Friday, July 8, 2011

Kimchi Naengmyeon / Kimchi Cold Noodles

There’s nothing like beating the heat than with a bowl of cold, refreshing noodles. I just love gobbling down a bowl of these in the dead of a summer heat wave. It takes minimal effort to make and doesn’t heat up your kitchen all that much, great for me as I don't have air conditioning at my place.

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I’ve been craving kimchi a lot lately, and I thought what would be better than to add them to cold noodles? Minimum effort. Maximum flavour. And so, so good. (And good for you! It’s loaded with vitamins A, B, and C and contains “healthy bacteria”—lactobacilli—which helps with digestion.)

While I could make my own kimchi, I often pick some up from Galleria Supermarket for convenience. I get the stuff that’s fresh-made there, never the ones from jars that sits on shelves. It’s fresh, authentic, and tastes great for what you get.

Although you can make this dish with fresh kimchi, it tastes best if you let the kimchi ferment at least a week to allow the kimchi to build some flavour and acidity. I often make this dish with super thin noodles called somen, but feel free to try it with other dishes like udon or soba.

This is great for an Asian-themed picnic, or served as a light summer meal alongside some dumplings.

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Kimchi Naengmyeon
Serves 1

2 ounces somen noodles
1 handful kimchi, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped, for garnish (optional)

Boil the somen noodles (or noodles of your choice) according to the instructions on the package.

Drain the noodles in a strainer and wash with cold water for a minute or two, then submerge in cold water and set aside until ready to use.

In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients, except the green onion. Adjust any of the seasonings according to your taste.

Drain the noodles very well and add it to the kimchi mixture. Toss until the noodles are well coated and red. Serve in a bowl or dish and garnish with the chopped green onion, if using.


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