I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and variety shows (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before). I blame it on those very shows that I’m getting fatter by the day. They make Korean food look so sooooo appetizing! These are one of the dishes that I saw on the telly sometime back. It sounded and looked good… cold kimchi noodles.
After a bit of research, I decided to try the recipe from Korean Bapsang (website below). Her stuff is what you’d call “daebak” (awesome). Her food photos and recipes seem pretty and easy to follow so I made the noodles a few months ago with the recipe. It was good! Totally would make this again. Cold, sour rounded by some sweetness, and a little spice. And kimchi always makes everything taste better.
Speaking about spice, I ordered this dish today at a Korean restaurant. All I can say is that I must have downed a whole jug of iced water after a few bites. I’m a person that would sprinkle chilli flakes liberally all over my food and use chilli padi soy sauce as a favourite condiment so I don’t think my spice tolerance is that low. But I really couldn’t enjoy the noodles, it being so spicy! So if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can adjust the level of gochujang to suit your preferences (this recipe isn’t that spicy in any case).
Secondly, on my recent trip to Japan, I frequented a korean restaurant in Takashimaya, Tokyo (I really liked it!) and made a discovery. In all my posts on Korean food so far I’ve been referring to shiso/Japanese perilla leaves as the Korean perilla leaf. When I tried the real Korean perilla leaf I was taken aback. I absolutely had no idea that they were so different! As wikipedia clarifies:
“The flavor is distinct from Japanese perilla, and the leaf appearance is different, as well – larger, rounder, flatter, with a less serrated edge, and often a violet coloring on the reverse side.”
Well that explains why the leaf was so large. So now, I’m on a mission to find Korean perilla leaves in Singapore ;p
Ingredients (2 pax); recipe from Korean Bapsang
- 8 – 10 ounces somyeon (somen) noodles
- 1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (fully fermented)
- 1/4 cup juice from kimchi (use a little more soy sauce and vinegar if unavailable)
- 1 tablespoon Korean red chili pepper paste, gochujang (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (use honey or more sugar if unavailable)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice or apple vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Optional garnish:
- 4 perilla leaves, kkaennip, thinly sliced (my pictures show the Japanese perilla leaves/shiso leaves)
- (or cucumber or lettuce, thinly sliced)
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil while preparing the kimchi sauce.
Thinly slice the kimchi and place it in a medium size bowl. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and mix well.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (3 – 4 minutes).
Prepare a bowl of iced water to dip the noodles into. The recipe in Korean Bapsang calls for cold water, however if it is not cold enough the noodles could get soggy quite easily. So just in case, just use iced water.
Drain the noodles quickly and shock in iced water to stop the cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water again. Repeat until the noodles become cold. Drain well.
Here’s the fun part! Throw your cold noodles into the sauce mixture and toss so that the sauce coats the noodles evenly. Try not to over-handle the noodles with utensils or you could get mashed noodles. Not yummy. Use your wrist to toss the noodles in the bowl and use chopsticks to further mix the noodles.
Dish into a serving bowl and top with (Korean) perilla leaves. I thought Japanese ones worked just as well.
Perfect dish for a hot day!