Japchae (잡채) literally means “mixed vegetables.” However, the main ingredient of this classic dish is Korean sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, 당면), also known as glass noodles. Japchae is an essential dish for traditional holidays and special occasions.
There are many variations using different ingredients, such as Spicy Seafood Japchae and Kongnamul Japchae.
For traditional japchae, the chewy and springy noodles are nicely paired with thin strips of beef (or pork) and various vegetables in a slightly sweet and savory sauce. It’s also common to add an egg garnish (jidan, 지단). Sometimes, I also sprinkle with some finely chopped pine nuts.