Potato Starch Noodle Stir Fry (Japchae)

One of my favorite sides to order at a restaurant. I’m happily surprised at how easy it is to make at home. The recipe for Japchae takes your standard stir fry dish, adds flavored tare, and adds potato starch noodles.

Potato starch noodles are, by default, gluten free! But like all packaged noodles, be sure to check the ingredients list. I have less trouble with this when buying Korean-brand potato starch noodles, but Chinese brands can have varietals that also include corn starch (whether that corn starch is used in the noodles themselves or are just dusted on the outside for noodle separation in the packaging I can’t be 100% sure).

organic packaged potato starch noodles
Korean brands of potato starch noodles even offer organic options.
boiled potato starch noodles
Once boiled, potato starch noodles expand slightly and become slippery and chewy.

For the homemade version, I used less soy sauce and less sweetener to “lighten it up” a bit. I also swapped the sugar for maple syrup, which does not alter the flavor at all in this recipe (maple is too mild a flavor compared to soy sauce or garlic).

As for serving, I’ve seen this eaten as a main and a side dish. Just depends what kind of mood you’re in. 馃槈

Jap chae with beef

Jap Chae (Korean potato starch noodle stir fry)

A gluten free stir fry noodle dish that's has a chewy bite. A very popular dish in Korean restaurants.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4


  • 1 large pot for boiling noodles
  • 1 large non-stick pan for stir frying


  • 1 bundle Korean potato starch noodles approx 4 oz (1/4 lb)
  • 1 julienned carrot
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup julienned zucchini other green vegetables also work, including spinach
  • 4 oz beef i.e. sirloin, rib eye, etc
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms i.e. oyster mushrooms, king oyster, shiitake, shimeji
  • 2 green onions cut into 2-in strips
  • 1 TBSP olive oil or other oil of choice

Japchae Sauce

  • 2 TBSP gluten free tamari or use soy sauce if you can tolerate gluten
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup or other sweetener of choice
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 TBSP sake
  • 1 pinch black pepper or to taste


Prep Steps

  • In a large pot, boil water and add the potato starch noodles to cook per package instructions (approx 6 minutes boiling). Strain the water, rinse under cold water, and set the noodles aside.
    1 bundle Korean potato starch noodles
  • If you're vegetables aren't sliced already, slice the onion, julienne the carrot and zucchini, and cut the mushrooms to match the matchstick size of the other vegetables as best as possible (this will depend what mushroom you're using. For oyster mushrooms, use your hands to tear the mushrooms lengthwise into strips).
    1 julienned carrot, 1/4 cup sliced onion, 1/2 cup julienned zucchini, 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, 2 green onions
  • Cut the beef into small bite-sized strips too, as close to that matchstick size as well.
    4 oz beef
  • Mix all the Japchae Sauce ingredients together and set aside.
    2 TBSP gluten free tamari, 2 TBSP maple syrup, 2 TBSP sesame oil, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 TBSP sake, 1 pinch black pepper, 1 TBSP roasted sesame seeds

Stir Frying Steps

  • In a non-stick skillet on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add in onions and carrots and cook until onions become translucent.
    1/4 cup sliced onion, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 julienned carrot
  • Add in zucchini and cook, moving the ingredients until zucchini is glistening (aka. halfway cooked). Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
    1/2 cup julienned zucchini
  • In the same pan, add the beef and mushrooms and 1/2 of the Japchae sauce. Cook and move the ingredients around until most of the liquid has evaporated.
    4 oz beef, 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • Add the noodles and rest of the sauce. Stir and flip the contents around carefully and constantly to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom as it absorbs the sauce and the sauce evaporates.
    1 bundle Korean potato starch noodles
  • Once the sauce has mostly evaporated again, return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Add the green onion and toss to coat for ~1 min. Turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot or cold (I love these noodles cold).
Keyword noodles, stir fry

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