Korean Glass Noodles – Jap Chae


from the Steamy Kitchen archives….

The software that runs my website has a nifty little feature that tells me what terms people are entering into the search box when they come to Steamy Kitchen. Although smart authors would probably use this information to enhance their site and serve the needs of their readers, the only reason I check this page is for comic relief. Most terms are legit, such as a recipe for jap chae, but at least once a day, I find a gem, something that just makes me giggle. It’s a total mystery why someone would come to my Asian recipes Web site and enter into the search box: “what foods give you spots” and expect that I have the answer!? I doubt if these people ever found what they were searching for on my blog, but I wanted to take the time to address these curious questions and concerns:


  • Egg fried rice secret smell: There should be no secret smell to your fried rice. Maybe you’re using rotten eggs? Dishes that you serve really shouldn’t have secret smells. That’s totally gross.
  • Burger shrink: Thank you, but my hamburgers are emotionally stable. No therapy needed.
  • Horrid Chinese chicken: Most Chinese chickens are pretty nice. Sometimes if you get a mother hen that enjoys nagging and bossing chicks around, yes, then the hen might be a little horrid. But that’s nothing that a bottle of wine can’t handle. That’s how the Chinese came to invent the dish Drunken Chicken.
  • White stuff that goes out of salmon: I don’t know … maybe the salmon has some sort of chickenpox? Bad case of acne? My advice: If your salmon has pus, don’t eat it. But how you landed on my site is a mystery. I’ve never written a recipe for diseased salmon.
  • Chinese chicken cancer: Is this like the Beijing bird flu? Symptoms of the Chinese chicken cancer are: a sudden uncontrollable urge to peck at your computer screen; hair falling out in clumps, leaving you with a mohawk “comb”; strange feeling of wanting to sit on your computer mouse to keep it warm; and, lastly, waking up at the crack of dawn and scaring your mate by screeching “BAAAAKKKAAAACCCCKKKKKK!!!!!” You need professional help. None of my recipes will cure this. And for the rest of you, here’s a recipe for jap chae, the No. 10 most-popular search term on my site. The noodles used in this dish are made from sweet potato starch and become translucent when cooked, which is how they got their English name, “glass noodles.” They are also gluten-free and are wonderfully springy and light. You can use any type of fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake or even the standard button mushroom, but traditionally, dried wood ear mushrooms, found in most Asian markets, are used. Just rehydrate the mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and they will be ready for your stir-fry. I love making this dish in the summertime because you can serve these noodles at room temperature or even slightly chilled. ***

This dish can also be spelled: Jab Chae, Chap Chae. The type of noodles used in this dish is made from sweet potato starch and translucent when cooked, which is how they got their English name, β€œglass noodles.” They are also gluten free and are wonderfully springy and light. I love making this dish in the summertime, because you can serve these noodles at room temperature or even slightly chilled.

You can find them at Asian markets or online at Komart. Glass Noodles Just boil the dried noodles for 5 minutes, drain and toss with sesame oil so that they don’t stick together:

Korean Glass Noodles You can use any type of fresh mushrooms, like shitake or even the standard button mushroom, but traditionally, dried wood ear mushrooms, found in most Asian markets, are used. Just rehydrate the dried wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and they’ll be ready for your stir-fry. The spinach was shy – didn’t want to jump in the group shot.


Stir fry the carrots and onions until softened, oh…about 1 minute…but it really depends on how thin you slice your onions and carrots:

Stir fry carrots and onions

Add garlic, scallions and mushrooms. Fry 30 seconds:

Add garlic, scallions and mushrooms

Then add spinach, noodles, soy sauce, sugar, fry 2-3 minutes until noodles are heated through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil:

Add remaining ingredients

Jap Chae


Jap Chae Korean Glass Noodles Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes


1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1" lengths
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (shiitake or wood ear)
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 8 inches in length. Set aside.

2. In bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking. Fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, scallions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.


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Comments 61

  1. Christie @ fig&cherry

    I’m addicted to the texture of wood ear mushrooms! I just had a mixed mushroom stir fry at my local thai place that features them… Fantastic shot Jaden – makes me wanna dive right into that pile of noodles!

  2. nags

    i think wood year mushrooms are those dry ones that u see in the wet market kept among all the other veggies as opposed to the chiller? well, if it is, then thank you for telling me how to cook them!! i was wondering how to make them softer, so soaking in water seems just the right thing to do (though i really shud have thot of it myself!)

    thanks Jaden πŸ™‚

  3. daphne

    Hehe. Nice summary there Jaden.

    Thanks for the photo of the korean glass noodles as well. I was wondering about that.

  4. Kitt


    Did you know I am the No. 1 hit for “squash porn”? Seriously! And people Google it all the time.

    I don’t want to know what they’re really hoping to find.

  5. Sowjanya

    Not my recipe blog but my other blog got hits for “polygamus relationship”. Don’t ask.

    BTW – regarding your glass noodles – My family wants it once every week πŸ™‚ and my 20 m onth old calls it “noonles”

  6. Grifola frondosa

    I’m thinking **BOOK DEAL**.
    Yep, it’s a natural.

    “The Wit and Wisdom of Jaden Hair”

    Based on a true story of a search for meaning on the top Asian food blog.

    Due out in Fall 2010.

    (Now please pass the noodles)

  7. Bethany

    Hey I need to get this software… it is serious comic relief! I just finished breakfast and I’m off to the superparmet to get the ingredients to make the noodles… I can’t wait!!

  8. Argus Back From Hols

    Funny! Never knew you can look up the words folks use in your search box.
    I’m definitely trying your Chap Choy (my Cantonese version of the phrase) recipe soon while summer lasts. Thanks.

  9. chadzilla

    Not sure about all of the others, but the white stuff that comes out of salmon when you cook it is albumen. It’s not the most attractive look for a piece of fish, and it usually is excreted when roasting of light steaming or poaching.
    There is a way to eliminate it, and that is with a 20% salt brine. The salt somehow ‘fixes’ the surface of the salmon to prevent the osmosis of albumen leaking out (I’m sure you’ve noticed this substance with other meats such as chicken on a sheet pan in the oven).
    Anyway, I touched on the subject some time ago here http://chadzilla.typepad.com/chadzilla/2007/10/brining-salmon-.html. Please divert your readers if necessary. I cannot really help with ‘squash porn’ but I’m sure there’s a place for everyone in cyberspace.

  10. Keith

    The glass noodles look delicious, can’t wait to try making them…. The nerd in me wants to know what plugin your using for the search terms.

  11. Bkhuna

    My goal is now to frequently bring a smile to Jaden’s face by using funny little search phrases.

    Maybe a mistake was made in letting us in on this secret.

    I love Jap Chae and have been craving Korean food for awhile. I’m going to make this dish very soon. I think I can find these noodles when I drive into the city next week.

  12. Veronica

    MMM I will definitely be making a variation of this dish one day. i love glass noodles.

    I am curious about what software you use to run your search terms as well.

  13. Gavin

    That really is an awesome shot, I’ve gotta learn to take better photos…fo sho. Great recipe, and it took less than 5 minutes to cook. That’s what all fast food should be like…

  14. Kaykat

    I almost didn’t get past the BAAAAAAKKKAAAACCCKKKK!!! πŸ™‚

    Love that jap chae, but now I’m wondering … do you think it’ll give me spots?! πŸ™‚

  15. Paula

    Oh yum, I could eat this on a regular basis! I’ve not heard of the sweet potato noodle before. I’ve seen glass noodles, but thought they were derived from mung bean or something like that. Man, now I’m hungry! Great recipe!

  16. White On Rice Couple

    Too funny Jaden! We often get people looking for porno sites from the name….”White humping the rice”. But I often wonder what their reaction is when they end up seeing the food pictures! Nope, no sex at our place, just lots of dog and plant pics.

    I just love jap chae and anything with stir fried glass noodles! I’ve made it a few times after my Korean friends got me hooked on it. I’m totally addicted to Korean food. As a matter of fact, my Korean friend is going to give me a total culinary tour of K-Town in LA, can’t wait!

    I hope you feature some cool Korean dishes in your cookbook. I think Korean food is under-rated. There’s so many dynamics to the cuisine that can satisfy all types of diets! I hope Korean food becomes really big one day, the cuisine deserves it.

  17. Nate

    Hm, I wonder if I should put titilating keywords and phrases to boost my Google Page Rank! Maybe I’ll talk about Jaden’s boob job *snicker*

    Your chap chae shots are really beautiful. The thing I don’t like about it, though, is that the onions are a little too raw for me – they still have that sharp bite. I could use Vidalia or Maui onions but those can be expensive. Do you have suggestions for taking the bite out of the onion?

  18. pablopabla

    Funny! In my chinese hokkien dialect, “Jap Chae” almost sounds like “Chap Chaei” which means “Mixed Vegetables”. There may be some similarities here πŸ˜€

  19. Kelly

    You have the funniest food blog! I love it. Thanks for the noodle recipe as well, your matchstick carrots are particularly admired. I really need to study up on Asian noodles in general (like why my Udon noodles didn’t work so well in my stirfry – maybe I’ll search on your blog!). Anyways, love your work.

  20. Tina Gasperson

    I love the texture of glass noodles but haven’t been able to find the right ones locally. Thanks for sharing!

    Funny stuff.

    Silver and Copper Wirework Artisan

  21. matt wright

    I want to eat this for lunch. Looks great!!!

    As regards white stuff coming out of salmon.. From what I understand, this is usually fat. It seems to happen more when I bake salmon, and the salmon is a bit crappy.

  22. meeso

    :)) Wow, people are awesome! I never had these noodles, but I am bookmarking this because this is something I have to try… It looks so colorful and too yummy! And the noodles are CLEAR!

  23. Lynn

    The noodles look delicious! Just a question – is no one landing on your site with the “Jaden boobs” search anymore? I thought for sure your previous post would have hit the jackpot with that one.

  24. diva

    Chinese chicken cancer?! haha the things people come up with…anyway the glass noodles look really good! love all the colours…gosh i’m hungry.

  25. Ari (Baking and Books)

    Wow, your foodie career has simply exploded since you first entered the food blogging world. Amazing! And totally not surprising, since you are undeniably fabulous.

    TV appearances??? Totally impressed here. You should try to get on the next season of The Next Food Network Star. πŸ™‚

  26. Cricket

    I have bookmarked your blog as a favorite. First the egg rolls, now the jap chae.

    Thank you so much for the recipes and the techniques, and especially the fun.

  27. Marie

    Ooh, I just remembered I bought some of these dried noodles almost a year ago to make jap chae. My laziness got the better of me, but I should really try making it. That photo is quite tantalizing.

  28. City Girl DC

    That picture is absolutely beautiful! I think I’ll print it and put it on my fridge πŸ™‚ I always learn something new on your site. I’ve never even heard of jap chae and now I’m craving it!

  29. zenchef

    I get the same kick out of Google ads. I once wrote two posts on eggs and the next day my google ads switched to ‘egg donors website’. hehe. Come to my blog and donate your eggs!!! πŸ™‚

    Zee glass noodle dish looks delightful Jaden, absolutely gorgeous. Never made something like that, i should!

  30. katie

    I really should look at that feature more often… a little comic relief is always welcome… Now I’m going to go look at my salmon and check for ‘white stuff’.

    Or maybe I’ll just have some noodles!

  31. mochachocolata rita

    yep, not into healthy healthy veggie thing…i am thinking to add the Horrid Chinese chicken and the White stuff that goes out of salmon into my jap chae…i bet i’ll need a burger shrink after THAT!

  32. foodhoe

    oh that looks delicious and your picture really makes me want a plateful now! I love those search terms, I get a lot from sinus or nasal cavity, probably because I’ve mentioned that in relation to wasabi…

  33. Lisa

    This was DELICIOUS! I just had plain old soba noodles but it was delicious nonetheless. The leftovers are coming to work with me tomorrow.

    Maybe I should have made some Horrid Chinese Chicken to go alongside…

  34. Grebby

    The answer to whoever is searching for “fried rice secret smell” is fish sauce. At least that’s the secret to making my fried rice (with Chinese sausage, naturally) smell so good….

  35. John

    Looks yummy, will try for tomorrows meal. LOL which one, I’ll leave that to when my stomach feels “I want what I was craving yesterday.” Thanks for the recipe and your genius.

  36. Lisa

    I had this dish quite a few times and I always loved the mushrooms, mmmm…I am so glad you have this recipe listed. I have wondered what type of mushroom they are and now that I know and I am off to buy some. I am going to be cooking this dish this weekend. Thanks, ;0)

  37. Deb

    Tried this the other night, and thought it was bland. Maybe I got crummy kim chee? Reheated it with garlic-chili sauce; didn’t help much. Oh well!

  38. Hambone

    This recipe is awesome, I am a local chef and my mother in law is a Korean chef/owner in Fairfax, Virginia. She has taught me everything from Kimchee, Jap chae, to sweet and sour wakame and I must say this is as authentic as it gets one of my favorite Korean noodle dishes by far. Thanks for the info, maybe I’ll make some for breakfast.

  39. Nazila

    I searched for this dish on the internet and your recipe is the best one. The photo looks like exactly what I have eaten in the restaurant! Thanks for that, but I’m wondering why you haven’t added the ingrediants list. For example how much and what type of spanich we should use? Is it baby spanich? On the photo it looks like that πŸ˜‰
    Anyway thanks again, I can’t wait to make it!

  40. Doreen

    Have you every heard of “chicken long rice”? Seems years ago my friends mother, whom was Hawaiian, used to make this, I think these were the same noodles, any help?

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