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Korean japchae (잡채) is a glass noodle stirfry dish and today I’m sharing an easy Vegan Japchae recipe that also happens to be gluten free! Japchae translates to “mixed vegetables” because of the way it is prepared. More on that in a minute! It’s stir fried Korean sweet potato starch noodles or glass noodles with a distinct soy/sesame oil sauce and lots of veggies. Typically, japchae involves pork and may be topped with an egg but we’re going to make this healthy japchae recipe meatless! It’s a very casual dish, but is also enjoyed around the holidays.
How to Make Japchae
Making this Vegan Japchae is much easier than you might think. Traditionally all of the vegetable ingredients are sautéed individually and tossed with the noodles to combine. Here are some of the traditional japchae ingredients we’ll be using:
Japchae sauce (gluten free soy sauce, coconut sugar, sesame oil, garlic, salt and pepper)
Sesame seeds and scallions to garnish
What are Korean Glass Noodles?
Korean glass noodles, or sweet potato starch noodles have a very unique texture. They can be purchased dry and become very springy and soft once cooked. They are naturally gluten free and essential to making any kind of japchae! You can easily find Korean glass noodles at any Korean grocery store, or Asian grocery store. You can also find it online if you don’t have access to an Asian market.
What to Serve with Japchae
Japchae is commonly enjoyed around the Lunar New Year as noodles symbolize a long life, however it’s common to find japchae at celebrations and gatherings like birthdays and family dinners too. Growing up, japchae would always be prepared in large quantities and I suspect it’s a great go-to party food because its really easy to make!
Alongside japchae, you’ll often find kimchi, pajeon (or Korean pancakes), bulgogi, kimbap and all kinds of ban chan, or side dishes. There’s usually quite a lot going on at the Korean dinner table!
Prepare your vegetables by finely julienning and chopping, and prepare your japchae sauce by whisking ingredients together in a small bowl.
Bring water to a boil and cook your japchae noodles until soft and translucent, about 6-7 minutes. They should be almost slippery in texture. Rinse with cool water and drain, cut with scissors and mix in 1 tbsp of your sauce and let sit.
Next, to prepare the traditional way, sauté all of your veggies individually, with oil and a touch of salt and pepper. Add each ingredient to the pan, sauté lightly (you want to maintain the crunch, so don’t overcook) then add into a large mixing bowl. Sauté your noodles for a few minutes as well and add to the vegetable bowl. Blanch and pat dry your spinach, add to the bowl and mix well to combine. Alternatively, to prepare a bit more quickly, start by sautéing carrots, then add onion, mushrooms and scallions to the pan. Add spinach at the very end and cook very lightly, then toss in your noodles along with remaining sauce and sauté until combined.
Garnish with sliced vegan egg if using, sliced scallion and sesame seeds to top.
Keywords: korean, vegan, gluten free, noodles, asian recipes, lunar new year, weeknight recipe, 30 minute recipe
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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