Japchae (Korean Noodles with Stir-Fried Beef and Vegetables)



  • 8 ounces sweet potato noodles
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • Nearly 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb beef, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4-5 medium carrots, julienned
  • 6 dried shitake mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water for 30 minutes
  • 3 green onions, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling


Cook sweet potato noodles in salted boiling water until al dente. Use the same water (save water folks!) to blanch spinach for 30 seconds. Strain spinach and rinse under cold water. Squeeze the spinach into a ball, removing as much water as you can.

Cut spinach with scissors. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, a pinch of salt, and half the minced garlic. Stir until well mixed.

Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the sliced beef. Heat a pan and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add beef and stir fry until no longer pink. Transfer beef to a bowl.

Keep the heat on and add onions to the same pan. Add remaining garlic and saute until onions are glossy, but still have a bit of a crunch. Transfer onions to a bowl.  

Keep the heat on and add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add julienned carrots and stir-fry for a minute. Add shiitake mushrooms, green onions, and spinach. Return onions and beef to the pan. Mix thoroughly. Add noodles to the pan. Add 1/4 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Mix thoroughly.

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