vegan japchae korean glass noodles

This Vegan Japchae (잡채) recipe is a delicious gluten free and vegetable packed dish ready in under 30 minutes!

vegan japchae korean glass noodles

Hey everyone! First, I just wanted to welcome you to my new and re-branded food blog! You can read more about Okonomi Kitchen, the story behind it and what to expect moving forward but for now, let’s dive into todays delicious recipe: Vegan Japchae. I think as of today, I only have one Korean recipe on the blog which is the Korean BBQ Jackfruit Bowls using my Sugar-Free Korean BBQ Sauce. That needs to change because I LOVE Korean food! Bibimbap, jajamyeon, kimchi, ddukbokki, banchans (korean side dishes)… you name it. SO GOOD!

vegan japchae korean glass noodles ingredients

What is Japchae?

Japchae is a super popular Korean noodle dish you will find at any Korean restaurant. It’s popular for good reason, Japchae uses glass noodles made from sweet potatoes. They have this unique bouncy texture which works perfectly with the crunchy texture from all the vegetables. Typically, meat is used as the protein source but it can easily be replaced with tofu for a vegan or vegetarian version . You can find glass noodles in Asian markets in the Korean aisle, or where they sell all kinds of Asian noodles. They’re also very inexpensive to buy, making this dish really budget friendly!

vegetable sweet potato noodles in a wok

Korean Cooking

Watching my Korean friends parents cook, I learned that it is very common to prepare and cook each ingredient separately. This may sound like a lot of work but if you have the time and patience, it’s totally worth it! You can ensure each ingredient is cooked properly and seasoned well so that nothing is undercooked or over-cooked.

vegan japchae noodles on a white plate

How to make Vegan Japchae

However, if you’re like me (lazy and always in a hurry) you can get away with cooking the vegetables in one pan as you go IF you know how to time each vegetable correctly. I learned to time each vegetable by first cooking each ingredient separately so I highly recommend doing the same so you know what Japchae is suppose to taste like. The perfect Japchae has bouncy noodles, vegetables that retain their structure with a well balanced flavours of sweet, salty and nutty.

vegan japchae korean glass noodles

If you recreate this Vegan Japchae recipe please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

korean glass noodles closeup shot

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vegan japchae korean glass noodles on a white plate

Vegan Japchae

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This Vegan Japchae (잡채) recipe is a delicious gluten free and vegetable packed dish ready in under 30 minutes!


  • 1 package sweet potato noodles (250g)
  • 1 package smoked firm tofu (300g)
  • 1 medium zucchini (200g)
  • 1 small carrot (130g)
  • 1 medium onion (150g)
  • 3 scallion stalks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated
  • large handful of spinach
  • sesame seeds


  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook sweet potato noodles following the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil to coat the noodles, and then use scissors to cut the noodles (around 3-4 times). In the same pot, add in the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds. Rinse with cold water and squeeze the excess liquid out using a towel. Chop the bundled up spinach in half. 
  2. Slice all the vegetables into match stick sized pieces. They should all be relatively the same size. Cut the tofu into thin rectangles.
  3. Put all the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and stir.
  4. In a large wok, over medium high heat fry the smoked tofu with a little bit of sesame oil just until lightly browned on each side. Transfer into another bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same wok, fry onions and garlic for 1 minute. Then add in the shiitake mushrooms and carrot and fry for another minute. Add in the zucchini and scallions and fry for one more minute. Slightly turn down the heat and add in the noodles, spinach tofu and sauce. Toss and cook until all the sauce is all soaked up.
  6. Serve and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.


Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Entree


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 484
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Protein: 16g


vegan korean glass noodle recipe

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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