Korean starch noodles with beef and vegetables
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4.56 from 122 votes

Japchae (Korean stir-fried starch noodles with beef and vegetables)

Made with sweet potato starch noodles, dangmyeon, beef and various vegetables, japchae (or chapchae) is a classic Korean dish everyone loves! Find out how to make authentic, delicious japchae with this time tested recipe!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: beef, chap chae, glass noodles, japchae, Starch noodles, stir-fry, vegetables
Servings: 4
Author: Hyosun

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces Korean potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, 당면)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 2 scallions
  • 4 ounces lean beef (sirloin or rib eye)
  • 4 - 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until plump or fresh mushrooms - see note
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • vegetable oil for stir frying
  • salt and pepper

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
  • Egg garnish jidan - optional

Instructions

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
    Japchae sauce
  • Cut the carrot into match sticks. Thinly slice the onion. Cut the scallions into similar lengths.
    Japchae
  • Cut the beef into thin 2-inch long strips and mix with 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Cut the stems off the mushrooms, and slice into 1/4-inch thin strips. Season with 1 tablespoon of the sauce.
    Japchae
  • Blanch the spinach in boiling water only until wilted. Drain quickly and shock in cold water. Squeeze out excess water, cut into about 2-inch lengths, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
    Japchae
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles according to the package directions (usually 6 - 7 minutes). Rinse in cold water and drain. Cut the noodles with kitchen shears or a knife into 6 -7 inch lengths. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the prepared sauce in a large bowl.
    Japchae
  • In a large non-stick skillet, stir fry the noodles over medium heat, stirring frequently, until translucent and a bit sticky (about 4 minutes). Transfer back to the bowl.
    Japchae noodles
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and stir fry the onion until translucent over medium high heat, lightly sprinkling with salt and pepper. When the onion is almost done, stir-in the scallion and cook briefly. Transfer to the bowl with the noodles. Stir fry the carrot for 1 to 2 minutes until softened. (Do not overcook. The vegetables should be crisp.) Transfer to the bowl.
    Japchae
  • Stir fry the beef and mushrooms together until the meat is cooked through, 2 - 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl.
    Japchae
  • Add the spinach and the remaining sauce to the bowl with all other prepared ingredients.
    Japchae
  • Toss well by hand. Adjust the seasoning to taste by adding a little more (start with 1/2 teaspoon) soy sauce and/or sugar as necessary.
    Mixing japchae noodles with beef and vegetables

Notes

Dried shiitake is ideal for its concentrated flavor and meatier texture, but you can use any kind of fresh/dried mushrooms such as oyster or button mushrooms.
Leftover japchae should be kept refrigerated. Japchae reheats well in the microwave. The noodles will get soft and chewy again.