Sweet potatoes were too fancy for my childhood potato diet, but the nutrient-packed potatoes are one of my favorite starches. Fried versions of the sweet potato (preferably with dipping mayos) are an obvious favorite, but a more subtle iteration of the sweet potato are the dangmyeon noodles in japchae, a Korean noodle dish consisting of stir-fried vegetables and cellophane noodles made from sweet potato flour.
On days I cook, I like making a large batch and eating it either cold or warm for days. Truthfully, my favorite japchae in D.C. is available for $5.99 per pound at Soho Cafe & Market at 13th and K. Sadly, it is not always in the buffet, but my unscientific observations over the last couple years show that japchae most frequently appears on the cold pre-made salad island on Tuesdays and occasionally on Wednesdays and/or Thursdays. When I crave the sweet potato noodles after lunch hours or on the weekends, Mandu at 5th and K makes a very good (but saltier) version with beef. Mandu’s to-go orders even come with a delicious variety of pickled side dishes.