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Dinner Tonight: Spicy, Sweet and Vinegary Noodles (Bibim Guksu)

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

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.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago and the co-founder of The Paupered Chef.

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