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Japchae (잡채)


Staff member
Jan 19, 2024
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Today is kind of a big deal for our family. After nearly two years of work, The Ancestral Table is finally in stores today! To celebrate, I thought it would be fitting to post my cookbook recipe for Japchae, which is a common party dish in Korea today.

Japchae has its origins in the 17th century; fittingly, it was first served at a party for the reigning king. Originally made with just vegetables and mushrooms, sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon, also called glass noodles) were introduced in the 20th century and are now an integral part of the dish.

Japchae (잡채)​

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 20 mins plus 1 hr marinade
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

2 tsp wheat-free tamari (coconut aminos okay)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2″ ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 lb rib-eye or sirloin steak, sliced into strips
1 tbsp chicken broth
1 tsp honey
1/2 bunch (4oz) spinach or Chinese cabbage (kai-lan pictured above)
6oz sweet potato noodles, cut into 6″ lengths
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 carrot, julienned
3 shiitake mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted dry (soaked for 30 mins in warm water)
4 green onions, cut into 4″ pieces
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, divided

1. Mix the tamari, sesame oil, rice wine, white pepper, salt, garlic, and ginger, then combine half of the resulting sauce with the beef strips and marinate for 1 hour. Combine the other half of the sauce with the chicken broth and honey and set aside.

2. As the beef marinates, prep the other ingredients. In a stockpot, bring some water to a boil. Parboil the spinach for 30 seconds, then remove with tongs, rinse, and squeeze until mostly dry. In the same water, gently boil the sweet potato noodles for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water; they will start to harden, which is fine. Toss the noodles with a little sesame oil to prevent sticking, then set aside.

3. Warm the coconut oil in a wok on medium-high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the beef and stir-fry until cooked through, about 3 minutes, then remove the beef and set aside. Add the carrot to the wok and stir-fry until slightly softened, about 1 minute, then add the noodles, spinach, mushrooms, green onions, beef, sauce, and half of the sesame seeds. Stir-fry until the sauce cooks down, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste, then sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the Japchae and serve.

Note that the picture above is a doubled recipe. Below is the cookbook picture:


One last quick word of thanks to everyone for your readership, enthusiasm, and encouragement. It’s been a wild ride, and I appreciate you joining me along the way. There is plenty more to come, promise.
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