Japchae (Korean glass noodles)

We had some traditional japchae on Korean New Years last week, which are stir fried glass noodles and vegetables. They were awesome warm, the garlickyness was amazing, and equally delicious cold the next day!  My aunt had made them, but there are some great recipes out there. This one contained carrots, mushrooms, fish cakes (the pink circle things), beef, onions, and spinach. I approximated a recipe below, you can easily make it vegan by leaving out the beef and fishcakes and subbing with tofu!


  • 1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
  • 1/4 pound beef sliced diagonally into thin strips
  • 1 large fishcake, sliced into rounds (you can find this frozen in most asian food stores)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 stalks green onions, cut diagonally into 1″ lengths
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms shittake mushrooms, thinly sliced (if dried, rehydrate first)
  • 1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt to taste

Cook the noodles for 5 minutes in a large pot of water. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water so as not to overcook. Drain again and toss with 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Cut into manageable lengths (they will be very long) 🙂 Set aside.

In separate bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a large skillet or wok on high heat. When the cooking oil is hot stir fry the onions and carrots and cook until just softened. Add the green onions, spinach and mushrooms, salt a little and fry 30 seconds, remove from wok and set aside. Add some more cooking oil, add the beef and fishcakes with the garlic, until browned.Then add the soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Add in the vegetables, and turn off heat, add the sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and toss to coat. Serve warm or cold 🙂

2 thoughts on “Japchae (Korean glass noodles)

  1. tastyeatsathome says:

    Thanks so much for linking to my recipe! Your version looks great. I’ve never tried those fish cakes before – interesting. What do they taste like?

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