Vegan Japchae Recipe | 비건 잡채)

Vegan Japchae Recipe

This vegan Japchae (비건 잡채), also known as Korean glass noodles, is a popular and traditional Korean dish, which combines Korean glass noodles made of sweet potato starch, a mixture of cooked vegetables, a umami sauce flavour and protein.

Japchae isn’t traditionally vegan as typically meat is often used for protein, however, can be easily replaced with tofu! So it’s easy to make vegan japchae using tofu!

Recipe for Vegan Japchae

Recipe for Vegan Japchae

To make japchae (aka 잡체), all you need is Korean glass noodles, tofu, vegetables, and sauce ingredients (soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil) to make this delicious Korean dish.

This japchae vegan recipe mimics a traditional Korean glass noodles dish and takes about 20 mins to make! This dish would be fantastic to make as a main meal, a side dish or bring to any sort of potluck!

Korean Japchae

The beauty of this dish is that you can mix together these ingredients and prepare in advance and store it in the fridge for when you are ready to cook it up.

Fun fact: Although Korean vermicelli glass noodles are made of sweet potato starch, the noodles themselves do not taste like sweet potatoes. Instead, the noodles have almost no taste which allows them to soak in all the different flavours we are adding to this dish. They have a unique texture which are super chewy and pleasant and they are also naturally gluten-free!

Cheap Lazy Vegan Japchae

The recipe is vegan, nut-free, egg-free and can be gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce!


Ingredients For Japchae (Vegan)

  • Korean sweet potato vermicelli noodles / Dangmyun
  • Oil
  • Tofu
  • Salt
  • Soy Sauce
  • Mirin (optional)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Roasted Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Vegetables:
    • Bell Pepper
    • Onion
    • Carrots
    • Mushrooms
    • Tofu
    • Spinach

You can customize this japchae recipe as you wish with whatever vegetables you have at home!

Vegan Japchae

How To Make Japchae (Vegan)

To start making your vegan japchae, fill a large mixing bowl with hot or very warm water from your sink (not boiling water) and soak dry Korean sweet potato vermicelli noodles in the warm water for about 15-20 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare all vegetables by slicing onion and bell pepper into thin slices, julienning the carrots and slicing mushrooms. Slice tofu into thin slices.

In a bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, brown sugar, roasted sesame oil and black pepper).

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil on a large non-stick pan or wok on medium-high heat and add onions, bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms. Add 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until mostly cooked. Set aside.

In the same pan, add another 1/2 tbsp oil and add tofu slices. Cook tofu until slightly golden on each side (for about 3-4 minutes) and add soy sauce and mirin to coat. Set aside with the cooked vegetables.

When the noodles are done soaking, drain the water and add the soaked noodles back into the large mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetables, tofu and sauce and mix everything until well combined. Now they are ready to cook. If you want to enjoy these noodles later, keep this mixture in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days to cook later. Letting this marinate for a few hours would also help enhance the flavours. If not, move on to the next step.

When ready to cook, heat around 1/2 tbsp oil on the same large pan on medium-high heat. Add the noodle mixture into the pan (you may have to divide the mixture, depending on the size of your pan) and stir, with a splash of water. If you have a lid, cover and allow to start cooking, stirring frequently.

Add small splashes of water as the noodles begin to cook and soak up more of that moisture. Stir frequently to check that the noodles aren’t sticking to the pan. Keep adding small splashes of water until the noodles are cooked. The texture should be chewy and springy; not mushy but soft enough to chew comfortably. The noodles will cook in about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and add in baby spinach and stir until the spinach is just wilted.

Taste and adjust the flavours accordingly, if needed. Feel free to add more of any of the sauce ingredients, if desired.

Turn off the heat and top with sesame seeds. Serve right away as a main or side dish. I highly recommend enjoying this with vegan kimchi.

Vegan Japchae

VEGAN JAPCHAE

This vegan Japchae (잡채), also known as Korean glass noodles, is a popular and traditional Korean dish that can be made vegan in 20 mins!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean, Vegan
Keyword: glass noodles, Japchae, korean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 522kcal

Equipment

  • Pot or large wok
  • Mixing Bowls large and small
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 300 g Korean sweet potato vermicelli noodles dry, also called Dangmyun
  • 2 tbsp Oil divided, more if needed
  • 1 Bell Pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion medium, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots julienned
  • 1 cup Mushrooms optional
  • 1/2 Block Extra firm Tofu sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mirin optionl
  • 1/2 cup Water (more or less) for cooking
  • 2 cups Baby spinach large handful
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce more to taste (or a gluten-free alternative)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Roasted Sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper

Instructions

  • To start making your vegan japchae, fill a large mixing bowl with hot or very warm water from your sink (not boiling water) and soak dry Korean sweet potato vermicelli noodles in the warm water for about 15-20 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  • Prepare all vegetables by slicing onion and bell pepper into thin slices, julienning the carrots and slicing mushrooms. Slice tofu into thin slices.
  • In a bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, brown sugar, roasted sesame oil and black pepper).
  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil on a large non-stick pan or wok on medium-high heat and add onions, bell pepper, carrots and mushrooms. Add 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until mostly cooked. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, add another 1/2 tbsp oil and add tofu slices. Cook tofu until slightly golden on each side (for about 3-4 minutes) and add soy sauce and mirin to coat. Set aside with the cooked vegetables.
  • When the noodles are done soaking, drain the water and add the soaked noodles back into the large mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetables, tofu and sauce and mix everything until well combined. Now they are ready to cook. If you want to enjoy these noodles later, keep this mixture in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days to cook later. Letting this marinate for a few hours would also help enhance the flavours. If not, move on to the next step.
  • When ready to cook, heat around 1/2 tbsp oil on the same large pan on medium-high heat. Add the noodle mixture into the pan (you may have to divide the mixture, depending on the size of your pan) and stir, with a splash of water. If you have a lid, cover and allow to start cooking, stirring frequently.
  • Add small splashes of water as the noodles begin to cook and soak up more of that moisture. Stir frequently to check that the noodles aren’t sticking to the pan. Keep adding small splashes of water until the noodles are cooked. The texture should be chewy and springy; not mushy but soft enough to chew comfortably. The noodles will cook in about 10 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to low and add in baby spinach and stir until the spinach is just wilted.
  • Taste and adjust the flavours accordingly, if needed. Feel free to add more of any of the sauce ingredients, if desired.
  • Turn off the heat and top with sesame seeds. Serve right away as a main or side dish. I highly recommend enjoying this with vegan kimchi.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 1976mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 7435IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg

NEED MORE VEGAN KOREAN RECIPE INSPO? CHECK THESE OUT:

If you enjoy Korean recipes, try my Korean seaweed rice rolls called Kimbap!

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4 thoughts on “Vegan Japchae Recipe | 비건 잡채)”

  1. 5 stars
    Japchae is one of my favorite Korean foods! So of course I had to make it. I made this a few hours before serving, left it in the fridge and cooked for dinner. It was so delicious and better than restaurants. Highly reconmend.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and so delicious! I sauteed some of the tofu and you gave me the idea to cold smoke some. The cold smoke was enough to enhance the flavor, yum. It made enough for me for two nights and I gave some to my sister. We both agree that it is better than restaurant japchae!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing !! A new staple meal in our home! Super easy to make but so yummy. My husband and I ate the whole batch by ourselves haha!

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