I love, love, love soba noodles. If you haven’t been able to tell from my blog yet, I love noodles, mostly the semolina variety. But buckwheat makes me happy too.
I got a Tasting Table newsletter recipe in my inbox recently that had this Korean soba recipe that called for Gochujang, a Korean fermented paste. I bought it on Amazon and when I cooked with it I recognized that uber spicy yet tangy and sweet taste that is often found in some of my favorite Korean restaurants — Franchia and Hangawi to name a few.
Anyway, as much as I love spicy food, I found the spice overpowering in the original recipe by Jonah Kim. I made some adjustments, and find this version really good. In this recipe, the soba noodles are served cold; the cold noodles mixed with the hot sauce makes for a very fun flavor. I hope you enjoy!
Chilled Spicy Soba Noodles
Makes 4 servings
|3 tsp sesame seeds
6 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup rice viegar
1/3 cup Gochujang (Korean chile paste)*
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
|1/4 cup chopped scallion
9 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
1 pear, thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks
1/2 of a cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks
1. In a skillet set over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, shaking the skillet often until they are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the sesame seeds to a small plate.
2. To the skillet, add the sugar and rice vinegar. Reduce the heat to low, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Then transfer the sugar-vinegar mixture to a food processor or blender, along with the gochujang, minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped scallions. Process the mixture until it is a semi-smooth paste, about 20 seconds.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice and add enough water to create an ice-water bath. Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions, until they are al dente. Drain in the colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the soba to the ice water. Once the noodles are cooled, drain.
3. Transfer the cooled soba noodles to a medium bowl. Add the gochujang sauce, using tongs to coat the noodles with the sauce. You could add a few tsp of cold water to loosen the sauce. Divide the soba noodles among4 bowls. Top with the pear and cucumber matchsticks. Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.
* The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of gochujang. This made my eyes water. Be forewarned!