What is going on with this weather?! Can it really be in the upper 80's today? Thank you yes, I'll take more of this for forever!
It really feels like winter is over in Santa Barbara. Of course, the fog monster will probably rear its ugly head, jealous of us Santa Barbarans frolicking happily in the sun, but let me just block that thought out of my mind and concentrate on enjoying this glorious day right now. It's been so rejuvenating basking in the warm sunshine all day long...early morning run, walking around downtown, eating lunch outside, nodding off over my Chinese vocabulary notes while sunbathing...
With this kind of hot weather today, I'm definitely reminded of my time in East Asia last summer. Being that it was hot and humid there round the clock, I definitely enjoyed cool drinks like barley tea (both 麥茶 in Taiwan and 보리차 in Korea) and cool dishes like 刨冰 and 콩국수.
One dish I particularly enjoyed in Korea was 비빔국수 (bibimguksu), cold somyeon noodles coated with a tangy gochujang (red pepper paste) sauce, with an egg and cucumber slivers on top. I'd been visiting the traditional Korean Folk Village with a colleague and his family, and we stopped for a bite to eat in the midst of our explorations. It sure was tasty, and thankfully, bibimguksu is an easy dish to whip up at home, especially if you have a jar of cho-gochujang mixed up and sitting in the fridge like I had today. Add a few veggies, and it's a nice balanced meal or snack good for any hot day!
Side note: the noodles pictured here are not the thin, round somyeon noodles that are normally used in this dish. All I had in the house at the moment was jjajangmyeon noodles, but heh, they worked in a pinch.
Bibimguksu (비빔국수) Spicy Cold Noodles
Makes 1 serving
2 oz. wheat noodles
2 Tbs. cho-gochujang (recipe follows)
1 cup broccoli florets, thinly sliced
black sesame seeds and cucumber slivers, for garnish
Place egg in a medium pot and fill pot 3/4 full with water. Cover pot, place over high heat and bring water to a boil. When water is boiling, add noodles and cook (uncovered) according to package directions.
Remove noodles when done and rinse with cold water and ice cubes. Add broccoli to boiling water and cook until just tender but still bright green. Drain egg and broccoli and cool with cold water and ice cubes.
Arrange broccoli in a serving bowl. Mix cooked, drained noodles with cho-gochujang sauce in a separate bowl, then arrange the noodles over the broccoli, and garnish with cucumber, hard-boiled egg, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Cho-Gochujang (초 고추장)
(Sweet and Sour Korean Chili Paste Sauce)
3 Tbs. Korean red chili paste (gochujang, 고추장)
2 Tbs. superfine sugar (or honey)
2 Tbs. rice (or apple cider) vinegar
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. roasted sesame oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. A delicious condiment, this sauce is great on almost anything! Store any leftover sauce in the refrigerator for later use.