2.258 Kimchi-Cucumber Bibim Myeon

2.258

20 (Tue) September 2011

Kimchi-Cucumber Bibim Myeon

1.5

by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Bibim Myeon (비빔면) is a Korean dish.  Consists 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.” 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.

 

ADDENDUM

18 (Thu) March 2021

At work, I’m promoting the 100th anniversary of the Newbery Medal.  A month ago, I had reached out to Tae Keller, author of When You Trap a Tiger, winner of 100th Newbery Medal, and proposed a written interview.  I snuck in a bonus questions – What is your favorite Korean food? – not quite sure what I would do with the response.

By cosmic coincidence, her reply came this afternoon (the day after I had migrated this post): “Bibim naeng myeon!  I love it.”  Which isn’t the same as bibim myeon, but close enough.

I had been struggling to decide what dish to make for When You Trap a Tiger on GMTD’s Newbery food project (see 100 Newbery M&Ms).  I struggle no more.  Stay tuned.

 

ADDENDUM bis

22 (Mon) March 2021

As noted in the comments below, Number One Swedish Fan GK took inspiration from this post and tried making it for himself.  In doing so, he is the only reader (thus far) ever to replicate something featured on GMTD and provide feedback.  He also validates the migration of older posts onto this current website, demonstrating that content from 10 years ago can still be useful.  Thanks!

GK: I liked the freshness and simplicity of it (plus it’s really cheap). Definitely something I will make in the future again.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

5 thoughts on “2.258 Kimchi-Cucumber Bibim Myeon

  1. I have to agree on the easiness of dish dish. I got inspired by this post, and also from my wish to continue practicing my knife skills whilst also using up vegetables in my fridge before they go bad. So I cooked some instant noodles, mixed with gojuchang, sesame oil, soy sauce, sliced cucumber, carrot, pickled radish and dried laver. I forgot about sesame seeds, will add that to the leftovers I have for lunch tomorrow. I think I will also add a boiled egg…

Leave a Reply