South Korea’s Traditional “Japchae” Recipe

Japchae is a savory and slightly sweet dish of stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables often celebrated in Korean cuisine. Once regarded as a royal dish in the country, it is now the most sought-after delicacy during festive holidays, typically served on New Year’s Day and the Harvest Festival. Here is how to prepare this traditional meal at home (for 8 people).



3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 ½ tablespoons of white sugar

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 teaspoons of minced garlic


Stir Fry Ingredients:

230 grams of sweet potato starch noodles

120 grams of lean beef *cut into 2-inch-long strips

180 grams of fresh spinach

Salt and ground black pepper (for flavor)

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil *divided

1 small sweet onion *thinly sliced

4 mushrooms *topped and sliced

1 small carrot *cut into matchsticks


1. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved into the sauce.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Then, cook the sweet potato starch noodles in the boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes. Rinse the noodles under cold water and drain. Transfer the noodles to a bowl, then add 2 tablespoons of the sauce, and toss to coat.

3. Run the beef under running water until juices run clear. Then, mix the beef and 1 tablespoon of the prepared sauce together in a bowl.  

4. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the spinach in the boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain quickly and transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach, then place it in a large bowl and season with a little salt and pepper.

5. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Then, cook the onion for 1 to 2 minutes (until fragrant). Transfer the onion to the bowl with the spinach.

6.Heat another teaspoon of oil in the same pan. Cook the mushrooms for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the sliced onion mixture.

7. Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in the same pan. Then, cook the carrot pieces for 1 to 2 minutes (until lightly cooked). Add them to the sliced onion mixture.

8. Cook and stir the beef in the same pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then add it to the sliced onion mixture. Cook and stir the noodles in the same pan for 1 to 2 minutes (until heated through). Then, add them to the beef and onion mixture.

9. Finally, add the remaining sauce prepared at the beginning to the beef and noodles mixture, then stir to combine. Serve.


Enjoy your meal!