Spicy Cold Buckwheat Noodles (Bibim Naengmyeon : 비빔냉면)

I remember walking around on a scorching hot day in Korea last summer, and the overwhelming feeling of relief we felt after taking that first bite of Naengmyeon, or cold buckwheat noodles.  There are two kinds of Naengmyeon dishes, one served in a chilled broth, and the one I’m sharing with you today, which is topped with a spicy sauce. Both versions feature sweet, crunchy, and tangy elements and that’s what makes this cold noodle dish even more refreshing and addicting!

Bibim Naengmyeon | ChefJulieYoon.com

I usually order the one with the broth, but Joe opts for the spicy kind called Bibim Naengmyeon, which translates to “Mixed Cold Noodles.”  I figured I might as well learn to make it at home so he could have it more often.

Bibim Naengmyeon | ChefJulieYoon.com

The toppings are traditionally cold sliced beef brisket, cucumber, Asian pear or pickled radish, and half of a boiled egg. I’m greedy so my recipe requires BOTH the pear and the radish. I just like the variety in crunchy textures and juicy flavors.

Bibim Naengmyeon | ChefJulieYoon.com

Everything works so well together and it’s a completely hearty and satisfying meal even though it’s a chilled dish.  And since the weather is FINALLY getting warmer around here, I knew it was time to feature this recipe.  By the way, we live in Chicago and this has been the longest winter ever. I predict we will skip right through spring and be suddenly hit with summer.

Bibim Naengmyeon | ChefJulieYoon.com

The spicy sauce is simply made, but it does taste better when you make it beforehand. As it sits in the fridge, the flavors just meld better together and become richer and more complex.  But you can totally make everything all in one day and it will still be scrumptious!

Bibim Naengmyeon | ChefJulieYoon.com

The best part is if if you make the sauce and cook the beef in advance, all the other elements are so easy to assemble, which means you can whip this tasty dish in a jiffy and spend less time in the kitchen, especially when it’s scorching hot outside.  Watch how I make this spicy cold Bibim Naengmyeon in EPISODE 14 of Bits & Pieces SEASON 4 BELOW:

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Korean Cole Slaw

I’m still waiting for spring to arrive in Chicago, but at least hailstorms in April have been interesting!  I was pretty excited when we filmed this video because it was during a fluke warmer week, and that made me anticipate the idea of frolicking outside again.

All I know is that the next time I have to bring a potluck dish to a barbecue or picnic, you can bet I’ll be toting a big bowl of this Korean Cole Slaw.  Read more

Korean Sweet Pancakes (Hodduk: 호떡)

I was on a mission to storm through the streets of Korea in search of some Hodduk, or sweet Korean pancakes.  They’re fried until golden and crispy, and oozing with brown sugar syrup. It didn’t even matter to me that we were there in the midst of a scorching summer… I NEEDED to have some piping hot Hodduk!  I’m happy to report that the mission was accomplished, and I still remember every crispy, chewy, and gooey bite of it!

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Beef & Barley Bibimbap Salad

Ever since I was a kid, anytime our family would go out to eat at a Korean restaurant, Bibimbap was practically the only dish I’d order.  But the truth is that Bibimbap is super easy to make at home because all you need is a bunch of leftover ingredients, some rice, and a spicy sauce.  Bibimbap literally translates to “mixed rice,” but I decided to make a version using barley instead. Read more