2.258 Kimchi-Cucumber Bibim-Myeon

-Cycle 2, Dinner 258-
20 (Tue) September 2011

Kimchi-Cucumber Bibim-Myeon

* * *

by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Wife and Dominic

Bibim-myeon (비빔면) is a Korean dish consisting of thin flour noodles seasoned with gochujang (고추장) (red chili paste), sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar. Other ingredients may be added, usually crunchy vegetables, such as onion, carrot, cucumber, etc., as well as kimchi and dried laver and sesame seeds (as I always do). The "bibim" means "mixed" and the "myeon" means "noodles." With contents that are always available in a Korean kitchen, about 5 minutes from start to finish--bringing a pot of water to boil for the noodles, the seasonings are spooned out and the toppings are sliced and everything is combined in a large bowl; the noodles are boiled for 2 minutes, drained and rinsed with cold water to bring them down to room temperature, then mixed by hand (preferably gloved) with the ingredients in the bowl--it's one of the quickest and easiest dishes that I know.

Of course, to get it right, the trick is to balance the spicy-savory-sweet-salty-sour flavors of the individual components, which I can usually accomplish without fail.

That said, what threw me off tonight was my concurrent objective of nailing down a recipe that I could post on the blog. I tend to cook by feel, eyeballing amounts and adjusting along the way as necessary. But, in trying to establish exactly how many tablespoons of this ingredient and how many teaspoons of that, I got so lost in the details that it ended up being overly or underly spicy-savory-sweet-salty-sour all at the same time. While the ability to make a dish without referencing a set recipe may be the acme of a chef's prowess, the transcription of those instincts onto paper is another ability altogether.

For no particular reason, another in the recent series of cloud photos,
this one in front of my office as I was getting ready to go home.

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