Korean Glass Noodles (JapChae)


Are you tired of this tablecloth yet? I sure am. We’re in the throws of moving.

We thought we had the mold issue resolved, but as you may or may not have noticed, in the last six months, my posts have waned substantially, the reason being, I am either chronically ill or chronically moving my belongings to and fro.

We did the dance- storage bin, back into the apartment, back into storage, etc. Now we’re bailing completely. The ceiling is literally starting to fall apart and we found a mouse.

I am going to be out of here in 10 days. Everything is in boxes. Except, of course, our kitchen stuff.

But that still isn’t enough to motivate me to cook. I’m so tired. Stress is getting the best of me. On top of that, we’re having a cold snap, so today it was 12. Last week it was 50.

I haven’t made this in over a year, but it’s so simple, so nutritious, hot, balanced, and CHEAP to make! It’s a Korean classic that I’ve bastardized myself. The noodles are fun and stretchy, and this heats up nicely as leftovers. I hope you enjoy it, I’ll see you soon!

Vegan JapChae:


6oz of mung bean noodles (Roland brand makes some that are good)

4oz frozen spinach

2 cloves of grated garlic

4 shitake mushrooms, diced

1 carrot sliced lengthwise with a potato peeler (peel off the outside, then use the peeler to peel the carrot into thin ribbons)

1/4c finely diced onion

1-2T olive or vegetable oil

3T soy sauce

1T peanut or sesame oil (NOT olive or vegetable oil)

2T sugar (I like sucanat)


Begin by bringing a medium sauce pan of water to a boil. Turn off the heat. When the water is no longer bubbling, add your noodles. Let them soak in the hot water for 10min or until they’re chewy but not soggy.

In a small saucepan, bring your spinach to a boil to soften. You can also steam your spinach, and/or use fresh cooked spinach.

In a small skillet, add your olive or vegetable oil. Add your onion, mushrooms, carrot ribbons, and garlic. Saute on medium high until the onions are transparent and the carrots are soft. If you’re feeling enthusiastic, you can add in a few green onions.

In a separate bowl, make the sauce by combining the 3T soy sauce, 1T peanut/sesame oil, and 2T sugar.

Put your noodles in a strainer and make sure all of the water is out before returning them to the pan. Put your spinach in the strainer and smoosh it to push all of the water out.

In the large saucepan or a large bowl, combine your strained noodles, strained spinach, skillet mix of onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms, and the sauce. You can blend this well by using a fork or tongs. If you’re proficient, chop sticks are easiest.

This also goes very nicely with teriyaki tofu or tempeh. The preparation for both is the same, and as follows: Put a few tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of soy sauce, and a faux beef bouillon cube in a skillet on medium high. When the oil heats enough to dissolve the bouillon to be mixed evenly with the oil and soy sauce, add diced extra firm tofu (that has been drained and pressed), or diced tempeh. Saute until cooked evenly. I like mine fried on the outside and soft on the inside.


4 thoughts on “Korean Glass Noodles (JapChae)

  1. I am sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope things get better for you soon. Thank you for taking the time to share your recipe.

  2. I love your blog. This looks great. Keep up the good work! (From a Korean American aspiring minimalist blogger lady). If I can leave you a tip: you can soak eggplant in bulgogi marinade, cook it on a pan and add that to japchae.

  3. Mmm, that sounds great! The thing I have to keep reminding myself about shiitake mushrooms is that although they look expensive ($11/pound here last night) they are lightweight, and just a few make a big difference in the flavor of a meal–so they wind up being not that expensive.

    Your preparation of tofu/tempeh, while tasty, is not really teriyaki flavored. A basic teriyaki sauce has garlic and ginger, and either you add sugar/honey or use juice/wine instead of bouillon. I love teriyaki sauce, especially on tofu.

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