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The name of this dish, japchae, is made up of two syllables; the first, jap, means “mix,” and the second, chae, means “vegetables.” Add cellophane noodles, and you pretty much understand what this dish is about. The dish was allegedly made for a royal celebration in the 17th century. The king liked it so much that he promoted the servant who made it to secretary of treasury! The dish quickly became a fixture in the Korean royal court and eventually became popular among common people in the 20th century when cellophane noodles were introduced from China. Today, Koreans and Korean Americans prepare japchae during feasts and holidays, as the noodles have symbolic significance as a wish for long life.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 6 oz cellophane noodles
  • 1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 fresh shitake mushrooms, caps cut into thin strips with stems removed 
  • 2 cabbage leaves, shredded


    For Noodles:
  1. Add cellophane noodles to a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Cook until tender, about 6–7 minutes.
  3. Rinse, drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. For Sauce:
  5. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of sauce mixture to bowl with noodles. Stir to combine.
  7. Heat a few tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet or wok.
  8. Stir-fry the noodles for about 4 minutes, until they are translucent and start to stick together.
  9. Transfer the noodles back to the bowl using tongs.
  10. For Vegetables:
  11. Add the carrot and onion to the skillet and stir-fry until tender. Add more peanut oil as necessary for frying.
  12. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the noodles using tongs or a slotted spoon.
  13. Add the green onions, mushrooms, and cabbage to the skillet. Stir-fry about 2 minutes.
  14. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the noodles.
  15. Add the remaining sauce to the bowl, tossing to combine.

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