Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bibim Gooksoo 비빔국수 (Mixed Noodles)

There's also a newer and updated recipe (and prettier photos), if you're interested.

Bibim gooksoo literally means mixed noodles. I feel like every household makes its own version with their own sauce recipe, spice/seasonings, and vegetables (or lack thereof). In my house, bibim guksu was an easy Saturday afternoon lunch or snack that my parents would whip together on hot summer days when cooking was the last thing on their minds. It's a dish in the same genre as bibim naengmyun, jjolmyun, and jaengban gooksoo because they're quick, simple, the only cooking you have to do is boil water, and it's a perfect summer dish.

Ingredients (per person proportions):
1 serving somen noodles (Japanese white noodles)
1/2 cup kimchi (cabbage kind), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon hot pepper paste
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
few drops sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

*optional: fresh crunchy vegetables like lettuce, bell peppers, onion, etc.
*optional: hard boiled egg
**If you don't have kimchi on hand, you can omit it but in its place, I'd also add 1 clove of garlic, minced, and a 1/2 teaspoon more rice wine to offset that missing flavor profile.
The noodles come wrapped up in individual portions so its easy to determine serving size. These somen noodles are available in most markets (I've seen them in the Asian section of my local grocery). They're made with wheat flour and they're really thin and delicate. Cook in boiling unsalted water for about 6 minutes until cooked through. The noodles will start to become slightly translucent so you'll know when they're ready.
Drain and rinse in cold water immediately to stop the cooking process (unless you want congealed gummy noodles). Shake off any excess moisture, otherwise prepare for a really watery dish.
While the noodles are cooking, you can be assembling the sauce. Mix the chopped kimchi, hot pepper paste, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds until everything is combined. Add in the noodles and toss and then garnish with some more sesame seeds.
Lovely, right? Enjoy!

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