Is Korean glass noodles gluten-free?

Quick Answer

Korean glass noodles, also known as dangmyeon or sweet potato noodles, are generally gluten-free as they are made from sweet potato starch rather than wheat. However, it’s important to check the label as some brands may contain other ingredients that are not gluten-free.

What are Korean glass noodles?

Korean glass noodles, known as dangmyeon in Korean, are long, thin noodles made from sweet potato starch and water. They are called “glass” noodles because of their translucent, glass-like appearance when cooked.

Some key facts about Korean glass noodles:

  • Made from sweet potato starch, not wheat
  • Translucent and gelatinous texture
  • Sold dried in bundles as thin, brittle strands
  • Rehydrate in water before cooking
  • Common in Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines
  • Used in soups, stir-fries, salads, and side dishes

Compared to regular wheat noodles, Korean glass noodles have a smoother, chewier texture and are nuttier and sweeter in flavor. Their translucent appearance allows them to absorb the flavors of the ingredients they are cooked with.

Are Korean glass noodles gluten-free?

Since Korean glass noodles are made from sweet potato starch, not wheat, they are inherently gluten-free.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine.

However, some Korean noodle brands may contain other ingredients that are not gluten-free, such as:

  • Flours from gluten-containing grains
  • Starch made from gluten-containing grains
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Soy sauce (unless marked gluten-free)
  • Flavorings and seasonings containing gluten

So while the sweet potato starch itself is gluten-free, it’s important to read the ingredient list and double check that no gluten-containing ingredients were added.

When in doubt, look for a gluten-free certification label from organizations like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) on the packaging.

Benefits of Korean glass noodles

Here are some of the top benefits of Korean glass noodles:

  • Gluten-free – Safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance
  • Low calorie – About 100 calories per 4 oz serving
  • Low carb – Around 21g net carbs per 4 oz, mostly from starch
  • High in manganese – Provides 20% DV of this essential mineral
  • Contains iron – 15% DV iron per serving
  • Rich in vitamin B6 & C – Help support immunity and metabolism
  • High fiber – Around 3-4g per serving to support digestion
  • Versatile ingredient – Works well in both savory and sweet dishes

In addition to vitamins and minerals, Korean glass noodles provide a gluten-free source of carbohydrates and fiber. Their versatility makes them a useful alternative to wheat noodles.

Are all brands of Korean glass noodles gluten-free?

While the main ingredient – sweet potato starch – is naturally gluten-free, other ingredients added during manufacturing may contain traces of gluten.

Some brands that contain gluten additives include:

  • Paldo Kokumi Glass Noodles – contain wheat-based ingredients
  • Ottogi Potato Starch Noodles – may contain hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Samyang Ramen Noodles – some flavors contain wheat

However, many major Korean noodle brands offer verified gluten-free options, such as:

  • Sweet Potato Vermicelli by Korean Kitchen
  • Annie Chun’s Glass Noodles
  • Three Ladies Brand Sweet Potato Starch Noodles
  • Omija Foods Organic Sweet Potato Noodles

Checking for a gluten-free label from GFCO, as well as reading the ingredients instead of relying on the product name, are the best ways to determine if a brand of glass noodles is gluten-free. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

How to cook Korean glass noodles

Cooking Korean glass noodles takes only a few simple steps:

  1. Soak – Place dry noodles in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak 5-10 minutes until pliable.
  2. Drain – Drain soaked noodles well in a colander.
  3. Brief boil – Boil noodles 1 minute in lightly salted water.
  4. Rinse – Rinse noodles under cold water 1 minute to stop cooking.
  5. Use in dishes – Add rinsed noodles to soups, stir fries, etc. No further cooking needed.

The noodles cook quickly, so avoid overcooking or they can become mushy. Their translucent appearance allows them to take on the color of sauces and seasonings easily.

Some delicious ways to use cooked Korean glass noodles include:

  • Hot and sour glass noodle soup
  • Spicy Korean japchae noodle stir fry
  • Glass noodle salad with vegetables
  • Sesame glass noodle poke bowl
  • Pad Thai with glass noodles instead of rice noodles

The chewy texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor make them perfect for both savory and sweet applications. They work well in soups, stir fries, salads, and even desserts.

Finding Korean glass noodles in grocery stores

Korean glass noodles can be found in the Asian section or gluten-free section of many major grocery stores. Some stores that carry them include:

  • Whole Foods – Several gluten-free brands like Annie Chun’s
  • Walmart – Great Value brand Sweet Potato Vermicelli
  • HEB – HEB organic sweet potato glass noodles
  • Safeway – Thai Kitchen sweet potato noodles
  • Publix – Three Ladies brand

Specialty Asian supermarkets will have the largest selection of brands and package sizes. Online stores like Amazon also carry a wide variety of Korean glass noodle options.

When shopping in person, check labels carefully for gluten-free certification and ingredients. Purchase plain glass noodles, then flavor them yourself at home.

Price of Korean glass noodles

The price of Korean glass noodles varies by brand, package size, and where you shop. On average, expect to pay:

  • Grocery stores – $1.50 to $3 per 3-5 ounce package
  • Asian supermarkets – $1 to $2 per 1 pound package
  • Online – $0.75 to $1.25 per 3 ounce package

Glass noodles are relatively inexpensive, especially when purchased in bulk at an Asian supermarket. They can provide a cost-effective gluten-free pasta alternative at less than $1 per serving.

Certain specialty brands that are certified organic, non-GMO, or fair trade may cost a little more. But there are plenty of affordable options for most budgets.

Making your own glass noodles is also very economical. Simply purchase sweet potato starch for around $0.20 per ounce and mix with water.

Nutrition facts for Korean glass noodles

One serving or 4 ounces (113g) of prepared Korean sweet potato glass noodles has approximately:

Calories 106
Protein 0g
Fat 0g
Net carbs 21g
Fiber 4g

Glass noodles are naturally low in calories, fat, and protein. Their main source of nutrition comes from carbohydrates.

They also provide:

  • 20% DV Manganese
  • 15% DV Iron
  • 9% DV Vitamin B6
  • 7% DV Vitamin C

Plus a small amount of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin K, and B vitamins.

Overall, Korean sweet potato glass noodles offer essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and gluten-free carbohydrates. They make a nutrient-dense addition to many dishes.

Are Korean glass noodles healthy?

Yes, Korean glass noodles can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation as part of an overall balanced meal plan.

Some of the health benefits of Korean glass noodles include:

  • Gluten-free – Suitable for gluten intolerance or celiac disease
  • Low glycemic index – Do not spike blood sugar levels
  • High in nutrients – Provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Satiating – Help prolong feelings of fullness
  • Versatile – Allow creativity in healthy meal planning
  • Low calorie – Support healthy weight management

Compared to wheat-based noodles, they are lower in carbohydrates and calories while being higher in beneficial nutrients like iron and manganese.

However, moderation is key as overconsumption may lead to excess calories, carbs, and blood sugar spikes. 1-2 servings makes a good side dish.

Overall, enjoying Korean glass noodles as part of a vegetable-focused diet can be a healthy choice for most people. They provide a tasty gluten-free carb option.

Potential downsides of Korean glass noodles

While Korean glass noodles can be included as part of a healthy eating pattern for most people, there are some potential downsides to consider:

  • High processed carb content – May not be suitable for low-carb, keto, or diabetic diets
  • Low protein – Not a good meal replacement alone
  • Low nutrients – Minimal protein, healthy fats, or micronutrients
  • Easy to overeat – Can quickly increase calorie and carb intake
  • Limited uses – Not as versatile as other traditional noodle types
  • Contains FODMAPs – May irritate IBS or digestive issues for some

People following specific diets like keto may want to limit glass noodle intake due to the high net carb content from starch. Those with IBS or digestive issues may also need to watch portion sizes.

Overall, glass noodles are best enjoyed in moderation as part of an otherwise balanced diet and lifestyle. Having them occasionally or as a side dish is recommended over a main course.

Homemade Korean glass noodles

It’s easy to make Korean-style glass noodles at home with just a few ingredients:


  • 1 cup sweet potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Mix sweet potato and tapioca starch in a bowl. Create a well in the center.
  2. Pour water and salt into the well. Mix and knead until a shaggy dough forms.
  3. On a floured surface, roll dough into a long snake. Cut into noodles.
  4. Let noodles air dry for 30 mins until hard. Store in an airtight container.
  5. To cook – soak, boil briefly, rinse, and use in recipes.

The noodles can be rolled to any thickness and cut into whatever shape desired. Drying gives them the proper chewy, glass-like texture.

Adding extra ingredients like turmeric, beet juice, or matcha powder creates fun colored noodles. Let your creativity run wild!


Korean glass noodles provide a nutritious gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat-based noodles. Made from only sweet potato starch and water, they are inherently gluten-free and low in calories, fat, and carbs.

While most brands of glass noodles are gluten-free, it’s still important to check the ingredients for any hidden sources of gluten like soy sauce or wheat starch. Look for reputable brands marked certified gluten-free for safety.

Moderation is key, but enjoying Korean glass noodles as part of an overall healthy diet can provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and satisfaction. Their pleasant chewy texture and versatility make them perfect for Asian-inspired soups, salads, stir fries, and more.

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