Recently returned from a year teaching English in Korea, my friend Kerissa Barron has been introducing me to some of her favorite dishes, including this one, a spicy cold noodle salad, with lots of toppings.
It's known as bibim guksu in Korean, and if you've ever had bibimbap, it's a lot like that, but chilled, and with thinly sliced raw vegetables and a hard cooked egg. The sauce that holds it all together is sweet and spicy and made with red chili paste, rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame. So good!
I recommend making extra sauce and just keeping some around to dress up leftovers. The meal comes together quickly, the most time needed to cut up the vegetables.
Here's what Kerissa has to say about it:
"Having lived in Korea, where summers are not only hot but extremely humid, when I think summer, I think spicy cold noodles (bibim guksu in Korean). Also, having grown up in a very hot part of California with a mother who literally forbade us to turn on the oven from June until October, I understand the importance of dishes that require little to no cooking to get us through these hottest of months.
However, do not be fooled by the simplicity of preparation. Korean food, and in particular these Korean noodles, are extremely flavorful. Between the red chile paste, sesame oil and rice vinegar these noodles hit all the flavor notes: spicy, sweet, salty, tangy and nutty.
Feel free to use the dressing to make any variety of cool summer dishes. It would make a great salad simply by tossing with lettuce or thinly sliced cucumbers, or even being poured over sliced cold tofu or cooked chicken."
Do you have a favorite cold noodle dish for hot summer days? Please let us know about it in the comments.
More Recipes for Korean Home Cooking
- Kimchi Jjigae (Korean Kimchi Stew)
- Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)
- Kalbi Jjim (Korean Braised Short Ribs)
- Mandu (Korean Dumplings)
- Gyeran Jjim (Korean Steamed Eggs)
Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)
Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles are used for this recipe, which you can usually find in the international section of the grocery store. You can also use somen noodles, Korean wheat noodles (guksu), arrow root noodles, sweet potato starch noodles, or even spaghetti or angel hair pasta.
The toppings are flexible as well. Add, subtract, adjust to your taste and availability.
1 pound soba (buckwheat) noodles (can sub practically any favorite noodle)
Choose from assorted toppings:
Lettuce, thinly sliced
Green and/or red cabbage, thinly sliced
Asian pear, julienned
Green onions, thinly sliced
Sesame (perilla) leaves, thinly sliced (while traditional for this dish, you can skip)
Cabbage and/or radish kimchi
4 tablespoons gochujang
4 tablespoons rice vinegar (unseasoned or seasoned will both work)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Boil the water:
On the stovetop, fill a medium large pot with water and bring to a boil.
Prep the toppings:
While the water is heating, prepare toppings and the sauce. Prepare the lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, asian pear, sesame leaves and radish sprouts. Set aside. Cut each hard boiled egg in half. Set aside.
Make the sauce:
In a small bowl, combine red pepper paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir to combine and set aside.
Boil, drain, and cool the noodles:
Once the water is boiling, add buckwheat noodles, or other type of noodles, and cook according to package instructions, or about six minutes, until al dente. When noodles are finished cooking, pour into a colander and rinse with cold water and drain. To quickly cool your noodles you may also place a few ice cubes in the colander or place the drained noodles into the freezer for a short time, just don't forget them!
To serve, place cooled noodles in a medium sized bowl. Toss with the dressing, then top with the vegetables/fruit of your choice. Place one of the hard-boiled egg halves on top and a few radish sprouts.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 75g||27%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||25%|
|Total Sugars 36g|
|Vitamin C 44mg||220%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|