Close this search box.
Spinach: The New Japchae Side Dish

Spinach: The New Japchae Side Dish

Spinach: The New Japchae Side Dish

Discovering the Beauty of Spinach in Korean Cuisine

Buckle up, my friends, because I’m about to take you on a delicious journey through the world of Korean cuisine. Today, we’re diving deep into the remarkable transformation of a humble green leaf – spinach – and its newfound role as the star player in the beloved dish, japchae.

From Sidekick to Showstopper

It all started when I stumbled upon a recipe for traditional japchae on My Korean Kitchen. As I read through the instructions, I was struck by the meticulous attention to detail – the separate cooking of each ingredient to enhance its individual flavor and texture. But then, something caught my eye. Tucked away in the ingredient list was a simple addition that would change the game: spinach.

Unleashing the Power of Spinach

Now, I know what you’re thinking – spinach? In my japchae? Hear me out, my curious friends. This isn’t your average spinach side dish. No, this is spinach elevated to a whole new level. Let me explain.

The secret lies in the way the spinach is prepared. By sautéing it with a blend of sesame oil, soy sauce, and a touch of sugar, the spinach takes on a rich, savory-sweet flavor that perfectly complements the other components of the dish. But the real magic happens when it’s tossed with the chewy, bouncy glass noodles and the tender, flavorful beef.

A Harmonious Fusion of Flavors

As I sat down to my first bite of this spin on japchae, I was transported. The interplay of textures – the crunchy vegetables, the slippery noodles, and the tender beef – created a symphony of sensations in my mouth. And then there was the flavor. The sweetness of the noodles, the savory umami of the beef, and the bold, earthy notes of the spinach all came together in perfect harmony.

Kimchi Mari describes japchae as a “sweet and savory Korean noodle dish,” and this new spinach-infused version takes that balance to new heights. The spinach adds a richness and depth of flavor that elevates the entire dish, making it a true showstopper.

Reinventing a Classic

As I delved deeper into the world of Korean cuisine, I discovered that this spinach-enhanced japchae is more than just a tasty side dish – it’s a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of Korean chefs. Stella n’ Spice notes that Koreans have a long tradition of using spinach as a side dish, but incorporating it into a beloved staple like japchae is a modern twist that showcases the versatility of this humble ingredient.

A Culinary Adventure Awaits

So, my fellow food adventurers, if you’re ready to embark on a delicious journey through the flavors of Korea, I invite you to try this spinach-infused japchae. Trust me, once you’ve tasted the harmony of these bold, complementary flavors, you’ll never look at spinach the same way again.

Gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to be amazed. Who knows, this might just become your new favorite way to enjoy the classic japchae. Bon appétit!

Spinach-Infused Japchae: A Recipe for Flavor Exploration

RecipeTin Eats offers a comprehensive guide to making traditional japchae, but with the addition of our star ingredient – spinach. Let’s dive in and discover the magic.


  • 8 oz (250g) sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon)
  • 1 lb (500g) beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Marinate the Beef: In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, and a pinch of black pepper. Mix well and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.

  2. Prepare the Spinach: In a small bowl, mix the spinach with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Set aside.

  3. Cook the Noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato noodles and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

  4. Stir-Fry the Vegetables: In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  5. Cook the Beef: In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the marinated beef and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  6. Sauté the Spinach: In the same pan, add the prepared spinach mixture and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and fragrant.

  7. Combine the Dish: In a large bowl, combine the cooked noodles, beef, vegetables, and sautéed spinach. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Toss gently to coat everything evenly.

  8. Serve and Enjoy: Transfer the spinach-infused japchae to a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve hot and enjoy the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

So there you have it, my friends – a reinvented classic that’s sure to wow your taste buds. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this extraordinary spin on the beloved japchae. Happy cooking!