If you’re a fan of flavorful noodles, you will love my vegan japchae style sweet potato noodles! Japchae is stir fried glass noodles tossed with perfectly cooked vegetables, mushrooms, and a rich soy-based sauce. It is a perfect vegan entree, and it’s one of my favorite healthy comfort foods.
Watch how I make vegan japchae style noodles
I’m a huge fan of Korean food! When I lived in New York City, two of my favorite restaurants specialized in Korean food––Hangawi and Woorijip. They are each nestled on the same busy street in the heart of K-Town, and they both serve delicious stir-fried glass noodles, aka japchae. Now that I live far from NYC, I’ve started making my own japchae at home using sweet potato starch noodles I buy at my local Korean grocery store. The result is delicious, healthy, and filling noodles I can enjoy any day of the week!
Health benefits of vegan Japchae
Japchae is made using sweet potato starch noodles, aka glass noodles. These delightfully chewy noodles have a low glycemic index, but other than that, they don’t offer much nutrition. Their appeal is in their amazing texture, and ability to soak up the sauce in which they are stir-fried.
Vegan japchae is still a nutritious meal because fresh stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms are just as important as the noodles. Whenever I make japchae style noodles I add carrots, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli or spinach, and onions. The vegetables add lots of flavor, but they also fill the noodles with beta-carotene, fiber, protein, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Main ingredients for vegan Japchae
The ingredients for vegan japchae-style noodles are very simple and delicious.
Sweet potato starch noodles: In Korean they are called dangmyeon. You can find these noodles at your local Korean grocery store or online. There are many varieties and brands of sweet potato starch noodles, and for this dish I used noodles made with purple sweet potato.
Shiitake mushrooms: Use fresh shiitake mushrooms for the best texture. I like to slice them thinly and cook them with the noodle marinade for serious flavor and a meaty texture.
Soy sauce: I use either Kikkoman or San-Ji soy sauce. Use tamari to make the noodles 100% gluten-free.
How to make vegan Japchae style noodles
- Start by preparing the sweet potato starch noodles. Boil water and cook the noodles for 5 minutes (or follow package instructions). Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking. Set them aside. You’ll notice the noodles are very very long, so either break them before cooking, or cut them with kitchen scissors after they have cooled.
- Prepare the vegetables. Use a julienne peeler to create thin slices of carrot. Thinly slice a red bell pepper, onions, and shiitake mushrooms. Mince garlic, and chop spinach or broccoli.
- Make a marinade by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup in a bowl.
- Cook the vegetables one at a time (but onions and garlic together). We do this to be sure that each vegetable is cooked perfectly, and remains slightly crunchy. If you are in a hurry, cook the vegetables all together.
- Cook the mushrooms with a drizzle of the marinade.
- Add the noodles to the pan, then toss with the cooked vegetables, mushrooms, and marinade.
Commonly asked questions
Can you use a different type of noodle? Sweet potato glass noodles are my favorite, and authentic to Korean japchae. This dish might work with rice noodles or soba.
Should I eat this hot or cold? I love these noodles hot or cold! However, traditional Japchae is enjoyed hot.
How would I reheat the noodles? The best way to reheat the noodles is back in a wok or skillet.
If you love noodles, don’t miss these other recipes!
- 1 lb Korean glass noodles, sweet potato starch noodles
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, julienned (very thinly sliced)
- 8-10 shiitake mushrooms, stem discarded, thinly sliced
- 2 handfuls spinach or 1 crown of broccoli, chopped
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Green onion for garnish
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
- Add the noodles, and cook for 5 minutes, or follow package instructions. The noodles are very long: break them in half before cooking, or plan to cut them once they’ve cooled
- Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking. Set them aside.
- Make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a bowl.
- Warm 1-2 tbsp of oil in a wok or skillet, and sauté the onions and garlic until slightly golden and tender.
- Separately cook the red bell pepper, carrots, and spinach the same way; one at a time. If you are low on time, cook them all at once.
- Sauté the mushrooms with a drizzle of the marinade. Cook until golden, fragrant, and tender.
- Add the cool noodles to the pan with the mushrooms, then add the cooked vegetables and the marinade. The pan should be on medium-high heat.
- Toss the noodles and vegetables well, making sure to coat everything in the sauce.
- Serve hot garnished with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
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