Vegan Japchae (Korean Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles)
Japchae is a savory dish of chewy glass noodles stir fried with a variety of vegetables in a sweet soy-based sauce.
Japchae (잡채), which means mixed vegetables in Korean, is a popular dish in Korean restaurants. It is normally served as a side dish (banchan, 반찬). However, I add plenty of vegetables in my recipe to make it nutritious even as a main dish. This is an easy dish I also enjoy bringing to potlucks since it is usually loved by everyone.
Red bell peppers, green onions, onions, shiitake, spinach, and carrots are all commonly used in japchae. However, I also like to add some red cabbage because it’s nutritious and for its pop in color. While my japchae recipe is vegan, you could add some bulgogi for a meat component. Another commonly added protein is egg garnish (dalgyal jidan, 달걀 지단).
Quick One-Pan Method
Traditionally, the vegetables in japchae are cooked and seasoned separately. However, for the sake of convenience, the ingredients in my recipe are consecutively added and cooked together in the same skillet. The ingredients with a longer cook time are added first (e.g. red bell pepper, red cabbage). And while not normally added in japchae, red cabbage is used in my recipe for its nutritional value and pop of color.
Hope you enjoy!
MISE EN PLACE
PAIRS WELL WITH:
As with most of my recipes, I use coconut sugar as the sweetener. Not only is it a natural sweetener, but it is also a healthier sugar substitute. It contains a bit of inulin which decreases the likelihood of post-meal sugar spikes and so may be a healthier option for people with diabetes. I also prefer its softer sweetness. However, you could always substitute coconut sugar with plain sugar or brown sugar in my recipes.
Vegan Japchae (Korean Stir-fried Sweet Potato Noodles)
- 5 oz Korean sweet potato starch noodles
- 100 g red bell pepper, cut thinly (about ½ red bell pepper)
- 90 g red cabbage, cut thinly (about ¼ red cabbage)
- 24 g shiitake mushrooms, cut thinly (about 4 mushrooms)
- 50 g green onion, cut into 2" pieces (about 3 green onions)
- 90 g yellow onion, cut thinly (about ⅓ onion)
- 90 g carrots, julienned (about 1 carrot)
- 5 oz baby spinach
- vegetable oil (canola or sunflower seed oil)
- ½ tbsp garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- black pepper
- roasted sesame seeds (optional garnish)
- Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 6 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the red bell peppers and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the red cabbage and onions, and saute for another 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and shiitake mushrooms.
- Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and heat 1 tbsp of oil on the empty side of the pan.
- Add the spinach and sauté for about 1 minute or until it is mostly wilted.
- Mix all the vegetables together.
- Move the vegetables to one side of the skillet, and add the noodles.
- Add the sauce to the noodles and sauté for about 30 seconds.
- Stir the noodles and vegetables together until well mixed, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Garnish with roasted sesame seeds (optional) and serve immediately.