There is no place like home…
Shopping in the narrow antique allies of Korea, eating loads of fabulous Korean food, camping in the Rocky mountains of Colorado, riding horse, fishing rainbow trouts, hang-out with families…, these are some of the wonderful things I had this past summer.
I spent very good time both in Korea and U.S last month, but no matter how much fun I have in any exciting places, I always recite the same praise at the end of the trips, ‘there is no place like home’. I am happy to be back home, my sweet home!
Upon my return from the summer break I would like to treat you with a very cool summer noodle dish of Korea; “Naengmyeon“, the Korean Cold Noodles.
There are two kinds. One with spicy sauce that you mix together (Bibim Naengmyeon), and the other one with icy broth (Mool Naengmyeon). They both are popular noodles to be eaten during hot summer season in Korea.
Today I am going to share with you the Bibim Naengmyeon.
This is Korean Naengmyeon (somewhat similar to soba). These noodles are made with buckwheat flour. However, they are not solely made with 100% buckwheat though. They will have some wheat flour added, because noodles made with only buckwheat will break so easily (They won’t hold their shape). Korean buckwheaat noodles contains more of sweet potato starch and wheat flour than Japanese soba, which creates chewier texture to the bite.
Although buckwheat is gluten free, if you are looking for gluten free buckwheat noodles, read the ingredients on the package just to make sure. Not every buckwheat noodle is created equal.
The color varies depends on types of buckwheat as well. The darker the color, the more of outer skin of buckwheat are used.
Don’t be scared by the list of all the ingredients. You can whip up this sauce quite fast, but it needs to be prepared ahead of time to chill, 1-2 days ahead, so that the flavor will incorporate and mature.
Get ready for the spicy paradise!!! This is how Koreans fight the heat of scorching summer.
These devoted crew are ready to work. Pineapple (either fresh or canned), vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, brown sugar, Korean chili flakes, Dijon mustard (or Korean mustard), onion, powdered ginger, garlic, and apple.
Add more water or pineapple juice if you prefer thinner consistency.
Now transfer the sauce in a container and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours to mature. 1-2 days will be more desirable. This sauce can last in the fridge for couple of month. You can use it to any type of noodles, or even use in spicy Korean vegetable salads. I made cucumber salad with this sauce and it tasted awesome.
Peel off the radish.
To eat, just mix well. But in order to mix well, this is what we do in Korea.
Some people like to add couple of ice cubes in a bowl to keep the noodles cold. But it can dilute the sauce as you eat.
Beat the summer heat with the heat; So spicy hot that you will forget how hot it is outside.
Gotta love the Korean way of keeping up with the summer…
Hope your summer is going as fun as it can be.
Spicy Cold Soba Noodles
- 1 package Korean soba noodles Nangmyeon
- 1 Asian cucumber cut in half, seeded and thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/2 Korean radish or daikon radish cut into 1/2"wide 2" long thin strips
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 4 boiled eggs cut in half
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 apple peeled and diced
- 1/2 medium onion peeled and diced
- 3 slices pineapple same volume as apple or 3 rings of canned pineapple
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoon water or pineapple juice
- 1 cup Korean chili flakes
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon Korean mustard or Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- To make the sauce, combine 1/2 cup water and soy sauce in a pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a blender combine apple, onion, pineapple and garlic, add the 3 tablespoon water or pineapple juice (if using canned pineapple) puree until smooth.
- Return to the soy sauce in a pan, add the fruit puree and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Mix well. Add a little more water if you prefer your sauce thinner. Transfer to a airtight container and chill in the fridge for 1 day before using.
- For the topping, toss the radish strips with salt, sugar and vinegar and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out extra moisture.
- To cook noodles, boil water in a pot and add noodles and cook according to package directions. Stir often so they don't stick together. Drain and rinse the noodles with very cold water.
- To serve, place desired amount of noodles in a large bowl and top with 2-3 tablespoonful of sauce, place cucumber and radish slices on top, and top with boiled egg half.
- Cut noodles with a pair of scissor 2-3 times and mix well with sauce and toppings. Enjoy.