noodle guys gently as you rinse. They deserve it.

Cut the noodles if you wish. I usually cut them by holding up the noodles with hand.
You only need to cut 2-3 times total. Do not cut too many times.

Remember the juice from the beef? It has all the good flavor, folks!
You heat up the juice again and fry the noodles in it.

Add the noodle seasonings and mix well to coat the noodles.
let them cool.
Throw all the ingredients and toss them well.
Adjust seasoning as you like.
You gotta use your hands for this job.
Those disposable gloves are handy for this.
Finally the job is done!

Well, Well, Well….

All the hard work is over now. 
Sit back and enjoy your labor of the day.
I am going to eat with style!
How about you?



Japchae, the famous Korean noodle dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 10 oz (300g) glass noodles (??,dang-myun)
  • ⅓ lb lean cut of beef, cut into 2" long and ¼" thick sticks
  • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 2" long and ⅛" thick sticks
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 shitaki mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ lb oyster mushrooms, sliced
For the beef marinade :
  • 1 T soy sauce(low sodium), ½ T sugar, 1T rice wine, 1t chopped garlic, 1t sesame oil, ¼t pepper
For the mushroom seasoning :
  • 1T soy sauce, 1t sugar, 1t chopped garlic, 1t sesame oil
For the spinach seasoning :
  • ½t salt, ½t sugar, 1t sesame oil
For the noodle seasoning :
  • 3T soy sauce, 2T sugar, 2T sesame oil, 2T sesame seeds(roasted), 1t pepper
  1. Mix beef in the marinade. Set aside.
  2. Boil water in a pot. Blanch mushrooms first for 2 seconds. Take them out and rinse them in the cold water. Squeeze out excess water. place in a bowl.
  3. In the same boiling water add spinach, blanch for 3 seconds. rinse in the cold water as well. squeeze out excess water and place in a bowl.
  4. Season mushrooms and spinach each with their seasoning ingredients separately.
  5. Saute onions and carrots separately with some salt and sugar to taste over medium heat.
  6. Saute beef and cook until done. Reserve the juice from the meat in the pan. Set a side the meat.
  7. Meanwhile, boil water in a pot. Add the noodles and stir them first. Cook for about 6 minutes or follow package direction.
  8. Rinse them under cold water. Drain the noodles. Cut the noodles if you desire.
  9. Cook noodles in the pan with reserved meat juice over medium heat. Add the noodle seasoning and toss them well. Let all the ingredients to cool down to room temp.
  10. Toss noodles with beef, spinach, mushrooms, onions, carrots with hand. Adjust seasoning for your taste. Serve in a room temperature. Enjoy.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4-6




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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Valentine March 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I just made Japchae for a big dinner party on Sunday – served 21 people and still had tons of leftovers! I followed this recipe fairly closely, even before I found this blog, but I think you WERE the one who taught me how to make it. One difference was that I added some zucchini and summer squash, cut in matchsticks. Good stuff!


beyondkimchee March 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I am glad that I taught you something. You can be creative and add other veges in the recipe. Some people add red or green peppers in the dish. I'm not a big fan of bell peppers in Japchae. To me the smoky flavor of peppers overpower the dish, but it is personal preference. I think zucchini or squash can be good addition as long as you use toward the skin part. The seeded area can be mushy and watery. Hope this helps.


Kathy April 8, 2010 at 12:20 am

this is a famous Asian dish. hmm, looks very delicious. I love vegetables and the colors of it when mixed on noodles. planning to cook a good asian food soon.


Anonymous May 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm

nice first post! looking forward to following your blog :)



Laura July 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm

i fell upon your blog from foodgawker (originally looking for choco chip cookies) and TOTALLY fell in love with it. not only did i make the cookies today (btw, they're the BEST choco chip cookies i've ever tasted), i made 잡채 today for dinner =)
it's my first time making it, your recipe and instructions were so easy to follow.
a picture of my japchae: http://bit.ly/cowUNg

thanks so much!


beyondkimchee July 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Great! I am so happy to hear that you like the recipes. You Japchae looks fabulous! I want some now! :)


et October 22, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Very helpful cooking hints – i love Japchae! However, I'm lazy, and I cook the ingredients (except noodles) one after the other in a large frypan: onions, garlic, then carrots, followed by mushrooms. Then spinach, and lastly the noodles (which have been prepared per your recipe). I season each batch of ingredients. Then I add pinenuts just before serving (as my dish is vegetarian).


lee shu-han April 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

wow thanks for the very very detailed instructions and photos!


Dustybarstool April 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm

does 'T' stand for teaspoon or tablespoon?


beyondkimchee April 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

T is for tablespoon, and t is teaspoon.


Food Safety Course October 27, 2011 at 6:11 am

Japchae is new to my ears. But I like spicy foods. Maybe that's why I fancy Korean Cuisine. A lot of their foods recipe have one or two spicy ingredients in it like gochujang and gochugaru. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely make one for our Korean Night. Korean Noodles and Korean TV – a healthy dose of Korean Idols like GDragon and TOP! :)


hana November 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my very first blog posting and I don't think anybody will find this or read this posting but why am I still nervous? Would you allow me to go and grab plateful of Japchae and I will continue to write this down as I am eating….?

Japchae (잡채) is perhaps the most famous Korean noodle dish. It is a must for any banquet or feast table. You can eat this dish alone or with some rice. This can be a great vegetarian dish as well if yo omit the beef. The key to making flavorful Japchae is seasoning each ingredient separately. Let me show you how you can make this beautiful dish to impress your significant others. Are you ready?


hana November 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

I cannot read the begining ..right under the first picture..starts like..Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my please help!!! Thank you ~! *^.^*


beyondkimchee November 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Hi! how can I help you? Because I can see my words clearly under the first picture. All it says is that this was my very first post and how nervous I was.


hana November 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hello!  Actually, the email I wrote you was changed from the original.  I copied and  pasted the symbols under the first, second and third picture,  but for some reason they were deleted in my post. 'Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my' isn't what I was saying..seems like it was part of yours…. I don't kwow.. –; The first English words I can see on my computer are "slice beef (cross grain) into 1/4" inch strips."   This is under the fourth picture.  For some reason the first few paragraphs are all strange symbols.  I'll check on another computer someother time.. Thanks.*^.^* 


hana November 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Everything is okay.  Although the symbols under the first three pictures are undicipherable, when I copy and paste the garbled paragraphs using wordperfect 11 the words (recipe) comes up in English!  I have no idea why this occurs but since I can read it it's okay.  Thank you. ^^


Ysa January 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Hello hello! I absoulutely love your blog and I'm looking forward to trying all these recipes! Just one question, for this recipe, can you double it by just doubling all the ingredient amounts? Or should it be in another ratio? Thanks so much for all the effort that you put into making this blog fantastic!!


beyondkimchee January 14, 2012 at 7:05 am

You can double the recipe. However, the amount of seasoning on each ingredients doesn't have to be exact to the T. Adjust (+ or -) the seasonings depends on your taste. Japchae is a dish that you can season along as you make. Have a fun making!


Kmayers January 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I made this tonight and it was delicious! I've tried for years to find a japchae recipe that was "right" and this is it. Thank you :-)


Gwkim90 February 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I am Korean student in Japan. I want to try this someday.


Blaze February 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm


Just so you know…the font you used for the first four pictures doesn't work so well for some computers. I'm on  XP and I'm using chrome and it comes up as gunk. If I use Firefox things look great but I don't think Chrome likes the font. 

I just copied and pasted it into an email and it looks just fine!


Janeth November 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

I got to do this one today. My husband, who is constantly comparing my cooking with his Korean mother’s cooking, loves it!! He admitted, I cooked this one better than my mother in law…. Thank you so much!


Holly November 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Thank you Janeth. I am so happy to hear that.


Leslie January 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I just started a blog and I noticed that your fabulous blog started with japchae too! Love you site!


Joy February 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Hello! Thanks for the recipe! My family absolutely loved this dish. They gobbled it up like they haven’t eaten in days! :)


cooking.eating.carousing. May 14, 2013 at 7:09 am

I made this few nights ago and it was really delicious. I love the crunch of the carrot. And I’ve never had potato noodle before, but it’s so satisfyingly chewy. But, the most important lesson I took from this post is how to get rid of dirt from spinach!! For the life of me, I’ve never thought to soak spinach before so that the dirt can be washed off and settle at the bottom. Previously I would only rinse under running water and as such there are always stubborn grains of dirt on the spinach.


www.zoji.com May 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return
the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my web site!
I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!


Anh Nguyen May 18, 2013 at 1:50 am

I really love this noodle – Japchae (now i know exactly its Korean name). Will try it tomorrow

Thanks a lot


vegetablejuicingrecipesforweightloss.com May 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks


Holly May 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

That would be great! Thanks.


click here May 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this blog post. It was inspiring.
Keep on posting!


HELEN June 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

Nicely done. Thanks for the photos. It always a big plus to know what brand to buy when cooking. What brand do you like to use for rice wine? Also, what is the white and yellow strips topping on the noodles? Thank you!


Holly June 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm

You can use any brand for rice wine. The yellow and white strips on the dish are fried, then thinly sliced egg yolk and egg white.


Kim June 30, 2013 at 3:48 am

Thank you for this! I am going to follow your instructions and try to make this myself. Well done!


penrilo August 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

i have fallen in love with your recipes!! :*


Gina September 2, 2013 at 9:29 am

My favorite! Liked the tip about placing the beef on paper towels to drain. Thank you!


RosyIvory December 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hi Holly,

I was anxious making this because it’s my first time trying Asian food with its different ingredients and way of cooking.. But It turned out very well! Despite few minor changes, I liked this dish so much, and would make it again for sure :)


RosyIvory December 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hi Holly,

I was anxious making this because it’s my first time trying Asian food with its different ingredients and way of cooking.. But It turned out very well! Despite few minor changes, I liked this dish so much, and would make it again for sure :)

Thanks for the recipe!


Deanna Nunley January 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Wow! I ran across your website by accident looking for a “chocolate sour cream cake” recipe, what a great mistake “what is this kim chee thing?” I thought to myself. Japchae recipe, I love to eat it but I can make it too? With your great recipe, photos and instructions I made my first batch of the most amazing Japchae, even better than the ones I have at our little Korean restaurant in Hawaii. Thank you thank you. I have read many of your recipes and cannot wait to try them. They all look so good. My only thought is “what recipes can I share with you?” I just made my mother’s famous “won ton” filling and thought how I wish I could share these with you. Maybe you already have a recipe for good won tons? Let me know if you don’t.

thank you thank you again.


Holly January 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Hi Deanna
Thank you so much for your lovely comment. You are so kind to offer me a recipe in return and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I LOVE wonton and would love to get your mother’s recipe. Please, share with me. Also I am so happy that you liked my Japchae recipe. Homemade is always better, isn’t it?


butterfingers January 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

Hi Holly,
I have tried all your 3 recipes for Japchae and all 3 are lovely. We end up taking 2nd and 3rd helpings. Thank you.


Holly January 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm

That is so great! You made my day so happy!


C. Young January 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Your blog is a new discovery for me and I’m so excited I found it!! Being half Korean, many of these dishes are very familiar to me. Sadly, I never took the time to learn from my mother when she was cooking in the kitchen. Since she is no longer here, I am deeply grateful for these WONDERFUL tutorials you’ve presented. I find your clear descriptions and colorful photos very helpful. A few days ago, I made the cucumber kimchi and tonight, I made the Japchae. What a treat…to take me back to my childhood with all the familiar smells of red pepper, garlic, sesame seeds and soy sauce…ah, mom would be proud <3 Both dishes were just as delicious as I remember. Thank YOU!!!


Holly January 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Thanks for your sweet comment. It is my utmost pleasure to hear that my recipes are helping other people to remember their childhood memories. Food has a great power to do that. Hope you continuously enjoy your Korean cooking.


Jacek March 9, 2014 at 7:51 am

Hello. I used to eat Japchae a lot while I was an exchange student at HUFS in Seoul. Now You have given me an opportunity to remind this tasty dish. Will try more of your recipes. Thanks a lot. Greetings from Poland. Jacek


Holly March 9, 2014 at 9:57 am

Hi Jacek

Glad to hear that you like Japchae. Hope you get to try my recipe and let me know if you have any questions. Cheers!


Lee May 29, 2014 at 12:10 am

One of my all time favorites and deceptively easy to make.


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