Korean Inspired Noodles

When I lived in Downtown Los Angeles, I would frequently get my groceries from the Little Tokyo Market on Fourth and Alameda. At one of the delis there, they had a cold version of the Korean noodle dish Japchae, and for today’s recipe I decided to make my own. Japchae is made with a soybean thread noodle, which is similar to but not the same as the glass noodles I often use in my Thai dishes.

For this recipe, I opted to make a vegetarian Japchae, so I doubled up on the amount of mushrooms to account for my lack of protein. Feel free to add sliced chicken or ground pork or tofu to yours. I used two types of shiitake mushrooms in this meatless Japchae: dried and fresh. I find that dried shiitake mushrooms, when rehydrated overnight, give off an earthy, meaty texture that I like so much when I have a traditional Japchae. If you opt for rehydrating dried shiitake mushrooms, try using my technique or using an empty quart container to make sure the entire fungus is submerged overnight. I hope you enjoy making this Korean noodle goodness!


package dry soybean thread noodles
cloves garlic
Tbsp brown sugar
Tbsp sesame oil
cup soy sauce
Tbsp sesame seeds
shiitake mushrooms
bell peppers
cooking oil


Step 1

Boil a pot of water and cook the entire package of noodles for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Step 2

Prepare sauce by combining minced garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Step 3

In a large wok with oil on medium heat, cook sliced mushrooms and onions. Add a pinch of salt to the mushroom while cooking.

Step 4

Add sliced bell pepper, carrot, then spinach and stir-fry until the spinach begins to wilt.

Step 5

Add noodles and sauce and toss thoroughly, then remove from heat. Serve hot or cold.