Japchae served in white bowl
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Japchae - Korean Glass Noodles

Japchae is a classic Korean Glass Noodle dish that has beef, carrots, spinach, mushrooms and onions. Great dish to serve at dinner parties or pot luck. Omit beef for a wonderful vegan version.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Keyword for kids, korean new year, party food
KoreanCategory Che(채)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Calories 181kcal
Author JinJoo Lee

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 carrot , julienned (approx 1 C)
  • 1/2 onion , sliced thin
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 8 oz Korean glass noodles or cellophane noodles (당면 Dangmyeon) 8 oz = 220 g = 1/2 of usually 450g/15.8 oz big bag
  • 1/4 cup dried wood ear mushroom (목이버섯 mokibeoseot) OPTIONAL
  • 3 shitake mushrooms dried

Beef marinade

  • 5 oz beef (stew meat) , cut into thin strips
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice cooking wine
  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder (or 1/4 tsp fresh chopped garlic)

Seasoning for the Dangmyeon (Glass Noodles) - 8 oz (1/2 large bag) = 4 cup cooked

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp sesame oil

Finishing seasoning

  • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce Jin Ganjang
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

BEEF

  • Cut beef into thin strips, against the grain.
  • Make beef marinade in a large bowl. Add the beef, mix and let it sit for a few minutes.

Glass Noodles

  • Boil 8-10 C of water in a pot and cook the dangmyeon according to package instructions(e.g.6 min) or until the noodles become clear and is soft all the way to the center of the noodle.
  • Drain cooked noodles. While noodles are still warm, season with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Cut the noodles with scissors a few times.

Spinach

  • Boil salted water (6 C water + 1 tsp salt). Quickly blanch spinach in boiling salted water. Do not cook the spinach more than 40 seconds. Spinach should be still a bit chewy and not too mushy. 
  • Shock cooked spinach in cold or ice water, drain and squeeze gently to remove excess water.
  • Season the blanched spinach with some salt (1/2 tsp) and sesame oil (1 tsp). Set aside.

Shitake and Wood Ear Mushrooms (Mogi Beoseot 목이버섯)

  • If using dried shitake and/or wood ear mushrooms: soak them in some warm water for 10-20  min or so until they are fully hydrated. 
  • Clean the fresh or rehydrated mushrooms by rubbing each mushroom under cold running water.
  • Cut shitake mushrooms into thin strips. Cut wood ear mushrooms into wide strips. Set aside.

Carrots and Onions

  • Julienne carrots and onions and set aside.

Saute Ingredients

  • Saute each of the ingredients separately and let them cool. Saute ingredients one by one in the following order: onions -> carrots -> mushrooms -> beef. Just wipe off any excess oil and crumbs with a paper towel after cooking each ingredient and you should be good to go!
  • - Add 1 T oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add onions and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Saute until onions become transparent but not brown. Remove
  • - Add 1 T oil in same pan. Add carrots and a pinch of salt. Saute carrots until they are soft and tender. remove.
  • - Add 1 T oil. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Saute for 3 mins or so and the mushrooms should be done.
  • - Add 1/2 T oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. Saute the beef until they are fully cooked. If there are any extra juices in the pan, cook a little more until it's evaporated.
  • Transfer each of the onions, carrots, mushrooms and beef to a plate and let them cool.

Mix Ingredients

  • Add all the cooked vegetables and beef to the noodles and mix them altogether. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds. Adjust the seasoning with more soy sauce and sugar as needed.
  • Unless you like things really bland,  it will taste much better if you add more soy sauce, (1~2 Tbsp), sugar (1~2 tsp) and sesame oil (1 Tbsp) as the final finishing touch. Amount is based on 200g dangmyeon.

Notes

* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml, 1 cup = 240 ml
** I say 10 servings but this is small serving as a side dish. If you want this to be your main dish, this would probably serve more like 5~6 people.
  • Seasoning Japchae - Glass noodles may taste bland after some time after you season it. So it is best to taste again afterward. Adding little more sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil if you feel like it is missing something.
  • Serving and Storing - Japchae is best served at room temperature but t can be served warm too. Japchae will spoil if left out longer than half a day in warmer temperatures (summer) so store in the fridge right away. It can be stored in the fridge up to a few days or can also be frozen
  • Reheat in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring often.
  • Variations or Substitutions
    • Pork or imitation crab meat in lieu of beef.
    • green bell peppers (julienned), Chinese chives, green onions or even some green chili peppers can be substituted for spinach
    • Egg Jidan (thin pan-fried crepe-like egg sheet) can be added on top as a garnish.
    • Vegan  - just omit beef, see my One-Pan Japchae recipe below.
    • Gluten Free - glass noodles are naturally gluten-free. To make it 100% gluten-free Japchae, just make sure to use a GF soy sauce like Tamari soy sauce.
    • Substitute fresh oyster mushrooms for wood ear mushrooms. Wood ear mushroom is OPTIONAL although it really does add wonderful crunchy texture.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.7mg