Japchae, sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables and meat, is one of Korea’s best-loved dishes, and one of the most popular on my website as well.

If anyone asks me to recommend a good potluck dish, I don’t hesitate to answer japchae for the simple reason that pretty much everyone loves it. At any gathering it’s hard to pass up these chewy, sweet, and slightly slippery noodles with colorful stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms, its irresistible sesame flavor, healthy amount of garlic, and light, refreshing taste.

Stir frying each ingredient separately seems like a lot of labor, but each one requires a different cooking time and a bit of care, and keeping the color and freshness of each ingredient intact makes for a stunning final presentation. An easy way to make it even prettier and more nutritious is to use more vegetables and less noodles, although this is hard to recommend because the noodles are delicious by themselves.

Let me know if you make this at a party! Double, triple, quadruple the ingredients and let everyone taste your japchae!


(serves 4):

  • 4 ounces beef, filet mignon (or pork shoulder), cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
  • 2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 2 to 3 hours, cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces spinach, washed and drained
  • 4 ounces of dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
  • 1 medium onion (1 cup), sliced thinly
  • 4 to 5 white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot (¾ cup), cut into matchsticks
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • vegetable oil


Marinate the beef and mushrooms:

  1. Put the beef and shiitake mushrooms into a bowl and mix with 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil with a wooden spoon or by hand. Cover and keep it in the fridge.shiitakejapchae seasoning

Make the egg garnish (jidan):

  1. Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the white stringy stuff (chalaza) from the yolk. Beat in a pinch of salt with a fork.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated nonstick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.
  3. To keep the jidan as yellow as possible, turn off the heat and pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan. Tilt it around so the mixture spreads thinly. Let it cook using the remaining heat in the pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute.japchae egg garnish
  4. Let it cool and slice it into thin strips.

Prepare the noodles and vegetables:

japchae vegetables

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then take it out with a slotted spoon or strainer. Let the water keep boiling to cook the noodles.
  2. Rinse the spinach in cold water to stop it from cooking. Squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water. Cut it a few times and put it into a bowl. Mix with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. Put it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir them with a wooden spoon so they don’t stick together. Cover and keep cooking for another 7 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy.
  4. Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl next to the spinach. Add 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix well by hand or a wooden spoon. This process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  5. Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion, the green onion, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  6. Heat up the skillet again and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the white mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened and a little juicy. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  7. Heat up the skillet and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add the carrot and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper strips and stir-fry another 20 seconds. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  8. Heat up the skillet and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the beef and mushroom mixture and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the mushrooms are softened and shiny. Transfer to the noodle bowl.japchae beef

Mix and serve:

  1. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil to the mixing bowl full of ingredients. Mix all together by hand.japchae (잡채)
  2. Add the egg garnish and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Mix it and transfer it to a large plate and serve.

japchae (잡채)

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  1. Ded USA joined 4/24 & has 1 comment

    I’m bringing this to a dinner at another persons house so will be making it quite early in the day compared to when we will eat it. Would it be better to bring all the components separately and mix together just before eating? Since the recipe is recommended for potluck, it seems like it would hold up. Please share any tips you have for this situation. I’ve made this recipe several times already , always delicious , thank you so much.

    • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 312 comments

      That’s what I would do:
      Make it at home and keep it in an insulated container if possible. But it will be good at room temperature, too.
      Transfer to a serving dish when you’re ready to eat.
      Add the garnish (egg and roasted sesame seeds) then.

  2. Kring McAlllen joined 4/24 & has 1 comment

    I tried your cucumber salad last night and my daughters loved it! Thank you for sharing us your recipes.❤️

  3. Abarkesdraz Oregon, USA joined 10/23 & has 1 comment

    We made Japchae with boneless pork chops we had around. Boy was it delish! My husband likes a little heat to his Asian dishes, what pepper would you suggest to get a little heat in there. I don’t like a lot of heat so be easy on the suggestion. :)

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  4. June-H Naperville, IL joined 6/23 & has 1 comment

    After having made your Dwaejigogi-bokkeum, I knew I needed to try more. Your Japchae is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thank you for such great recipes, cooking instructions and videos!

  5. rivkah Phoenix Aizona joined 5/23 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I’ve been watching your show every day and I enjoy a lot .I have been diagnosed cancer and eating nutritious foods and keeping healthy is very hard. I love all your snacks meal and all the noodles recipe.I thank you for sharing all your recipe .I had tried some of your melt watering dishes and they are so delicious. Thank you so much.
    Best Regards

  6. SWB_NYC United States joined 4/23 & has 1 comment

    This is my all-time favorite Korean dish! I was salivating watching you make it. I miss the genuine version that I used to get at The Kunjip in NYC. I can’t find real Korean food where I am, and it breaks my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. HonestAstora Cincinnati, OH joined 1/23 & has 1 comment

    There is a korean restaurant near where I used to work, and I fell in love with these noodles. My wife and I have been trying to find ways to incorporate more vegetables in our diet, and have them taste great. Dishes like this seemed an obvious choice. I made it for the first time last night and it was amazing! Good enough that I was asked to make a chicken version tonight for dinner. Thanks for the great recipe and easy instructions. Can’t wait to try more Korean dishes at home!

  8. Emma555 Waterloo joined 12/22 & has 1 comment

    Would love to have a printable version of Japchae recipe! I have made this e few times and is always a hit !

  9. Nora Crush France joined 11/22 & has 1 comment

    It’s so delicious and very easy to make
    I love this recipe
    Thank you Maangchi ❤️❤️

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  10. Green Mimsy Honolulu joined 8/22 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, thank you so much for providing your fabulous japchae recipe. I make it often, and it’s become a family favorite: delicious hot or cold, and easy to use whatever ingredients are on hand! This picture is my latest version: I used up the Korean chives and minari that were left over from kimchi-making, also substituted bak choy for the spinach.

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  11. Jennefer Gabriola, BC, Canada joined 6/22 & has 1 comment

    Finally made jap chae! It was a last minute decision as I spotted the purple dangmyeon in the pantry that’s been there for a while, so didn’t have any beef, substituted thin sliced cabbage (stir fried) for the spinach, put boiling water on the shiitakes and let them sit only for the time it took to prep everything else, and used a little more sesame oil and soy sauce. So delicious! And so good for breakfast this morning too! Thanks Maangchi!

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  12. Ldahan Florida joined 6/22 & has 1 comment

    Can I make this ahead of company coming over and reheat in microwave?

  13. LunaCastillo Los Angeles joined 5/22 & has 1 comment

    Came out so tasty!

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