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Kimchi Sotanghon Salad

One of the ways I like to enjoy kimchi is in a cold noodle salad. It’s a recently discovered pleasure, thanks to the equally pleasurable-to-watch fountain of all food Korean, Maangchi

As a family with a fairly regular stash of kimchi in our respective fridges, we’re always on the lookout for different ways to eat it, and the cold kimchi noodle salad called bibim guksu is one of the quickest dishes to make. This recipe is from Maangchi, with just a few tweaks. 

A salad for hot, humid days

Hot humid days have become fairly frequent here, even as the rainy season has marked its return. After the rains let up, there is a hot damp heaviness in the air. 

Personally I find it hard to muster the energy to sweat over a stove especially around noon. I like to prepare my food for the day early in the morning, and making this salad means I can prepare it ahead and store it in the fridge and then take it out come lunchtime, its cold temperature a welcome relief. 

You can of course make the kimchi sotanghon salad a few minutes before mealtime. If your kimchi is stored in the fridge, then that will still help deliver some of the cold temperature you need for this hearty savory salad.

Still with a little heat

As a fairly spicy dish, the kimchi sotanghon salad might still make you sweat, which helps our bodies regulate its temperature, quite important when temperatures are scorching. You can dial down the heat level of this dish by using a smaller amount of gochujang (or dial it up by adding more). I used a three-week-old kimchi to make this, but if you are using one that has been fermenting longer, adjust the sugar content. 

I also used sotanghon noodles for this recipe but you can use the thin wheat noodles, called for in the traditional recipes, or even quick-cooking angel hair pasta. You can garnish this dish with shitake mushrooms and pickled radish, or you can eat it wrapped in lettuce leaves or nori seaweed.

Ingredients
  • 120 grams of sotanghon/glass noodles (3 small bundles)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup kimchi juice
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang
  • 3 tsp coco sugar
  • ½ cup kimchi, drained and chopped (Find our recipe, here)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced/grated
  • Cucumber
  • Sesame seeds
Directions
  1. Cook sotanghon according to package directions, around 5 to 6 minutes. 
  2. Drain the cooked noodles, rinse, and place in a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil and mix evenly. Refrigerate. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix kimchi juice, gochujang, and sugar until well combined. Taste and adjust to preference. Add a Tbsp of gochujang if you want it spicier. 
  4. Add chopped kimchi and grated garlic. Combine well. Refrigerate. 
  5. Come mealtime, take the noodles and sauce out of the fridge. Tip sotanghon noodles into the bowl with the kimchi-gochugang dressing. Mix well until all the noodles are coated. 
  6. Serve the kimchi sotanghon salad with cucumber slices and sesame seeds. You can also add roasted nori flakes and sliced green onions.

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