Japchae , a mixture of vegetables, is a very popular Korean dish dating back to the 17th century in the Joseon Dynasty served only to royalty.  Today it is often on the menu at holidays and special celebrations.   Originally this dish was mainly made of vegetables.  Sweet potato noodles along with beef were added to the dish in the early 1700’s.  

Japchae reflects the influence of Buddhism in Korean culture where maintaining  balance in all aspects life is essential.  Japchae combines a variety of vegetables in a single dish to balance tastes, textures and colors (1). 

This dish is one of my family favorites. Japchae is great to eat by itself, as a side dish and a favorite at pot lucks.  

Japchae                                                         PRINT VERSION

Serves 10, 

  • 8 ounces of  dangmyeon noodles – sweet potato noodle ( purchase at asian grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (drizzle over cooked dungeon noodles)
  • 1 small package of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced into thin strips. 
  • 5 cups spinach, washed and drained 
  • 2 small zucchini sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cups of fresh chopped broccoli
  • 2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
  • 1 medium onion (1 cup), sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red and yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • ground black pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil or vegetable oil to stir fry
Tamari Sesame Oil Sauce:
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric root (optional)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Tamari ( may substitute with coconut aminos)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 lb organic extra firm tofu or Trader Joe’s sprouted tofu, diced (optional)

Cook dangmyeon noodles according to directions on the package.  Drain dangmyeon noodles and back into the pot it goes.   Drizzle with 1-2 Tbs of sesame oil to prevent noodles from sticking.  Place lid on top of pot and keep warm.

Get your veggies ready- rinse, chop, and slice.

Sauté vegetables separately with a little oil starting with onions and then firmer vegetables such as broccoli or carrots. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper while sautéing veggies.   Be sure not to overcook, keep vegetables crunchy.


Place each batch of stir fried vegetables over noodles. 
Sauté tamari sesame oil sauce on medium heat until it comes to a low boil,  then turn down the heat to low and cook for another minute.  If you are including tofu, add tofu to sauce now and cook for another minute.  Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables.  Mix very well.  
If you would like a non-veg version, add Dak (Chicken) Bulgogi to your Japchae.  See recipe below.
Chicken Bulgogi-Dak Bulgogi: 
  • 2 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 -3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Tamari (or coconut amigos)
  • 6 oz of Hard Apple Cider or white wine
  • 2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ground black pepper

Marinating chicken bulgogi~ marinade for a minimum of 2 hours. Grill or cook on stove top.

Japchae with chicken bulgogi ~ enjoy!
Updated September 1, 2019