Jap Chae

Jap Chae

I love Korean food. When I lived in San Francisco, I went out for Korean food at least once a week. Here in Chicago, I have only been out for Korean twice (I have more time than money these days) but regularly shop at H-Mart in Niles for my Asian groceries. At Korean restaurants, one of my favorite things is Jap Chae, stir-fried Korean glass noodles with vegetables and a sweet soy sauce marinade. I’ve made this once before (to test the mandoline I took from my mom’s kitchen):

Jap Chae

I’m trying to clear out our food stock and we had the perfect storm of ingredients at home yesterday for a final batch of jap chae: onions, carrots, spinach, shitake mushrooms, and glass noodles. We had some daeji bulgogi in the freezer (leftovers from Korean taco night) and defrosted that for the jap chae too. The first time I made this, I had marinated bulgogi from the Korean market but you could easily throw in whatever meat you may have on hand: chicken, pork, or no meat at all would still be delicious!

I love this recipe because its so easy to put together yet it is so tasty: sweet soy sauce, crunchy vegetables, chewy noodles, and nutty sesame.

Jap ChaeJap Chae

JAP CHAE (adapted from Steamy Kitchen)

  • 1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 shredded or julienned carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • handful of meat (chicken, beef or pork…better yet, pick up some marinated meat from the Korean market)


  1. Boil water, put noodles in, and remove from heat. After 10 minutes, drain noodles and toss with 1 tsp sesame oil.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together.
  3. Heat oil and sautee garlic, onions and carrots. When the onions and carrots have softened, throw in the meat & mushrooms.  Once the meat is browned, add the spinach, soy sauce & sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes, giving the sauce a little time to caramelize.
  4. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.


  • The great thing about this recipe is that its so flexible. You can throw in whatever vegetables you like and omit others. I don’t like bell peppers but had some leftover from a vegetable platter. I threw those into the 2nd batch for color and picked them out when I was eating (and threw them in Joel’s bowl).
  • A double batch of this recipe perfectly fills a 12×10 aluminum chafing dish steam pan.

Jap ChaeDouble batch with shredded yellow squash added

  1. Melody
    January 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Ahhh! You just gave me a major craving for jap chae. I’m buying ingredients for it on my weekly Chinatown shopping trip. (It’s closer and cheaper than K-town.)

  2. alisa
    January 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    looks delicious! what type of soy sauce did you use?? dark,light,sweet,or just kikoman?

    • Lan
      January 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      light soy sauce. the original recipe called for half as much soy sauce & sugar but the first time I made it I had to add more to make it taste right…maybe cuz I used light soy sauce?

  3. cristina yoon
    January 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    this looks great! you get a thumbs up from the korean.

  1. May 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

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