Vegetarian Korean japchae noodles

Japchae is a Korean stir fried vegetable and glass noodle dish which can also include flank steak. This version celebrates the vegetarian variant of this meal. Tasty, easy to prepare, packed full of healthy veggies, and with minimal pots to wash up, this has become a new favourite weeknight meal in the Salford Kitchen!

Many recipes include shiitake, however mushrooms are one of the few vegetables that we don’t eat or cook in our kitchen! In our version, we have swapped them out for courgette, cut into small thin batons. You should be able to get hold of the sweet potato starch noodles in an Asian grocery store, although you can also substitute glass / cellophane noodles if you can’t find them or don’t have them to hand in your pantry.


Serves two

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 bunch spinach (about 200g) trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • 180g Korean sweet potato starch noodles or glass / cellophane noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, deseeded, thinly sliced
  • ½ courgette, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds, to sprinkle


  1. Combine the soy, mirin and sesame oil in a small bowl, and set aside until required.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the spinach for 3 minutes or until tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl of iced water. Cook the noodles as per the packet instructions in the boiling water until almost tender. They will need to cook longer when they’re stir-fried so don’t overcook them at this stage. Drain and plunge into the iced water. Then drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and carrot and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until tender but still a little crunchy.
  4. Then add the red pepper and stir-fry for another half a minute. Toss through the garlic and the courgette, and fry until the garlic is fragrant. Then add the noodles and the spinach. Stir-fry until well combined.
  5. Divide between two bowls, and serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Eat the rainbow! Vegetarian Japchae

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