Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Korean Cold Cucumber Soup | Oi Nenguk (오이 냉국)

We've had several unbearable days this summer where it's so boiling hot, it's hard to breathe. I've been really into this cold cucumber soup because it's refreshing, spicy, and you don't need the stove.
Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
1 lb. baby cucumbers
¼ oz. dried seaweed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
¼ red onion, sliced
½ teaspoon grated ginger
1 Thai chili, chopped
1½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1½ teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 to 1½ cups water
salt to taste
+ ice

Start by thinly slicing the cucumbers. I used a mandolin.
To the bowl, add some soaked, boiled, and drained seaweed (soaked for 10 minutes, boiled for 5).
Add onions, scallions, garlic, Thai chilis, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and brown sugar. Stir and let the cucumbers soak and pickle for a few minutes.
Add water, salt to taste, and ice.
Ladle into bowls and serve.
We enjoyed our cucumber soup with kimchi fried rice. The chilled soup totally hits the spot in the summer. The cucumber is fresh, the vinegar gives it a slightly pickled flavor, the sesame oil adds a much needed unctuousness, the chilis give it a kick, and the ice makes sure it stays cold through the end of the meal.
Here's the recipe page:

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