korean bbq is a way of life where i go to school. check snapchat on any given day, and you’ll see someone cooking well-marbled ribbons of meat on a table laden with tons of side dishes (or you’ll see people at disneyland for the 16th time this month). even for someone who doesn’t love the taste of meat, it’s paradise. there’s caramelized meat, tons of veggies by way of the banchan (aka the side dishes), tender rice paper, nearly transparent slices of pickled daikon radish and chewy japchae (sesame-rich sweet potato noodles).
this kimchi cucumber naengmyeon is inspired by my love for korean food. mul naengmyeon is cold noodle soup with an icy cold (literally; sometimes there’s ice in your bowl), vinegary beef broth. bibim naengmyeon is cold noodles tossed in a fiery, both in color and spice level, sauce. i first tried these one during summer vacation at mo ran gak, though that’s one of the few kbbq places i’ve been to (of the wide range of places i’ve sampled from throughout the bay area and la/oc) that serves naengmyeon. anyways, both mul naengmyeon and bibim naengmyeon are perfect for summer. this kimchi cucumber naengmyeon is a combo of the two, with a spicy sauce that is looser and more liquidy than the typical bibim naengmyeon sauce is. and i’ve subbed in ribbons of cucumber for the usual buckwheat noodles.
given the similarity between this kimchi cucumber naengmyeon and the usual naengmyeons, you might think i came up with this one after an enlightening korean meal. nope. try a stats discussion 2+ years ago, upon which it ended up languishing in my (too long) ideas doc for days (years, really). and you thought lower div stats wasn’t useful.
anyways. the sauce here is less red than yours might be; it mostly depends on what color your tomato is (when i was photographing this, i had some amazing orange tomatoes), and how red your kimchi is. and another thing: your tomato doesn’t need to be a perfect summer heirloom specimen. it’s just there for some juiciness. you can always add sugar at the end if you find the sauce too sharp tasting. and don’t worry if the final dish is a little watery! that broth/juice is clean and refreshing tasting, and is perfectly delicious (not gorgeous).
the pictures here feature the kimchi cucumber naengmyeon topped with furikake, hard-boiled egg, pickled daikon and more tomatoes. i’ve also had it with sugar snap peas and pickled daikon. but it’d also be delicious with watermelon, pear (apple pear or anything crunchy/firm), other pickled veggies (quick pickled carrots or cucumbers!), bulgogi, kamaboko, salmon, tofu, grilled chicken, shrimp, etc. endless combos (:
also: thanks for your birthday wishes! my day was filled with a lack of motivation, chocolate coffee caramel cake, a massive vietnamese broken rice plate, frozen juice soft serve, free beer from the pub on campus (i got the lightest one and it was so yeasty and gross that i passed it off to my friend after a sip lol), and a reservation to go to state bird provisions later this summer with my parents. pretty excited for that last gift!
1 year ago: Coconut Cake with Strawberry Compote and Pink Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Chocolate Babka French Toast with Caramelized Banana Creme Anglaise
2 years ago: Garlicky Sesame Cured Broccoli Salad
Kimchi Cucumber Naengmyeon (Cucumbers with Kimchi Sauce)
*If you want a totally smooth sauce, peel the tomato and apple/pear before blending.
**Add kimchi to taste. Start with a little, then add more as desired.
1 medium tomato, quartered*
1 small apple, pear, apple pear or anything sweet and juicy, cored and quartered*
1 T – 1/4 cup kimchi, to taste**
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
1 English cucumber, peeled into ribbons (I like to use a vegetable peeler)
toppings of choice: ie hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, pickled daikon, etc.
Blend everything but the cucumber until smooth. Combine the dressing and cucumber, then serve however you like. Here, it’s served with furikake, hard-boiled egg, pickled daikon (I pickle my own, but you can buy some from a Japanese or Korean market) and more tomatoes.
want more kimchi?