November 2022 update: Yeah, these noodles are terrible!
In Korean, these noodles are called 잡채 (jap-chae). In English, I suppose they would be called glass noodles …? They’re brownish in color and kind of transparent.
But I love these noodles!! I could eat them all day. Unfortunately, if I do that, I will almost certainly die.
I already know that spicy Korean pork has a pretty minimal effect on my blood sugar (because I tested, tested, and tested), so to make this a meal I measured out 200g (a bit less than 1/2 a pound) of spicy pork and 200g of the glass noodles.
Here are the results.
Blood sugar reading before eating: 93
This reading of 93 was after work, so I hadn’t eaten in a long while.
Blood sugar reading after eating: 285
This reading was about an hour after I finished my glass noodles.
Also, OH MY GOD!!!! 285? Are you F-ing kidding me?
Just for the sake of science, and also because I had some more pork in the fridge, I decided to test my blood sugar the next day with just 200g of pork.
The results, as I knew they would be, were very mild. 97 → 116.
So yeah. There are various kinds of Korean food that are great for diabetics, but not this one! Do NOT eat glass noodles if you are diabetic. If you are a Korean with diabetes, 잡체 먹지마요!
UPDATE: I didn’t want to throw away these delicious noodles, so I decided to do another test. This time, I ate just 100g of the noodles.
The results? One hour after eating the noodles … 118 → 148.
That’s weird! 200g of these noodles (along with 200g of spicy pork) sent me from 93 to 285. I was expecting an increase of maybe 80-100 since I ate half the amount of my first test, but my blood sugar only went up by 30. I’ll have to try this again while the noodles are still edible.
Thanks for the heads up! Was it the same batch of jap-chae? If so it might be a chemical phenomenon that turns the noodle starch into resistant starch, which lowers the effect on the blood sugar. It happens with boiled potatoes when they cool down, so might happen with sweet potato noodles aswell?
Yes, it was the same batch of jap-chae. Never heard of that starch thing, but … who knows, maybe? Anyway, thanks for commenting!
The glass noodles are sweet potatoe starch. The raise blood sugar slowly. The sauce is made with brown sugar amd soy sauce. If you made the sauce with coconut sugar instead, the reaction would be different. Also, add more veg. Very healthy if made right.
Hi Theresa, sounds like you know a lot more about these noodles than I do! I have no idea how to make them myself, so I guess I’ll just have to avoid them altogether … or *maybe* eat them in small quantities only. Thanks for commenting!
Another version of those “glass noodles” which I bought from HMart, Bayside, NY is “Jinga Korean Noodles W/ Veggies” . Nutrition Facts – 5 servings, serving size 3/5 cup, 70 g.; 110 calories and 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber per serving; ingredients include vermicelli noodles and shiitake mushrooms; 110 calories, 11 g per serving. I reheat it with assorted fried fish balls and some oyster sauce. Doesn’t spike my blood sugar that much.
Hi Ed, thanks for the tip! I’ve never seen these glass noodles that you speak of, but I’m open to eating any noodles that won’t kill me. I miss noodles. A lot.
Add erythritol or Stevia to the soy sauce for Japchae noodles. The pork mentioned doesn’t have any carbs and won’t spike glucose. It’s the cane sugar I. The sauce that spiked your sugar. But, if you have high triglycerides or diabetes, use all carbs in moderation or not at all.
One serving per my package of sweet potato noodles is 50 g. That aligns with the Korean recipe I make.
Sorry I meant to write more. So hopefully you tried again with half the batch and had better success. They really are delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Oh I definitely didn’t make my japchae! I’m not nearly that talented or determined. But if you can make it so that it doesn’t hit the glucose too hard, then that’s great! I’d be happy to publish your recipe and any glucose results if you’d like to share.