It was love at first taste when trying sweet potato starch noodles here in Gainesville. However, I had learned most people, including myself, did not know their origin. Also known as glass noodles, the sweet potato starch noodles have been used in Asian dishes for over a century, including a new favorite of mine — Japchae (잡채).

Creating the traditional Korean dish can be tedious if you choose to stir-fry each ingredient separately. Inspired by several recipes from Youtubers to tips from close friends, I decided to take a simpler approach.

Hopefully, you can taste the authenticity and care with my "still pretty lazy" take on Japchae:

A Lazy Girl's Take on Japchae

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:45 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 4 oz. beef filet mignon or pork shoulder
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 oz. spinach washed and drained
  • 4 oz. dangmyeon sweet potato starch noodles
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 to 5 white mushrooms double if vegetarian
  • 3/4 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • SAUCE: 2 tbsp sesame oil 1 garlic clove 1 tbs soy sauce 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 tbs sugar
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Makaiyla Dell
  • Step 1

    First, you should start by prepping your filet mignon (or your choice of pork shoulder or mushrooms). Cut the filet into small, thin strips. Together in a bowl, add the cut meat, 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and approx. 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Cover the mix with a paper towel, and let it marinade in the refrigerator.

    pork, chicken
    Makaiyla Dell
  • Step 2

    Next, bring a pot of water to a boil. The noodles should take no longer than 8-10 minutes. It is often advised that you add a top to the pot to speed up the process.

    chocolate, pasta, sweet
    Makaiyla Dell
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile for easy stir-frying, I like to cut all my vegetables at once. Start by sautéing the green and white onions. When the onions begin to look clear, add in the mushrooms. The carrots and red peppers should be the last vegetables that are stir-fried, and for the least amount of time — a little under a minute. Next, blanch the spinach for about a minute. #SpoonTip: Rinse the spinach with cold water to stop the cooking process.

    pepper, vegetable
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  • Step 4

    Once your noodles are strained, add the stir-fried vegetables and noodles into a medium-sized bowl. While doing this, your meat (or mushrooms) should be cooking in a greased pan until done and added into the same bowl as the rest of the ingredients. #SpoonTip: Due to the length of the noodles, you may want to cut them in half.

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    Makaiyla Dell
  • Step 5

    Finally, the best part is adding the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix all the ingredients with your hands. Now, you are ready to chow down!

    pork, pasta, beef
    Makaiyla Dell