Veggie-Filled Japchae Recipe

Veggie-filled japchae noodles provide a plant-based main dish that can hold its own in any Korean-inspired meal. That being said, it also pairs beautifully with mainstays, such as Korean fried chicken and bulgogi. The base of this authentic Korean dish is glass noodles. According to food Blogger Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, these noodles are made out of vegetable starch, which in Korea, tends to be sweet potatoes. There are also mung bean, and rice glass noodle variations in Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.

Originating in the 17th century, this dish was called japchae because the name translates to "mixed vegetables". To make japchae, sweet potato noodles are first cooked, and tossed in a soy, sugar, and sesame oil marinade. They are then joined by a cornucopia of quickly stir-fried vegetables, which still retain their crispness. The resulting veggie-filled japchae noodles are healthy, delicious and colorful — a true joy to serve and eat. 

Gather the ingredients for colorful veggie-filled japchae noodles

The ingredient list for japchae noodles is lengthy, but mostly simple to find. The starchy glass noodles themselves can be found in any Asian supermarket, and in some well-stocked big box stores that cater to an international population.

The vegetables you will need are carrots, red onion, mushrooms, bell peppers in 2 colors, spinach and scallions. For the marinade, we will need garlic cloves, soy sauce, salt to taste, sugar and sesame oil. And finally, you can optional garnish with sesame seeds. We also love serving the dish with some chili oil on the side, but this isn't necessary by any means.

Cook and dress the noodles

Cook the glass noodles according to package directions. This usually involves boiling water, then adding the noodles for 8 to 12 minutes. Drain and rinse the cooked noodles under cold water.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Pour the sauce on the noodles, and toss until fully combined, and the sugar dissolves. 

Cook the vegetables

Heat a large wok or stir-fry pan over medium. Add remaining sesame oil, sliced onions and sliced mushrooms, and sautée for 2 minutes. Add the sliced bell peppers and sliced carrots to the pan, and sautée for 3 more minutes. Add minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute.

Turn off the heat. Add the spinach to the pan, and toss everything together with tongs, allowing the spinach to wilt naturally. Season with salt to taste.

Serve the veggie-filled japchae

Add the cooked noodles to the pan with vegetables, and mix well to combine. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Transfer it to a serving dish, or serve vegetable japchae with noodles straight out of the pan with a drizzle of chili oil, if desired. Leftover japchae will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.

Veggie-Filled Japchae Recipe
4.9 from 17 ratings
This veggie-filled japchae recipe is not only vegetarian-friendly, but perfect to make on a busy weeknight.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
6
servings
two bowls of vegetable noodles
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces sweet potato vermicelli
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced length-wise
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 scallion, chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp chili oil
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Directions
  1. Cook the glass noodles according to package directions, around 8 to 12 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the noodles, and toss until fully combined, and the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring a large pan to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, onions and mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and carrots, and sautée for 3 more minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Turn off the heat, add spinach, and toss everything together with tongs, allowing the spinach to wilt naturally. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Add the cooked noodles to the pan with vegetables, and mix well to combine. Garnish with scallions and optional sesame seeds. Serve vegetable japchae with a drizzle of chili oil, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 211
Total Fat 7.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 30.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 7.7 g
Sodium 459.0 mg
Protein 5.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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