Costco Pulmuone Beef Japchae Review

This Pulmuone Beef Japchae is the third noodle-based dish that I’ve reviewed from the company. They all share very similar packaging, though this one can’t be cooked in the microwave like the Teriyaki Stir-Fry Udon and Pad Thai. In terms of taste, the Pad Thai was terrible while the Teriyaki Stir-Fry Udon was pretty good. Is this Beef Japchae worth trying, or should you avoid it?

Image of the Costco Pulmuone Beef Japchae meal unopened sitting on a table.
Costco Pulmuone Beef Japchae.

Other similar convenient noodle products from Costco are the Zinetti Internationals Dan Dan Noodles, Kirkland Signature Chicken Chow Mein, Ajinomoto Tokyo Style Shoyu Ramen with Chicken, Ajinomoto Vegetable Yakisoba, Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen and the Authentic Asian Hand Wrapped Shrimp Wonton Soup.

Top down image of the prepared japchae in a pan on the stove.
After preparing it.

Location in Store

This is located in the refrigerated section at Costco, near the sauerkraut, fresh pasta and quiche. The item number is 1603366.

Top down image of the prepared japchae in a pan on the stove.
Mostly noodles, not a ton of beef.


There are positives and negatives about this beef Japchae. I’ll start with the positive. The flavor and texture of the glass noodles is good. They’re seasoned well and have tasty soy, garlic and sesame notes. They’re very salty-tasting, which I actually like when it comes to noodle dishes. The saltiness explains why the sodium is so high.

Top down image of the japchae served on a white plate.
Ready to eat!

Unfortunately, the noodles are the only good part of this Pulmuone meal. The beef is entirely inedible. It tastes old, it’s very tough and chewy and basically is just pure gristle. At least that’s how the meat was in my pack.

Sideview top down image of the japchae served on a white plate with a fork and knife beside the plate.
It looks tasty!

The vegetables are barely noticeable, there are not very many in the pack and if the beef was better I’d go ahead and add my own vegetables to the dish. The vegetables I notice most are mushrooms and carrots but there really aren’t many. The spinach topping doesn’t really add anything to the dish.

Top down closeup image of a hand holding a fork with Japchae on it close to the camera so you can see the beef and noodles.
The noodles are the best part.

The overall main flavor of the dish comes from the sesame oil. I wanted to like this because I’ve had Japchae noodles in the past and enjoy them but I can’t justify spending the money on just noodles when the rest of the dish isn’t great.

Closeup image of one piece of beef from the japchae on a fork infront of the camera so you can see it closely.
Tough and chewy.


This is way overpriced at $18.49 Canadian. It’s slightly convenient yes but convenience only goes so far when only part of the meal tastes decent.

Top down image of all the packets of ingredients that come in the package sitting on top of a table.
As you can see the beef packet isn’t very full or big.


I actually don’t find this meal as convenient as you’d think it would be! All of the ingredients are supplied but it actually takes a bit of time and effort to prepare.

Top down image of the beef and vegetables from the package cooking in  a frying pan on the stove.
Step one and two of the cooking directions. Cooking the beef and vegetables first.

The meal includes two glass noodle packs, one Japchae sauce with sesame oil dual pack, one pack of seared seasoned beef steak strips, one vegetable blend in water pack and two spinach topping packs.

Image of the package showing photos on the package with all ingredients that come in the dish.
Everything that comes in the package.

The cooking instructions have a bunch of different steps and the ingredients go in the pan at specific times. It’s not as easy as just microwaving it or throwing everything in a pan and heating it.

Image of the cooking instructions from the back of the package.
Cooking instructions.

It took me about fifteen minutes from start to finish to cook the beef Japchae. The Japchae needs to be kept refrigerated and the best-before date is a little over a month from when we purchased it.

Image of an "About Beef Japchae" description from the package.
Japchae is one of Korea’s most-loved dishes.

If the beef was better I’d consider adding my own vegetables to this to increase the volume and make it a bit healthier.

Image of a recipe for beef japchae fried rice from the package.
There’s a recipe for beef japchae fried rice on the package.



A 300-gram or 1 and 2/3 cup serving contains 300 calories, six grams of fat, 53 grams of carbohydrates, two grams of fibre, 13 grams of sugar, seven grams of protein and 1010 milligrams of sodium.

That’s proof right there that there’s not a ton of beef in the dish, not that I want more of the beef but if they weren’t skimping on it there would be more protein in the Japchae. The amount of sodium is also extremely high and I don’t love the 13 grams of sugar.

Image of the nutrition facts from the package.
Nutrition facts.


There are lots of preservatives and chemical-sounding ingredients in the Japchae. The dish contains soy, wheat and sesame. If you make this dish from scratch at home you’d be saving yourself lots of unnecessary ingredients and I guarantee it would taste better!

Image of the ingredients from the package.


Taste: 5.5/10

Cost: 4/10

Convenience: 7/10

Nutrition: 3/10 (A few points for the vegetables).


Walk on by!

There are better convenient meal options available at Costco than this. Even though I like the flavor and the noodles it isn’t worth the cost.

If you’ve tried this, what did you think of it? Leave a comment below!

Please note that this review was not paid for or sponsored by any third party. This product was purchased by Costcuisine for the purpose of producing this review. The opinions in this review are strictly those of Costcuisine. Costcuisine is not affiliated with Costco or any of its suppliers. In the event that Costcuisine receives compensation for a post from the manufacturer of a product or some other third party, the arrangement will be clearly disclosed (including where the manufacturer of a product provides Costcuisine with a free sample of the product).

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7 thoughts on “Costco Pulmuone Beef Japchae Review”

  1. We like it. We do add tofu to it tho.
    It is not a real quick microwave dish, but worth the time it takes. Left overs warm well also.

  2. This is incredible and I’ve bought it several times at Costco and eaten it. My problem is I haven’t got it at Costco because it is missing.

  3. More and more, its Costco less and less.

    Consumers need to send the message back to Costco that they won’t accept just anything. I’m quite selective when it comes to these types of offerings. Convenience only gets me so far. More often than not, after looking at these types of over processed offerings, I end up putting them back on the shelf.

    I used to think that Costco vetted their offerings and had a high standard. Obviously not. So sad. All that glitters may not be golden.

  4. Thank you very much for the review. I discovered your website few months ago and have been following your FB. I am on the east side of Canada so some reviewed products not available for us.
    For the japchae, I saw this review just right after I bought the product. I tried to enhance by adding minced ginger, onion, tofu, fresh spinach and roasted sesame. The result is better but no where near the real japchae and the beef was as chewy as rubber.
    Thanks again.

    • Hey Diem! Thanks for following along. I appreciate comments like this so much. Yes the beef is just so rubbery and chewy! Disappointing for sure.

  5. I have looked many, many times for the teriyaki stir fry udon, without success. I wanted to buy it again. We enjoyed it. Please tell me the location or how to get it. Thank you

  6. I have seen this in store and was curious whether it was worth buying as I have enjoyed Jap Chae at restaurants before. I appreciate the nutrition breakdown as I’m trying to be more health conscious. Thank you for the thorough review!


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