Home RecipesNoodles & Pasta Chapchae (Korean Glass Noodles Stir Fry)

Chapchae (Korean Glass Noodles Stir Fry)

by Paula

I got accepted at the UP College of Law after college graduation and only needed to submit a few documents for enrollment. Just across the Malcolm Hall (where the College of Law was located) was the UP Asian Center and there I saw a barely noticeable tarpaulin sign that advertised Korean language classes.

I was a big Kpop fan back then, so needless to say, instead of enrolling in law school, I enrolled in the language classes instead. ? One day, our sonsaengnim (teacher) brought chapchae to class and it was 너무 맛있어요 (delicious).

It’s been many years since the last time I took a Korean language class, and I’ve forgotten about 75% of what I had learned back then. But I’ll never forget the time when I had my first taste of chapchae.

What is chapchae?

Chapchae is a popular Korean noodle dish made with glass noodles, beef, and stir-fried vegetables. This dish is flavored with a sweet and salty sauce and sesame oil.

It was apparently a dish reserved for royalty, but nowadays, it’s a popular dish to bring for potlucks and such. It can be eaten as a banchan (side dish) or as a main dish and can even be served on top of rice!

Interestingly, the word “잠채” (chapchae) is a combination of its 2 syllables: 잠 (chap), which means “to mix” and 채 (chae), which means “vegetables”. So basically, it’s just mixed veggies.

There’s a misconception that chapchae is complicated to cook. Running your eyes over the recipe and its ingredients list would probably make you throw in the towel and opt to just run to the nearest Korean restaurant instead. But that shouldn’t necessarily be the case

As they say, preparation is key to success and that’s certainly the case for this recipe. Prepare the ingredients beforehand and take your time to slice the vegetables and the egg as thinly as possible. Putting them all together would be a cinch after that.

This recipe

I used copious amounts of the noodle sauce in this recipe, certainly much more than the amounts mentioned in the other recipes. The reason is pretty straightforward. I used half of the sauce to soak the boiled noodles in (to give it a chance to be absorbed thoroughly) and the remaining as a marinade and to pour over the noodles before assembling.

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Chapchae (Korean Glass Noodles Stir Fry)

  • Author: Paula
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x


Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients and the seemingly complex instructions – this stir fry is simple enough to put together. 



For the Beef:

  • 250 grams (1/4 kg) beef, cut into long thin strips
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce, preferably Korean or Japanese
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic 
  • a pinch of ground black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) soy sauce, preferably Korean or Japanese
  • 147 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) sesame oil
  • 2 tsps minced garlic 
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, roasted
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

For the Spinach:

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch of spinach (a handful)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • a pinch of ground black pepper

Other Ingredients:

  • 500 grams Korean sweet potato noodles (also known as Dangmyeon, glass noodles, or cellophane noodles)
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, about 150 grams
  • 4 stalks green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized carrot, about 150 grams
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, about 50 grams
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, fresh


For the Beef:

  1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and black pepper. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. 
  2. Add the beef strips to the sauce. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.

For the Sauce:

  1. In a microwaveable bowl, mix all the ingredients. 
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds on medium heat to warm the sauce. 
  3. Whisk the sauce to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

For the Spinach:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. 
  2. Add the spinach and cook for about 10-15 seconds, until just about wilted. 
  3. Remove the spinach and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Set aside the boiling water. 
  4. Drain the cold water. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and add the sesame oil, minced garlic, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside. 

For the Other Ingredients:


  1. In the large pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook for about 6-10 minutes, or until the noodles are soft but still chewy. 
  2. Carefully drain the water away. Cut the noodles with kitchen shears about 3-5 times. 
  3. Pour half of the sauce that was previously set aside over the noodles. Mix well to coat the noodles thoroughly. Cover and set aside. 

Other Ingredients:

  1. Slice the mushrooms thinly. Marinate the mushrooms with 1 tbsp of the sauce and set aside. 
  2. Slice the onions thinly and set aside. 
  3. Slice the carrots to match sticks. Slice the bell pepper similarly. 
  4. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the salt.
  5. Heat a tsp of sesame oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour the beaten eggs and swirl the pan to create a thin layer. Cook until the eggs are just set, about 2 minutes. Flip the eggs over and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the egg to a plate and let it cool 
  6. In the same pan, heat a tsp of sesame oil over medium heat. Cook the onions until just translucent. Set aside in a plate. 
  7. Repeat the previous step for the green onions, carrots, bell pepper, and mushrooms. 
  8. In the same pan, add the beef and sauté until the marinade has evaporated. Set aside. 
  9. Take the cooled egg omelette and roll it up. Cut into very thin ribbons and set aside. 

To assemble:

  1. Add the stir fried beef and vegetables to the bowl of noodles. 
  2. Add 3/4 of the egg omelette as well as the blanched spinach. 
  3. Pour the remaining sauce over everything and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. 
  4. Garnish with the remaining egg omelette and more sesame seeds before serving. 


  • I marinated the beef overnight in the fridge 
  • I like to slice the ingredients quite thinly. It makes it easier to stir fry uniformly, and the ingredients get mixed up with the noodles well. 
  • I cut up the spinach before adding to the noodles. The spinach clumps together but by cutting it up you get to separate them easier. 
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Korean

Keywords: chapchae, japchae, korean noodles

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