What?! Another summer-savoring recipe and reminder of summer’s end yet to come already here?! I know, I know. I’m clearly behaving as a sullen, whiny teen (which seems so ten, okay fine, five years ago) constantly complaining about another end of the favorite season and consequently, another beginning of the dreaded semester, but I can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that I won’t have as much time to bake and cook anymore! Let me moan just a little. It’s not my intention in the slightest to be cumbersome to any readers with my incessant weeps and woes. Honestly, I keep thinking for some reason that the more I complain and vent about my troubles and worries, it will do one of two things. One, the problem at hand will *poof* magically disappear or disintegrate as the groans and grumbles appear and increase with every word typed and created by my almighty fingers (needless to say, the blatantly desired outcome). Or, two, as I blab on and on about my pathetic minion of a problem especially in comparison to other far more prominent and official worldly disasters and tragedies (although, quite frankly, I can’t really bring myself to say I don’t believe the situation I or any other stressed and exhausted college student is in isn’t a complete and total calamity in and of itself), I’ll be forced to accept (gracefully?) the hell that awaits me.
Or will I?
Who knows, it might not even be hell. I’m just assuming and expecting the worst so that when tomorrow actually arrives and classes actually resume, I’ll be more than prepared for what’s in store. Even if it is hell, I have the ultimate dish to cool myself after being hit by any potential heat wave, both literally and figuratively.
Even though this Korean-style pasta/noodle/somen salad seems foreign, I’m quite sure (from both experience and experiment) that it isn’t an acquired taste. It’s a cool and refreshing combination of sweet and spicy flavors with a play on textures between the crunchiness of the raw vegetables and the chewiness of the sliced top shell.
Top Shell Bibim Kooksoo/Mixed Noodles (골뱅이 비빔국수)
Adapted & translated from 요리천사의 행복밥상
about half packet (400-500g) of somen noodles
1 can of top shell (400g) – can be found in most Korean supermarkets
1 cucumber, julienned
1 onion, chopped
half head of Chinese cabbage, chopped into bite-size rectangles
salt, to taste
radish sprouts (Kaiware sprouts), for garnishing
2/3 cup Kochu Jang, Korean red pepper paste
1/4 cup Kochu Kkaroo, Korean red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 tbspns minced garlic
2/3 cup green onion, chopped into small circles
1-2 tbspn minced ginger (or 1/2 tbspn ginger powder)
1/3 cup soy sauce, or more to taste
3-4 tbspns corn syrup
2 tbspns sesame seeds/sesame salt
2-3 tbspns sesame oil
Drain the can of top shell and slice each into thin pieces. Prepare the vegetables.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together into a red sauce.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles.
Add in the top shell and prepared vegetables to the sauce and mix together well.
Once the noodles are cooked, drain the water and rinse the noodles in cold water for about a minute so that the noodles can be served cold.
Serve the noodles on a dish or in a bowl with the sauce mixture over it and garnish with radish sprouts (optional).