Grab a big bowl of Japchae Korean glass noodles with tofu! Each bite is packed with healthy vegetables and plant protein for a delicious gluten-free meal.
Today we are going to make your NEW favorite dish, japchae Korean glass noodles! Have you tried them before? The noodles are unique because they aren’t your typical flour or rice-based dough. A special ingredient creates luxurious, see-through noodles with a chewy texture that is quite addictive.
A savory sweet soy sauce gets infused into each noodle, plus an abundant amount of vegetables and tofu are added for a complete meal. You won’t realize that you’re almost down to your last bite, time for seconds my friend.
If you’re ready to try something different or already a fan and want to make japchae right at home, I’m ready when you are!
Whenever I go to my favorite local Korean restaurant, I look forward to a small bowl of these elegant glass noodles. They always seemed so intimidating to recreate, until my sister-in-law Imelda made these for our family on Father’s Day.
Girl, my mind was blown!
Mel claimed the recipe was so easy to make. I didn’t believe her until I saw her kitchen skills in action. As I grilled up some steak with chimichurri sauce and tossed together a quick summer fruit salad, she placed a HUGE pot of these noodles at the table. I couldn’t wait to dig and a serve myself a generous portion, or two, and maybe three but who’s counting?
Dinner is served!
What makes these Korean noodles so special is that they’re made with sweet potato starch. What? Yes, it’s a real thing, I swear, and it’s amazing. The noodles come in these super long bundles that are a light gray in color. Once cooked they become a transparent silver noodle, like looking through “glass,” hence the name. So clever!
The noodles are so long that they need to be cut into smaller strands after boiling unless you like twirling your chopsticks for days and end up with a huge noodle ball. I’d actually like to see that!
The sweet potato starch-based noodles do an excellent job absorbing all of the savory sauce. The sticky strands aren’t “saucy” on the outside like normal pasta dishes. Instead, all of the bold flavors are trapped inside each noodle and delivered straight to your taste buds.
To add more texture and nutrients, shredded carrots, onions, garlic and blanched spinach are tossed in with the noodles. I added some tofu to the dish for extra protein, plus my toddler James will eat anything with tofu!
I was excited to get the chance to recreate this recipe when my dad was visiting us. A little post-Father’s Day celebration! My dad Rick loves spending time with James, especially since he is growing up so quickly he doesn’t want to miss out. They are best buds!
My dad made an appearance in this post, check out his left-handed chopstick noodle grab in the shot below! Thanks, papa 🙂
Homemade healthy comfort food at it’s best. Grab a few bowls, people that make your heart smile and get ready to grub! What are you other favorite Korean dishes? I’d love to hear!
More Asian recipes you might like
- Chicken Udon Soup with Bok Choy
- Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
- Chicken Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing
What do sweet potato noodles taste like and how do I cook them?
Korean sweet potato starch noodles (dang myun), are very neutral in taste. This allows them to grab any flavors from a sauce or other ingredients. Once cooked they are thin, chewy, stretchy and a glassy transparent color. The noodles are cooked very quickly in boiling water for about 5 minutes until rehydrated and chewy. Typically for the Japchae (or chap chae) stir-fried noodle dish, the noodles are cooled under running water to stop the cooking process and drained before adding to the pan. Make sure to cut the noodles into shorter strands to make it easier to grab with chopsticks. These noodles are perfect for stir-fries or even added to soups. Plus they are grain and gluten-free!
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