When I dream of kimchi I think of great bowls of pork-laden stew and excessively large tables of Korean barbecue, which comfort me during the depths of winter. But as we're heading into spring, I wanted something that wouldn't make me think of three feet of snow, but a nice 70 degree day. Essentially, I'd need a cold dish that would embrace kimchi's acidity above all else.
This recipe for bibim guksu from My Korean Kitchen is the perfect spring transition dish. The lettuce, cabbage, carrot, and cucumber all provide a cooling crunch. The sauce is bracing and spicy, but it's balanced with both honey and brown sugar, and the soba acts as a nice base for all these flavors. The result is a shock to all the senses, yet still oddly refreshing.
- 180 grams soba noodles
- 2 leaves of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
- 1 small leaf red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 carrot, peeled and julienned
- 2 tablespoons kimchi, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Korean hot pepper paste
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and then rinse under cold water. Drain the noodles again.
Add the noodles to a large bowl with the lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, and kimchi.
Whisk together the hot pepper paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Add this sauce to large bowl and mix well. Serve.