What do you make for lunch, or dinner for that matter, when there seems to be nothing in your fridge? For Koreans, it’s usually a dish made with kimchi because there is almost always some kimchi in our fridges. Lately, we’ve had many friends and family members visiting for the summer. It’s been a lot of fun but a lot of work as well. I am finally taking a break from all the cooking and grocery shopping, which is why my fridge has nothing substantial. So, I decided to make kimchi bibim guksu for our weekend lunch. Unlike my other bibim guksu recipe, kimchi is truly all you need for this humble dish. But, you can add other vegetables such as cucumbers or lettuce, if you want. I added some perilla leaves (kkaennip) a wonderful friend of ours gave me from his garden. In no time, these spicy, sweet and tangy noodles were ready for our table.
8 – 10 ounces somyeon (somen) noodles
1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (fully fermented)
1/4 cup juice from kimchi (use a little more soy sauce and vinegar if unavailable)
1 tablespoon Korean red chili pepper paste, gochujang (adjust to taste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn syrup (use honey or more sugar if unavailable)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rice or apple vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 perilla leaves, kkaennip, thinly sliced
(or cucumber or lettuce, thinly sliced)
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil while preparing the kimchi sauce.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (3 – 4 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water again. Repeat until the noodles become cold. Drain well.
Combine the noodles with the kimchi sauce, and toss everything until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste, if necessary. Garnish with your choice of the optional vegetables and serve cold.