Sweet Potato Noodles

Sweet potato noodles are made from the starch of sweet potatoes. (Not to be confused with bean thread, also known as cellophane noodles, which are made from mung beans.)

Found in Asian markets (not yet available in the neighborhood grocery stores). Sold dried in plastic bag. The package at right weighs 400 grams (14.11 ounces).

Parboil before using in recipes.

If you had the classical Korean noodle dish, Japchae, at a Korean restaurant, this is the noodle in the dish.

Above photo: Sweet potato noodles. Top: uncooked. Buttom cooked and cooled.
Right photo: Sweet potato noodles cooked but not cooled.
Uncooked: light tan/gray color, translucent
Cooked: more translucent that dry form. Clear when hot; turns a slightly tan/grayish color when cooled (above photo).
Uncooked: Dry and brittle, easy to break into shorter lengths.
Cooked:  Chewy and kind of springy (reminds me of rubber band)
Uses: Stir-fries and soup.
Bland tasting, absorb the flavors from other ingredients.
Gluten free, can be substituted for wheat noodles (example: Chinese lo mein noodles).  I used it as a substitute for spaghetti in my Spaghetti & Meatballs and it was good.

Sweet Potato Noodles Stir-Fried with Chicken & Veggies

Adapted from “My Students’ Favorite Chinese Recipes updated edition” by Norma Chang

Ingredients (serves 4)
½ – 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken meat, thinly sliced
1 – 1½ tablespoons regular or gluten free soy sauce
1 – 2 tablespoons ginger wine or pale dry sherry and a few slices fresh ginger
½ teaspoon brown suger or honey
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a mixing bowl, combine all the above. Can be done the day before and kept refrigerated.

 200 grams (7 – 8 ounces) sweet potato noodles, break into smaller sections. Parboiled 7 – 8 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water, drain again and set aside
1 -2 pounds vegetables (I used nappa and broccoli) cut into bite-sized pieces
1 – 2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, clean and thinly sliced
 3 tablespoons oil
1 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce, regular or gluten free combined with 2 tablespoons broth
1 – 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1. Add 1 tablespoon oil to preheated wok or frying pan. Add salt, vegetables, carrots and onion. Stir-fry until slightly under desired doneness. Remove to clean plate.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok, add garlic, stir-fry few seconds, add chicken, stir-fry until chicken is cooked. Remove to a clean plate.
3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok, add cooked sweet potato noodles, Stir-fry until noodles are heated through, add soy sauce mixture and mix well (add sooner if noodles are sticking).
4. Add chicken and vegetables, stir-fry until everything is incorporated. Stir in sesame oil, adjust taste, garnish with scallion, serve hot. (The scallion in my garden was not looking good but the cilantro was so used cilantro instead.)

I like to have the following condiments at the table for diners to help themselves: chili oil or chili sauce,  unseasoned rice vinegar or red vinegar.

Add: 2 – 3 tablespoons dried cranberries & 2 – 3 tablespoons toasted nuts of choice (I used pecans)

For a soy-free version
Substitute: ½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt for the soy sauce used to marinate the chicken
Leave out: soy sauce and broth mixture
Add: 1 – 3 teaspoons (or more) curry powder
Add: ½ cup chicken broth.
Preparations: step 3: Add curry powder to oil, stir-fry 10 – 20 seconds or till fragrant. Add broth, bring to a boil, add noodles, mix well. When noodles are heated through  continue to step 4.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.


About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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58 Responses to Sweet Potato Noodles

  1. Daphne says:

    I’d never heard of sweet potato noodles before. Interesting.

  2. I love those noodles Norma and frequently order them out but have never actually cooked with them. This sounds really delicious!

  3. Patsy says:

    We have a number of Asian groceries around here. I’ll have to see if I can find sweet potato noodles and try your recipe, because it certainly looks delicious!

  4. I miss sweet potato noodles…need to visit Asian stores soon. The stir-fry looks very tasty, Norma.

  5. Mmmm I have never had the pleasure to try such delicious noodle 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. Sophie33 says:

    We can buy these sweet potato noodles in our largeer Asian supermarket. I never knew what to do with them in my kitchen dishes, Now, I do! Thanks for the explanations too! A great & appetizing recipe!

  7. hotlyspiced says:

    I’ve never had sweet potato noodles. I didn’t even know you could buy them. I’ll look out for these the next time I visit the Asian supermarket and give them a try. Lovely looking stir-fry, Norma xx

  8. Charles says:

    Oh wow, I had no idea japchae was made with sweet potato noodles. Ok, now I actually feel like I have to go and get some and make it myself (I *love* japchae so much!). Thanks Norma!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      Now you know. Are sweet potato noodles readily available in your area? Your Asian market may or may not carry the same brand mentioned in my post.

      • Charles says:

        Hi Norma, I’m not sure – I’ll ask my Korean friend what she suggests. She used to make wonderful japchae regularly so she’ll be able to point me in the right direction (she moved to the US, hence the past tense).

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Charles,
        If it is not available at the Asian market, next time you visit your favorite Korean restaurant, ask the manager if he would sell you some, if he has no extra, my be he could add extra to his shopping list for you.

  9. leduesorelle says:

    I use to live on sushi and japchae when I lived in New York, and have such cravings for these now that I’ve moved away! Like Charles, I’ll have to make japchae myself if I want to have it… Thanks, Norma for the sweet potato noodle tutorial!

  10. Very Interesting Noodles. I didn’t even know they existed. Awesome!

  11. I like the sound of a noodle dish with all of these vegetables, Norma — and, in this case, even the noodles are made of vegetables. Nice for cold weather, or rain, which we are having today.

  12. Eha says:

    A huge thank you from a gal who seems to live on stirfies but has never even heard of sweet potato noodles [since I also live on sweet potato and love ‘non-white’ noodles, shall shop around in a hurry 🙂 !] Also absolutely love your recipe, tho’ I am more into leek/zucchini/bok choi/ red pepper/Asian mushie combos as a rule. Have tried all the sherries: actually settled on our medium dry for the flavour I liked. Sometimes add nuts, just must try cranberries – isn’t fusion fun 😀 !

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      Zucchini, bok choy, sweet peppers ….. are all good to add to the dish. I used broccoli and cabbage because that’s what I had in the fridge. Give me feed back after you try the noodles.

  13. Never heard of these. I’ll have to look for them!

  14. ChgoJohn says:

    Like so many others, I’d no idea that sweet potatoes could be used to make noodles and you dish is very appealing. I sure wish we lived near each other, Norma, so, that we could go to the Asian markets together. I could learn so much from you!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I am the one who could learn so much from you – cheese making, pasta making, all things Italian ….. If we lived near each other I would not need to cook, just ring your doorbell at meal time.

  15. If I have ever eaten a sweet potato noodle I didn’t know it at the time. I’m looking forward to giving them a try.

  16. Lrong says:

    This is good stuff… usually have it when visiting Korean restaurants…

  17. That is a very interesting post to me, Norma, as I make my baby steps into Asian cooking. Thank you for describing those noodles. And photo of the package also helps to identify it in the stores.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      Since you like to experiment and try new things, I think you will like those noodles. You may or may not find the same brand in your local Asian markets, read the label.

  18. Sammie says:

    What a delicious looking noodle dish! I’m a huge fan of japchae so I can imagine how wonderful this has to taste!! Yumm!

  19. Norma, I love this dish, and I’m sure these noodles are better for us than the usual wheat or rice versions. I didn’t know they came dried – thank you for the heads up! I’m going to look out for them, and then try your recipe (I just wish the packaging had some English on it!) 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      I have only seen sweet potato noodles in dried form. There is English on the package, very small compared to the Korean.You may or may not find the same brand in your local Asian market, so will need to read the label.

  20. Liz says:

    I will now seek out Sweet Potato noodles, I do like the idea of this dish as I am a big fan of noodle stir fries.

  21. I’ll add my name to the list of folks that hadn’t heard of these noodles before your post, Norma. I love the idea of them and it inspires me to want to get some and do a stir fry. Your dish looks delicious and I love the variations your offer for it, too. Yum!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      Hope you are able to find sweet potato noodles in your area, the brand may not be the same though. Looking forward to receiving feedback. I try to remember to add variations whenever possible so readers have more choices.

  22. I’ve never heard of these, I would imagine they are much healthier than the other noodles I’ve tried. It is also interesting that they are not colored like a sweet potato. I think your recipe looks wonderful and imparted the noodles with just the right color! It looks wonderfully delicious! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      I don’t know if this is much healthier than other noodles. The texture is very different though. About the color, my guess is when the starch is extracted the color is lost. The question is, are all the nutrients lost also?????

  23. Michelle says:

    Hi Norma, Interesting post thank you 🙂 I was wondering what the exact ingredients of sweet potato noodles are, can you tell me? I’m on a no-carb diet and I’m allowed sweet potato chips.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Michelle,
      The list of ingredient on the package I bought list only Sweet Potato Starch. Hope this help.
      I think you will find the recipe in my today’s post fits you dietary needs.

      • Michelle says:

        Thanks so much for your reply Norma, I’m definitely going to be having some! My boyfriend likes any dish with mince and is on the diet with me – do you have a mince recipe that includes sweet potato noodles?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Michelle,
        When you say “mince” do you mean “ground” meat?

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Norma,
        Yes – “ground” meat is exactly right.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Michelle,
        Go to https://gardentowok.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/turkey-again-leftover-turkey-recipe-3/
        Substitute sweet potato noodles for the lo mein noodles
        Substitute 12 – 16 ounces ground meat for the cooked turkey
        Add the preparation step below between 2 & 3:
        Saute some chopped onion, minced garlic and a few slices fresh ginger in a tablespoon of oil until onion is translucent.
        Add ground meat, saute until cooked, adding broth or water as needed to prevent burning.

        Continue with step 3.
        Let me know if this what you are looking for and if you have any problem with this instruction.

  24. corinne3d says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and all the feedback on these noodles Norma! I eat Paleo and do not eat grains so finding these noodles at a Korean restaurant last night was a real treat. I will look for them in our local Asian markets and finally have my favourite food back in my diet: pasta! I love Asian food too and will use these in place of all noodles for the recipes I make. Although they are chewier than rice noodles I am not complaining, they were delicious! I hope they will soon make sweet potato paper wrappers for soft rolls!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Corinne,
      You are welcome. Sweet potato paper wrappers is a great idea, who knows, it may appear on the market soon, I will keep my eye open for it. Thanks for stopping by.

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