Sweet Potato Noodles

I’ve bookmarked so many recipes in my cookbook by Maangchi, the Big Book of Korean Cooking, published in 2019. I’ve made quite a few recipes already, including one for the blog – Korean Vegetable Pancake. Reading the cookbook has been extra fun because we were just in Seoul, Korea last summer, and what a beautiful city. It’s so modern, and yet there are still ancient parts. We visited temples, a monastery where we were served a wonderful vegan lunch, and had dinner at Gwangjang Market, where as you can imagine we saw just about everything raw and cooked. Plus lots of kimchi!

This recipe involves a new product for me – sweet potato noodles – which is why I had to try it. Thank you Amazon, of course. The real recipe name is Sweet Potato Starch Noodles with Vegetables and Meat, or japchae.

According to Maangchi, “Japchae is a beautiful dish of translucent sweet potato noodles, lots of colorful vegetables, mushrooms, and meat. Along with kimchi and bulgogi, it’s one of the most popular and best-known Korean dishes.”

Maangchi suggests pork belly, beef tenderloin, or skinless chicken breast for this noodle dish. I used beef tenderloin.


8 ounces beef tenderloin, cut into 2 1/2” long strips
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
7 or 8 wood ear mushrooms, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes
8 ounces sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon) soaked in cold water for 40 mins
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, cut into 1-2” matchsticks
4 to 6 scallions, cut into 2 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Yellow Egg Strips (recipe below)

Combine your choice of meat, 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a bowl and mix well with a spoon. Cover and refrigerate.

Drain and transfer the wood ear mushrooms to the cutting board. Cut off the tough stems and discard. Cut the caps into bite-size pieces.

Drain the noodles and, using scissors, but into 5 – 6” lengths.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce, garlic, remaining 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and black pepper in a bowl and mix well until the sugar has dissolved.

Heat a skillet over high heat and add the marinated meat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the meat is thoroughly cooked and glazed and all the liquid has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.

In a large, heavy pot, combine the wood ear mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, onion, carrot, scallions, vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup water. Mix well with both hands so that all of the vegetables and mushrooms are nicely coated with oil.

Add the spinach and spread in an even layer. Place the noodles on top. Drizzle the seasoning sauce on top of the noodles. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir and toss all the ingredients with a wooden spoon and tongs for 1 to 2 minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated and the noodles are nicely cooked and shiny.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the meat, the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and the sesame seeds. Toss the mixture so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Transfer to a large platter.

Garnish with the egg paper strips and serve.

To make the egg strips, simply whisk 2 egg yolks with a little salt. Pour the mixture into a non-stick pan and tip the pan until the mixture spreads. After a minute place the “pancake” on a cutting board and slice into strips.

This was delicious! I can’t wait to make more Korean dishes.

By Published On: November 15th, 202338 Comments on Sweet Potato Noodles

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Bernadette November 15, 2023 at 6:14 AM - Reply

    I have never heard of sweet potato noodles. But, Dom loves them so I will be printing this recipe and heading over to Amazon. Thanks for this post.

    • Chef Mimi November 15, 2023 at 7:05 AM - Reply

      I know! I hadn’t either. They’re really good, as is this dish.

  2. Frank | Memorie di Angelina November 15, 2023 at 8:41 AM - Reply

    I was in Seoul some years back on business. Loved the food! And I have fond memories of the sweet potato noodles. The only fly in the ointment I was there in January was it was cold “af” as they kids say… ;-) Looks like you got there at a better time of year!

    • Chef Mimi November 15, 2023 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      It was really hot when we were there! But we had such a good time, and the food everywhere was spectacular!

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen November 15, 2023 at 8:44 AM - Reply

    I have not seen these noodles anywhere, but then again, I wasn’t looking. Do they have a mild flavor?

    • Chef Mimi November 15, 2023 at 10:15 AM - Reply

      I don’t think in a taste test you could guess that they’re made from sweet potatoes! But I liked the idea, and they’re really pretty and translucent!

  4. terrie gura November 15, 2023 at 12:53 PM - Reply

    You certainly visit some of the prettiest places! The flavors in your dish sound so good that I believe I could omit the meat and still be satisfied. Loved the technique of making the egg strips! I’m going to try that sometime for an interesting topper.

    • Chef Mimi November 15, 2023 at 3:57 PM - Reply

      I agree with you! This would be wonderful without meat.

  5. Healthy World Cuisine November 15, 2023 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    Love Japchae! The texture of sweet potato noodles are so addictive. Loved seeing your photos from your explorations.

    • Chef Mimi November 15, 2023 at 3:57 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It was such a great trip.

  6. Raymund November 15, 2023 at 6:01 PM - Reply

    Those noodles are a staple at home, love its texutre and resistance to overcooking. Exploring different cuisines and trying out new ingredients is such a delightful culinary adventure. It’s fantastic that you enjoyed making and eating this dish. I’m sure your exploration into Korean cuisine will lead to many more delightful dishes. Happy cooking!

    • Chef Mimi November 16, 2023 at 6:11 AM - Reply

      As I say – so much food, so little time! But I’m trying!!!

  7. Sherry Mackay November 15, 2023 at 7:58 PM - Reply

    Korea is definitely on my bucket list! I watch several young female korean mukbangers. It is amazing watching them eat kilos of food at a time :)

    • Chef Mimi November 16, 2023 at 6:12 AM - Reply

      Oh interesting! We were mostly in Seoul, but it’s a huge city. The surrounding mountains are gorgeous.

  8. Charlie DeSando November 15, 2023 at 8:27 PM - Reply

    I need to check out the local Asian store for sweet potato noodles

    • Chef Mimi November 16, 2023 at 6:12 AM - Reply

      You do! They’re very good.

  9. Tandy I Lavender and Lime November 15, 2023 at 9:54 PM - Reply

    Another ingredient for me to look for! This sounds delicious.

    • Chef Mimi November 16, 2023 at 6:13 AM - Reply

      Sorry! I always have a list going! I’m constantly inspired by a new ingredient.

  10. David Scott Allen November 16, 2023 at 3:15 PM - Reply

    I have been super curious about sweet potato noodles ever since I heard of them. You have convinced me that it’s time to give them a try! They are perfect for friends who are gluten-free, aren’t they.

    • Chef Mimi November 16, 2023 at 4:03 PM - Reply

      Yes! And I think they’re so pretty. But really, all noodles are pretty to me!

  11. Anonymous November 17, 2023 at 2:51 AM - Reply

    My taste buds are just in an override mode !

    • Chef Mimi November 17, 2023 at 7:39 AM - Reply


  12. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons November 17, 2023 at 10:55 AM - Reply

    This sounds delicious. My mouth is watering. Thank you Mimi, I have saved it and will order those noodles.

    • Chef Mimi November 18, 2023 at 7:13 AM - Reply

      You’ll love the dish!

  13. Debra November 17, 2023 at 7:31 PM - Reply

    I am truly excited about this recipe Mimi. It absolutely makes my mouth water. I’ve never been introduced to sweet potato noodles and I can’t wait to source them! Yum!

    • Chef Mimi November 18, 2023 at 7:13 AM - Reply

      I’m so glad I discovered them!

  14. nancyc November 17, 2023 at 9:16 PM - Reply

    This sounds so good and I love the healthy ingredients in this! The sweet potato noodles sound great, too–I didn’t know there was such a thing!

    • Chef Mimi November 18, 2023 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      I know! Such a great discovery for me.

  15. Jeff the Chef November 18, 2023 at 8:47 AM - Reply

    How cool, sweet potato noodles. I love the look of this dish.

    • Chef Mimi November 19, 2023 at 7:36 AM - Reply

      They’re so fun!

  16. 2pots2cook November 18, 2023 at 9:05 AM - Reply

    Such a great flavours to explore Mimi! Printing to make!

    • Chef Mimi November 19, 2023 at 7:37 AM - Reply

      You’ll love it!

  17. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats November 19, 2023 at 4:26 PM - Reply

    Sweet potato starch noodles are new to me, and this dish definitely makes me want to look for them!
    I always learn something new from your posts. :)

    • Chef Mimi November 20, 2023 at 6:53 PM - Reply

      Aww thanks! I love trying new ingredients!

  18. spicedblog November 20, 2023 at 5:54 AM - Reply

    This sounds fantastic, Mimi! I’ve never come across sweet potato noodles before, but I bet they would give dishes a different flavor profile. Thanks for always sharing new inspiration!!

    • Chef Mimi November 20, 2023 at 6:53 PM - Reply

      They’re very mild, but I love the health aspect of them. Something different from wheat and rice.

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