This vegan japchae is a super simple version of my favorite classic Korean dish! It’s made with just a few healthy ingredients, and full of incredible flavor.
Happy Friday, friends! Today I have the rare savory dish for you, and this one is a freaking GEM. I know, you’re probably like, how the hell do you say that?! And the noodles look weird, but just trust me, you need to try this. Japchae is a super popular Korean dish. It’s a mix of glass noodle and stir fried vegetables, all tossed in a slightly sweet and savory sauce.
My grandma was from South Korea, and japchae was my absolute favorite thing she made. Asian food is 100% my favorite type of savory food, and it’s such a plus that most dishes are super easy to vegan-ize.
My mom and I decided to give this vegan japchae recipe a try when she came to visit a couple weeks back, and it was such a success. First of all, it tastes SO damn good. Second, I haven’t had japchae since we lost my grandma, and eating it brought back a flood of amazing memories. She was such a selfless, powerful, sassy little lady, and I like to think I got my little bit of sass and determination from her. Though I have to admit, I won’t EVER come close to her with the Asian food, cause homegirl could’ve been a legit chef, but at least I can now make a bomb vegan version of my favorite dish at home!
Alright, so let me break down this process for you. First, cook the glass noodles. They look so odd but guys, these are my FAVORITE type of noodles. Like, forget the spaghetti and penne and whatever other noods you thought you loved, cause these are what you need. They’re made from the starch of sweet potatoes – I know, so weird, right?! Like, who thought of this? But whatever, I’m here for it, and they are amazing.
While the noodles are cooking, sauté some vegetables. I kept it really simple with onions and broccoli. My grandma always did it with mushrooms, too, we just didn’t have any the day we made it. Use whatever veg you like! Because I don’t cook with oil, I always sauté with just a bit of liquid aminos, a gluten free soy sauce that gives a bit of a salty flavor.
The sauce is definitely what makes this japchae. It’s a simple mix of liquid aminos for salty, savory flavor, some chili garlic sauce for spice, and some stevia to sweeten things. Add in some water and mix it all together, then pour it over the noodle and veg and mix everything together.
That’s it! I was so happy with how easy this was to throw together, and I seriously cannot wait to make it again.
Eating this vegan japchae totally took me back to hanging out with my sweet little grandma, watching her mix the noodles with all the add ins, and make the sauce without measuring whatsoever, all by taste. And of course, it came out perfectly every time she did it.
This one’s for you, grandma!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!