This Vegan Japchae recipe is a vegan twist on the beloved Korean stir-fried noodles dish. It is a light and delicious recipe, that can be made in 30 minutes. The chewy and sweet noodles perfectly complement the crunchy veggies and the savory sauce.
Vegan Japchae is my go-to dish to take to a potluck, serve at dinner parties or when I want to enjoy a lot of vegetables. If you are looking for similar recipes to Japchae, check out my Vietnamese-inspired Glass Noodle Salad or Vegan Bibimbap!
What is Vegan Japchae?
Japchae is a popular Korean stir-fry noodles dish made with glass noodles made from sweet potato starch. These glass noodles have a bouncy, chewy texture that works well with the crunchy vegetables and the savory soy sesame sauce. Japchae is traditionally made with lean and tender meat and for the plant-based version of the recipe, I use marinated shiitake mushrooms.
In the original recipe, all the vegetables are stir-fried separately. This recipe is much simpler, as the vegetables are stir-fried together. You can put the vegetables in different order as they have different cooking times. It's perfect for when you're in a rush or don't feel like cooking.
Why you'll love this Vegan Japchae recipe
You'll love this recipe because:
- Light, fresh, and healthy: This Japchae is one of my favorite dinners to make when I'm craving something refreshing. It uses a variety of fresh and vibrant veggies mixed with a sweet-savory sauce!
- Quick and easy to make: This recipe can be made in 30 minutes and relatively easy to make.
- Contrast in texture: The texture of bouncy and chewy sweet potato noodles has a nice contrast with the crunchy vegetables, making it a satisfying well-balanced dish!
- Customizable and versatile: While the vegetables in this recipe are traditional in Japchae, there are endless possibilities for vegetable substitutes. So feel free to customize the ingredients based on what
- Perfect for any occasion: It's a perfect dinner or lunch, or to bring to potluck and impress your friends and family!
To make this recipe, you'll need:
The noodles used in japchae are glass noodles (Dangmyeon noodles) made from sweet potato starch. I love glass noodles as they have a chewy texture, slightly sweet taste and are also gluten-free.
- Japchae noodles: also known as glass noodles, or Dangmyeon noodles.
- Veggies used here are bell pepper, carrot, spinach, shiitake mushroom and green onion. You can swap them with any available veggies you have, like zucchini or broccoli.
- Onion: the onion adds a sweet caramelized taste to this dish!
- Sauce ingredients: the recipe calls for staple pantry sauce ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, black pepper and sesame oil.
Mix well to ensure the mushrooms are evenly coated. Then set aside and allow them to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
Boil Noodles and Spinach:
Boil the sweet potato noodles according to the package instructions. (I add them to a pot with boiling water for 2 minutes). Rinse the noodles under cold water and add sesame oil to prevent them from sticking. Cut the noodles 3 or 4 times.
In a separate pot, blanch the spinach in boiling water for a minute.
Drain the noodles and spinach, then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Stir Fry Vegetables:
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.
Add sliced onion and stir fry until softened. Cut red bell pepper and carrot into matchsticks.
Add the carrots and mushrooms and stir fry for 1 minute.
Incorporate spinach, noodles, and sliced scallions.
Add the marinated mushrooms to the pan with the stir-fried vegetables.
Then toss in the blanched spinach and cooked noodles.
Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
Prepare the Sauce:
Pour the sauce over the vegetable and noodle mixture in the pan.
Gently stir and toss everything together, ensuring the sauce coats all the ingredients evenly.
Finally, sprinkle sesame seeds over the Vegan Japchae for added texture and flavor.
- Use a julienne slicer to save time when slicing the vegetables
- You can marinate the mushrooms in advance to help it absorb even more flavors.
Substitutions and Variations
- Mushroom Marinade:
- Instead of mushrooms, you can use tofu as a protein substitute. Marinate the tofu in the same sauce ingredients and cook it separately before adding it to the Japchae.
- You can use other type of mushrooms for this recipe, such as king oyster mushrooms, cremini, enoki or oyster mushrooms.
- Feel free to add or substitute any vegetables you prefer. Some popular options include:
- Shredded cabbage or Napa cabbage
- Julienned zucchini or yellow squash
- Sliced mushrooms (in addition to or instead of the marinated mushrooms)
- Bean sprouts
- Julienned bell peppers of different colors (in addition to the red bell pepper)
- Broccoli florets (blanch them before adding to the dish)
- Snow peas or snap peas (blanch them before adding to the dish)
- Bok choy (in place of spinach)
- Korean sweet potato noodles, also known as glass noodles or dangmyeon, are traditional for Japchae. However, you can also use other types of noodles if you prefer, such as rice noodles or soba noodles. Just make sure to cook them according to the package instructions before adding them to the dish.
- The sauce ingredients can be adjusted to taste. You can increase or decrease the amount of soy sauce, sugar, or sesame oil according to your preference. Additionally, you can add other seasonings like rice vinegar, Korean chili flakes for extra flavor.
- Additional toppings and garnishes:
- While not traditional, you can experiment with adding some toppings or garnishes to enhance the dish. Some options include roasted sesame seeds, chopped roasted peanuts, thinly sliced nori seaweed, or a sprinkle of sesame chili oil.
This recipe keeps well in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!Print