Japchae: Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry

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Japchae (잡채), is a Korean glass noodle stir fry dish that’s super popular during holidays, special occasions, and everyday meals. It is sautéd with your choices of vegetables, eggs, and meat in a sweet and savory sauce. The noodles are bouncy and chewy while the vegetables are fresh and crunchy.

I remember when I first tried japchae, I instantly fell in love with it! The noodles had a wonderful texture of bounciness and chew. The vegetables were cooked properly, which added a nice crunchy texture to the dish. The sauce was a nice balance between sweet and savory. Mmmm, yum!!!

Japchae, pronounced like “chob-cheh,” is a Korean sweet potato glass noodle stir-fry that’s tossed with vegetables, eggs, and meat, traditionally beef. It’s a popular Korean dish that’s often served during New Years and for special occasions. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying it on the daily, because it’s really good!

Japchae, meaning “mixed vegetables,” can have a variety of ingredients added. You can usually find japchae made with baby spinach, shredded carrots, green onions, sliced onions, sweet bell pepper, and a variety of mushrooms. It’s also very common to find sliced eggs and sautéd meats, like beef or pork , in japchae. But honestly, You can literally use any vegetables or meat from your fridge, just like how we like to make bibimbap (aka Korean mixed rice bowl)!

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Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 7 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
  • 3 teaspoon sesame oil.

Japchae components:

  • 12 ounce sweet potato glass noodles (1 regular size bag of japchae noodles)
  • 16 ounce pork , sliced (you can use beef or your preferred protein)
  • 2 large egg , beaten
  • 1 medium carrot , peeled and shredded
  • 1 small yellow onion , sliced
  • 1 bell pepper , sliced (red or yellow)
  • 3 mushrooms , sliced (white button, portabella, shiitake, etc)
  • 2 cup baby spinach
  • 2 stalk green onion , cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Vegetable oil
  • Toasted sesame seed (for garnish)
  • Salt & pepper , as needed.

Instructions

For the sauce:

  • Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce until combined.

For the japchae:

  • In a large pot of boiling water, add the japchae noodles and cook until the noodles are cooked through and no longer starchy and hard in the center, about 12-15 minutes*. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the noodles form sticking together.Once cooked, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water, set aside.*Different brand japchae noodles may vary in cook time.*
  • While waiting on the japchae noodles, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, add a small amount of oil. Add the beaten eggs into the pan and let the eggs cook until the bottom and edges starts to set. With a spatula, lift the edge of the egg and tilt the pan to allow the still liquid egg to flow to the bottom. Let the egg cook until the surface no longer have liquid eggs and the bottom is set. Flip the egg and cook until the egg is no wet, about 30 seconds.Remove the egg from the pan then roll the egg up and slice it into ¼ inch strips. Add the eggs to the bowl with the pork.
  • Heat the same nonstick pan with a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the sliced pork, lightly season with some salt and pepper, and cook until done, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the cooked pork to a large mixing bowl.*No color is necessary, but feel free to give the pork some color if you wish.*
  • For the vegetables, add a small amount of oil to the same nonstick pan over medium high heat. Sauté the vegetable from most to least hearty, just until they become tender. DON’T overcook the vegetables because you want some freshness, crunch, and texture!First, sauté the carrots. Then add the onions and bell peppers and sauté them just until they go limp. Add the mushrooms, spinach, and green onions and cook until the spinach are wilted. Season the vegetables with a light tough of salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Transfer all the veggies to the mixing bowl with the pork and eggs.
  • Wipe down the nonstick pan if needed and add the premixed japchae sauce. Place the pan over medium heat and heat the sauce until hot. Add the japchae noodles and sauté until the noodles are hot and evenly tossed with the sauce. Add the noodles to the mixing bowl of meat, eggs, and veggies and toss everything together until evenly distributed.
  • Serve the japchae hot or chilled with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.Enjoy!
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Notes

  • To reduce the japchae noodles’s boiling time, you can let the noodles soak overnight in water.
  • This recipe makes a larger quantity of japchae so we opt for tossing everything together in a mixing bowl. If you’re reducing this recipe and making a small portioning of this japchae, feel free to sauté everything together in the pan. 
  • If making a smaller portion:
    • Boil the noodles as above.
    • Cook and sliced the eggs as above.
    • Sauté the pork, then add the vegetables in order. Add the noodles, egg, and sauce and sauté everything until evenly distributed.
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