Make japchae, Korean glass noodle stir-fry, the easy way with this simple recipe. Enjoy chewy sweet potato noodles, colorful veggies, and tender meat for an authentic Korean japchae taste.

A serving bowl of Japchae (Korean glass noodle stir-fry) with chopsticks.

“Amazing taste!  Easy to make.  Hardest part was finding the right noodles.  Can’t wait to make this recipe again.”


What is Japchae?

Japchae (잡채) is a tasty Korean noodle dish consist of chewy glass noodles mixed with colorful vegetables and juicy meat. The noodles called, dangmyeon (당면), are made from sweet potato starch, giving them their chewy texture.

Japchae is typically seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil and served as a side dish or main course during special occasions such as New Year’s Day, Korean Thanksgiving, and family meals.

This traditional noodle dish in Korean cuisine usually takes time to make, but I’ve simplified the recipe. With a few shortcuts, you can enjoy homemade Japchae with less effort and still get that real authentic taste.

A plate of japchae glass noodles with vegetables and beef.

Japchae Ingredients

Here are what you will need for making this dish.


Sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon) for making japchae.

No Japchae is complete without dangmyeon (당면) in Korean kitchen. These Korean glass noodles, derived from sweet potato starch. These japchae noodles are clear and chewy and are quintessential in dishes like Andong jjimdak (Korean Braised Chicken) or Galbitang (beef short rib soup).

Where to buy japchae noodles (dangmyeon):

Dangmyeon can be easily obtained from Korean or Asian markets. Online stores is another option. They are often labeled as Korean potato vermicelli or Korean cellophane noodles. Make sure they are authentic Korean dangmyeon.

Japchae Sauce, Meat and Veggies

  • Sauce: Usual things like soy sauce, garlic, sugar, oils. Sweet rice wine (mirin) is an optional choice.
  • Meat: Beef or pork add a depth of flavor. Vegetarians can exclude this. Thin, tender cuts of beef such as sirloin or striploin are the most popular choices. You can quickly marinate the meat with basic bulgogi marinade ingredients to capture the full Korean flavor.
    • To make vegetarian japchae: simply omit the beef. The dish remains delicious even without it.
  • Veggies: Onion, carrot, pepper, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms are essential.

How to make Japchae (the Easy Way)

Prepare Noodles

  • Soak glass noodles (dangmyeon) in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • After that, remove the water and keep the noodles to the side. This step makes them soft and ready to cook with sauce – faster cooking, less mess.

Meat Marinade and Sauce

Meat Marinade

  • Cut beef (or pork) into thin sticks, about 1/4-inch wide. Go against the way the fibers run.
  • Mix them with soy sauce, sugar, and sweet rice wine. Then, keep them to the side to marinate.

Japchae Sauce

  • Mix all the sauce seasoning ingredients in a bowl and keep to the side.

Stir-fry Vegetables

Stir-frying japchae vegetables

  • Here’s an easy way to stir-fry veggies to shorten the cooking time: Start by cooking the veggies that take longer, like onions, carrots, and peppers. Then, toss in greens and mushrooms. This way, you cook faster and all the veggies taste great.
  • Right at the end, add spinach and cook it until it’s soft. Then, take everything out of the pan and put it on a big plate to cool down.

Cooking the Meat

  • Heat the pan up again on high heat and add the beef (or pork). Cook until it’s done. You’ll notice juice from the meat.
  • Move the meat to the plate with the veggies, but leave the juice in the pan.

After cooking beef, keep the tasty juice in the pan. Mix it with the japchae sauce. It makes the noodles extra flavorful and yummy.

Assembling japchae

Seasoning the Noodles

  • Put the drained noodles in the pan with the meat juices. Pour the seasoning sauce over them.
  • Cook over medium heat until the noodles are very soft and most of the sauce is soaked up, which should take about 3-4 minutes.

Toss all together

  • Turn the heat down low. Put the veggies and meat back in the pan on top of the noodles.
  • Add some sesame oil and seeds. Mix everything well. Add more sesame oil if you like. Check the taste and add more seasoning if you want.
A pot of Korean glass noodle stir-fry with kitchen tongs.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Store leftover japchae in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days and reheats well in the microwave. For a fresher taste and texture, you can also stir-fry it with a little oil in a pan. The noodles will become soft and chewy again once reheated.

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A plate of japchae glass noodles with vegetables and beef.

Easy Japchae (Korean Glass Noodles Stir-Fry)

Make japchae, Korean glass noodle stir-fry, the easy way with this simple recipe. Enjoy chewy sweet potato noodles, colorful veggies, and tender meat for an authentic Korean japchae taste.
5 from 21 ratings


  • 8 oz (226 g) Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon)
  • 6 oz (170 g) beef sirloin, or pork loin. See note below for the vegan/vegetarian option
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • a few pinches salt
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch (about 6 oz, 170 g) spinach, cleaned
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For meat marinade

For japchae sauce


For the glass noodles

  • Soak the glass noodles in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside. Pre-soaking will soften the noodles and make them easier to cook.

For the meat seasoning

  • Slice beef (or pork) into thin match sticks (about 1/4-inch thick) against grain and season with soy sauce, sugar, and sweet rice wine; set aside.

For the Japchae sauce

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the japchae sauce ingredients, and set aside.

To cook Japchae

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot, pepper, and a pinch of salt; stir-fry until soft but have a slight crunch to complement the soft noodles. Add sliced shiitake mushrooms and another pinch of salt. Continue to stir-fry until soft. Add more oil if needed.
  • Add spinach at the end and stir-fry until spinach is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the vegetables to a large plate to cool.
  • Reheat the pan over high heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the beef (or pork) and stir-fry until fully cooked. You will see the juice coming out from the meat. Transfer the meat to the large plate with the reserved vegetables, reserving the juice in the pan.
  • Add the drained glass noodles to the pan with the meat juices. Pour the japchae sauce over the noodles and toss to combine. Let the noodles cook over medium heat until they are soft and the sauce liquid is mostly absorbed into the noodles, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Add the vegetables and meat back to the pan over the noodles. Add sesame oil and sesame seeds and toss all together to incorporate. Drizzle more sesame oil if you wish. Taste and season more according to your taste.


To make this Japchae vegan or vegetarian: omit the beef (or pork) and the meat seasoning step in the recipe.
Leftover beef bulgogi meat is a great substitute for fresh beef in this recipe. You don’t need to season the beef separately if using the leftover marinated bulgogi.
Calories: 326kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 865mg, Potassium: 260mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 2103IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 1mg
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