It is interesting how different cultures have similar dishes and sometimes similar names. The Korean Japchae is similar to a Chinese dish known as Chap Chai in Fujianese (Hokkien) or Chai Choy in Cantonese. When translated, chap chai means mixed vegetables. Both japchae and chap chai has a mixed of vegetables and clear noodles in them. Though japchae is often cooked with strips of beef, it can be left out to keep it vegetarian.

I cook japchae often as it is a relatively quick and easy dish to prepare. One essential ingredient in japchae is dangmyeon or sweet potato noodles. This is a slightly thicker and darker noodle than the bean threads but has a similar slippery texture. This noodle is available in most Asian grocery stores. The one shown below is made in Korea but I also use the ones made in China which comes in a bag with green labels.

Let’s get to the recipe!


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 6 servings



  • 4 oz (115g) sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
  • 8 oz (225g) spinach, ends trimmed and thoroughly washed
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 stalks green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add sweet potato noodles. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoon sugar. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoon sesame oil. Add garlic and onions and fry until just softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots and bell pepper and stir fry for another two minutes. Add spinach, cooked noodles, pepper, and soy sauce mixture. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add green onions and sesame seed. Stir to mix well. Remove and serve immediately.

Japchae is delicious with a bowl of steamed white rice and some Napa Cabbage Kimchi, Stuffed Oi Kimchi, or Kkakdugi.

I have created a picture gallery of the recipes found on this blog. As there are close to 300 recipes, it is still a work-in-progress. Please do check it out by clicking the Gallery tab at the top of the page. For now, you can also click on this link.

Another piece of good news! I am thrilled that Spiral Butternut Squash Mooncake was featured on The Daily Meal.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)