Japchae is a stir-fried dish that combines sweet vermicelli noodles made from the starch of a white sweet potato, thinly slices of beef, and various vegetables. It is usually prepared with carrots, green onion, spinach, shiitake mushrooms and green peppers. Beef may be added as an option but may be left out to be served as a vegetarian dish. The noodles are gray when raw and turn almost translucent when cooked (thus given its popular nickname, glass noodles). When cooked correctly, they retain a chewy texture.
Japchae is often served at Korean parties and during special occasions as the main dish or as a side dish. It can be added to a bed of rice and mixed together to make japchaebop, bop meaning rice.