This is such a special recipe post. Not only is japchae probably my favorite food ever, it also reminds me of the day I learned how to make vegan japchae while in Seoul, South Korea (where my brother lives). I had no idea it was a complex dish to make... I mean, some veggies and noodles, what could be so hard?
Japchae is usually associated with and prepared for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations. Even though it's "just" noodles and veggies, almost every element of this dish is prepared separately, so it ends up being pretty time consuming, not to mention the amount of dishes you would have to wash!
However, I could easily eat it every day, and I'm a lazy cook (always trying to cut corners and be more efficient) so when I started making it at home, I realized I can make a delicious japchae with a fraction of the effort.
Here we are enjoying our incredible Korean meal with our host Hogan, his wife, and his two daughters. Oh, and Klara, from Stockholm! What a memorable experience.
Here's another fun fact about japchae: the version we know now is not the traditional dish that was served to royalty. It wasn't until within the last 100 years that the dish became popular among "ordinary people" and the noodles, a new import, became part of the dish. A sweeter soy sauce was also introduced, changing the flavor. Beef wasn't a part of the OG version either (or this one!).