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Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles (Japchae)

Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles (Japchae)
Jean Cazals / Korean Food Made Simple


  • 1 pound sweet potato noodles (dangmyun)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled (including tails, if desired) and deveined, and patted dry
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cremini, button or shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 5-ounce package baby spinach
  • 3 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
To serve
  • 1/2 scallion, cut lengthwise into thin strips, soaked in ice water until curled, and then drained
  • Black sesame seeds

Chef notes

My mom used to make this dish for dinner parties, so it always has a special-occasion feel for me. I love the springiness of Korean sweet potato noodles (which, by the way, are gluten-free), but they sometimes get a little long and/or tangled. If that happens, just cut them with kitchen scissors after cooking and rinsing them.

Swap option: Traditionally, this dish is made with beef; here I've used shrimp, but you can substitute any protein, including tofu, scallops or chicken.


For the noodles:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions until soft. Briefly rinse in cold water and then drain well. Transfer to a large bowl, toss with the soy sauce until coated, and set aside.

For the eggs:

In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Beat the salt into the eggs, then add the egg mixture to the skillet, swirling to evenly coat the bottom. Cook, without touching, until the egg is set but just barely browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the bottom is set, again trying not to get too much color on the egg, 15 to 20 seconds more.

Slide onto a cutting board; carefully roll into a log, and cut crosswise into thin strips. Set the egg strips aside and wipe out the skillet.

For the shrimp:

Add the oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Don't let the garlic brown. Add the shrimp, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until the shrimp are barely pink, about 1½ minutes. Add the mirin and cook, stirring often, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp mixture to a bowl.

For the vegetables:

In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add any juices from the bowl of shrimp and toss to coat. Add the mushrooms and carrot and cook until slightly softened. Add the spinach in handfuls, tossing with the other ingredients and adding more as it wilts. Cook until all the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the scallions and drained noodles and toss together.

For the sauce:

Add the sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and salt to the skillet. Toss well and cook until the noodles are heated through and glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg strips and shrimp and gently toss. Transfer to a platter, top with the scallion curls and sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Korean Food Made Simple. Copyright © 2016 by Judy Joo. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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