Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nontraditional Naengmyeon: Spicy Cold Korean Noodles and the Gonchu Giveaway Winner

Necessity has driven us all to do it at some point in our cooking careers, but I am really not a fan of that whole "kitchen sink" school of making dinner. You know, that thing where you just sort of take every little odd and end in your fridge and throw it in a pot and call it Kitchen Sink Pasta or Kitchen Sink Soup or Kitchen Kink Surprise.

Kitchen Sink Mess is more like it.

That said, I did have to employ a bit of that approach here, as I wanted cold Korean noodles (like the ones I had at the Korean American Festival) but I was not equipped to make the real, authentic thing - my most egregious substitution in this dish is Japanese soba noodles instead of Korean buckwheat noodles. I think it worked, though, because I stuck to a theme and didn't just toss any random thing into the pot. This is truly a simple and refreshing dish with huge flavor, and it was just the thing Poppa Trix and I needed on a sweltering hot night.

Nontraditional Naengmyeon
makes 4 servings
1 tbsp sesame oil
4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
4 cups beef broth
1 glug of tamari soy sauce
1 glug rice wine
1 tbsp gonchu pepper powder
8 oz soba noodles, cooked and cooled
8 quail eggs, hard boiled
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
4 radishes, sliced thin
cilantro, to garnish

To make the broth, saute the smashed garlic in the sesame oil until fragrant. Add the broth, soy sauce, rice wine and pepper powder.  Simmer until the flavors come together and allow to cool. Refrigerate until cold. Divide the noodles among four bowls and pour the broth over top. You may add ice cubes if you wish. Garnish with the cucumber, radish, a dollop of gochuchang, cilantro, and quail eggs. Sprinkle a bit more pepper powder on top if you like. Enjoy with ice cold soju!

And now, for the winner of my Korean pepper powder giveaway ... I am very happy to announce that it's Janis of Bite Me New England, a real lover of Korean food!
Congrats, Janis - I am looking forward to seeing what you make with it! 

And remember: To Celebrate my 2 year blogoversary, I have even more fun and one-of-a-kind giveaways coming up, so stay tuned!


  1. Congrats to Janis! Love the spices you used in this cold noodle soup, definitely a Kitchen Kink Surprise, LOL. I'm thinking of perhaps turning this dish into an ice cream, which is what I just did with Tom Yum soup (minus the curry paste)!

  2. I love all of the colors, flavors, and textures in this soup!

  3. Yay! I love my Korean food! I am so happy I won but I also want to say that I love this recipe you posted! Gonna try it soon.

  4. Congrats to Janis... amazing fun to see whats next~

  5. This noodle dish looks amazing, Trix! Congrats, Janis!

  6. I am the Kitchen Sink type of home cook :O) ... I hate throwing away food so once a month I make one of those "sink" meals. :)
    Now pass me a bowl filled with all of that deliciousness!! No chopsticks, please...I'm kinda challenged when it comes to using them. :)

  7. hey, wait a minute - love, love, love kitchen sink dinners.... I'm thinking gumbo here where the freezer and fridge are emptied out and everyone walks away from the table full and happy, and all it cost me was time... Happy Anniversary to my sweetie, ya know I love ya...

  8. Aww, now @Kate and @Drick - You know I wasn't talking about you! I meant that thing where there's no plan and no order to it at all, just a mess of unrelated textures and flavors. *shudder* And I know very well neither one of you are guilty of that. :)

  9. That is a lovely Korean dish. It is one of my fave ethnic cuisines as it truly is different. I agree about kitchen sink recipes. Di you do a typo at the last one? Kitchen Kink Surprise? A cute typo if it is lol.

  10. Spectacular dish! And way better than a traditional 'kitchen sink' noodle dish :) Since I live somewhere that's perpetual summer, I totally follow the 'cold noodle' way of life. Great way to cool down

  11. This is so not a "kitchen sink" dish!! The ingredients look so fresh and they seem to work so perfectly with each other. The radishes add such a beautiful splash of red too!

  12. Sounds like a very flavorful and delicious dish, so nice with the spicy kick and the cooling and refreshing cucumber and radishes.

  13. Great photos! This soup looks delicious!

  14. Great recipe - looks wonderful!

  15. Coincidentally I was listening to the Splendid Table podcast last night and someone talked about this dish. It sounded great, but I couldn't quite visualize how to spell it so I could look up a recipe. Your post was perfectly timed. Now I'll just try your version. Looks wonderful!

  16. I am all for Korean food.....just so delicious! Yours would be warmly welcome...slurp...slurp! :D Congrats t janis on the win!

  17. I like spicy foods. Maybe that's why I fancy Korean Cuisine. A lot of their foods recipe have one or two spicy ingredients in it like gochujang and gochugaru. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely make one for our Korean Night. Korean Noodles and Korean TV - a healthy dose of Korean Idols like GDragon and TOP! :)