Oma's Japchae

Oma's Japchae

photos by Yu Tsai

Japchae is a traditional Korean dish that I grew up eating. This quintessential meal takes me right back to the kitchen when I was a little girl with my mom, and now I carry on the tradition and make it with my kids.

Japchae’s base is Korean stir fried sweet potato noodles. This dish is loaded with healthy fresh vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onions, and spinach and even though its healthy, my kids absolutely love it!

The big secret of this dish is to cook all your vegetables separately to retain their texture and flavor. This is the way my mom always made it. It takes a bit more time, but the extra steps are worth it for the flavor!

Serves 4  /  Prep Time 30 min  /  Cook Time 30 min  /  Difficulty Easy



  • 6 oz sweet potato glass noodles 
  • 1 TBL sake
  • 2 TBL brown sugar
  • 2 TBL tamari
  • 2 TSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBL avocado oil
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup sweet onions
  • 3 large shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 TSP sesame seeds for garnish



  1. Soak your Japchae noodles in cold water for an hour. They come dehydrated and can be found at an Asian supermarket.
  2. Rehydrate 3 large shitake mushrooms in warm water.
  3. Chop the sweet onion and shitake mushrooms.
  4. Save the mushroom water, we’ll use it later.
  5. Start by sautéing one cup of onions with oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Remove and season the onions.
  7. Then sauté your julienned carrots.
  8. Remove and season the carrots.
  9. Repeat with the mushrooms, sautéing and removing and finally repeat the steps with the spinach. 
  10. Season the same pan that you used for the vegetables with avocado oil.
  11. Wash the pan with our saved mushroom water.
  12. Take your soaked and pliable noodles and add them to the pan.
  13. Stir in 2 tbl tamari.
  14. Add 2 tbs brown sugar.
  15. Add 1 tbs sake.
  16. Cook the noodles for 2 to 3 minutes.
  17. Turn the heat off, add your vegetables and toss.
  18. Last we are going to add 2 tbs sesame oil and toss again, garnishing with sesame seeds.

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