Korean japchae, sweet potato starch noodles stir fried with vegetables, is a popular and delicious dish that pretty much everyone likes. I never saw someone who tasted it for the first time who didn’t like it right away. That’s a high compliment! This recipe is for a quick and easy version of japchae that takes only 10 minutes to cook but tastes just as good as the traditional way.
I posted a recipe for japchae years ago and it has been popular on my website and YouTube among millions of people. The only complaint I ever got was that it takes a long time to prepare every ingredient properly. We need to do this so the ingredients keep their flavor, texture and color when they are eventually mixed together. The result is delicious but time consuming.
But over the last few years I have been trying to find a way to make japchae quicker, altogether in one pot. I did a lot of experiments and a lot of trials. Finally I figured out a way to do it, it’s pretty simple but the order of adding the ingredients is kind of my own science. The vegetables and mushrooms go on the bottom of the pot so they don’t easily burn, and all the vegetables are covered in a light coating of cooking oil which keeps them from going brown from the seasoning sauce.
In this way I make japchae in 10 minutes all in my 6.5 quart large and heavy pot. The recipe is featured in my new cookbook. Already a lot of people have made it and tell me they love it! I always make japchae this way now, I never make it in the traditional way. It’s perfect for a family meal of 4 to 6 servings, but anything larger then that my traditional japchae recipe will be better and more manageable.
Enjoy the recipe and enjoy your time-saving japchae!
Serves 4 to 6
For meat (optional):
- 8 ounces’ pork belly (pork shoulder), beef, or chicken, cut into 2½-inch-long strips
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown (or white) sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For gyeran-jidan egg garnish (optional):
- 2 eggs
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For seasoning sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown (or white) sugar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
For noodles, vegetables, and mushrooms:
Marinate and cook meat (optional):
- Combine your choice of meat, the soy sauce, brown (or white) sugar, and sesame oil in a bowl. Mix well by hand until the sugar is well melted. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat a skillet and cook the marinated meat, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 4 to 5 minutes until cooked thoroughly.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
Make egg garnish (optional):
- Garnish with the egg paper strips (if using) and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, and serve.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, stir-fry in a skillet with a few tablespoons water or vegetable oil.