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The Best Way To Keep & Reheat Japchae [Pics]

Japchae, also known as chapchae (잡채), is a super delicious and addictive Korean glass noodle dish. I’m sure you know this already, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

If you’ve recently made more Japchae than you can handle, you may be wondering what the best method of keeping and reheating it later is.

I have personally experimented with several different reheating methods to ensure that the glass noodles retain their chewy and elastic texture without sticking together or turning to mush.

In this article, I cover:

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The best way to reheat japchae

The best way to reheat japchae is in a skillet with a drizzle of sesame oil. Bring the skillet to a low heat and add the leftover japchae and a tablespoon of sesame oil. Stir the japchae continuously for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.

Reheating japchae on a low heat helps to ensure that the noodles stay intact and don’t turn to mush.

How to reheat japchae in a skillet:

  1. Add one tablespoon of sesame to a skillet and bring to a low heat.
  2. Gently add the japchae and stir continuously for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once the japchae has fully reheated, serve immediately.

If you are cooking the japchae from frozen, add a couple of minutes to the cooking time above.

Verdict

This is my favorite way to reheat japchae. Using a low heat really preserves the texture of the noodles and gently brings out the rest of the flavors in the dish.

This method is best if you’re planning to serve the japchae at a buffet later in the day. This is opposed to microwaving which can turn the food quite hard and chewy if not consumed immediately (more on this in the next section).

Reheating japchae in the microwave

To reheat japchae in the microwave, first, place it into a microwave-safe bowl. Next, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the japchae and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Reheat on full power in 15-second increments until piping hot. Let the japchae rest for 30 seconds before serving immediately.

How to reheat japchae in the microwave:

  1. Place the japchae into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Optional: drizzle on sesame oil to taste.
  3. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water over the japchae.
  4. Cover the bowl loosely in plastic wrap, ensuring space for trapped steam to escape.
  5. Microwave the japchae on full power for 45-60 seconds. Increase the time in 15 second increments if needed. Frozen japchae will need longer.
  6. Let the japchae rest for 30 seconds and then serve immediately.

Verdict

Overall the microwave is a fairly solid way of reheating japchae. The noodles were a little mushier from the microwave – but I see it as a trade-off between convenience and perfect results.

The skillet reheating method still produces the best results overall, but if you’re short on time the microwave still does a solid job.

Try to eat the microwaved japchae immediately as it has a tendency of going hard and chewy if left for too long.

How to store japchae

The best way to store japchae is in the refrigerator. First, divide the japchae up into individual portions. Next, place each portion into an airtight container. Japchae stored in this way can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Japchae can also be frozen. See below for complete details.

Freezing japchae

To freeze japchae, first divide the dish into individual portions. Next, place each japchae portion into a labeled freezer bag and remove any excess air. For best results, use the frozen japchae within three months.

When japchae freezes, it will form one big clump. That’s why I suggest pre-portioning it before freezing.

To defrost japchae, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight. However, if you need to defrost japchae quickly, you have two options:

  • Place the freezer bag of japchae into a bowl of cold water. Usually it will defrost in less than 30 minutes.
  • Reheat the japchae directly from frozen. Just increase the reheating times slightly to factor this in.

How long does japchae last?

Japchae will last 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

For longer-term storage, you can freeze japchae where it will last for up to 3 months.

Japchae is traditionally served at room temperature. However, this can pose some food safety risks if the dish is left out for too long.

According to the FDA, cooked food should be left out for a maximum of 2 hours. This is reduced to 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F (32°C).

If you plan on serving your japchae at room temperature, make sure to plan ahead so that the dish isn’t in the ‘danger zone’ for over 2 hours.

Can japchae be eaten cold?

Japchae can absolutely be eaten cold. It’s quite common to serve Japchae at room temperature. That’s one of the reasons it’s such a popular buffet addition – there’s no need to keep it warm.

I recommend at least allowing your refrigerated japchae to come up to room temperature before eating. Sure, it’s edible cold, but it’s just more pleasant at an ambient temperature.

How to keep japchae noodles from sticking together

Dangmyeon (the Korean name for the noodles in japchae) can stick together and clump if left sitting for a while.

To prevent dangmyeon from sticking together, lightly toss them in oil after cooking. I prefer sesame oil for this, but any oil will work fine. Remember, you only need a very light coating of oil for this to work.

The BEST Way To Reheat Japchae

Japchae, also known as chapchae (잡채), is a super delicious and addictive Korean glass noodle dish. I’m sure you know this already, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.
If you’ve recently made more Japchae than you can handle, you may be wondering what the best method of keeping and reheating it later is.
I have personally experimented with several different reheating methods to ensure that the glass noodles retain their chewy and elastic texture without sticking together or turning to mush.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 1 person
Calories 290 kcal

Equipment

Skillet

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion japchae
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or any other oil
  • 2 tablespoons water optional

Instructions
 

  • Add one tablespoon of sesame to a skillet and bring to a low heat.
  • Gently add the japchae and stir continuously for 3-5 minutes.
  • Once the japchae has fully reheated, serve immediately.
  • If you are cooking the japchae from frozen, add a couple of minutes to the cooking time above.

Nutrition

Serving: 255gCalories: 290kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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