Misua is one of my go-to noodles when making hot noodle soups or stews. Usually cooked with patola and ground pork or meatballs, misua is quick cooking and plumps up in the broth nicely. Cooking these delicate wheat noodles turn them into slippery strands that defy any and all attempts to sip it with one’s poise intact. Often misua can only be eaten through hearty slurping, which without a doubt makes the food taste better.
Misua, meet kimchi
For this kimchi vermicelli dish, we wanted a more flavorful broth–enter mushroom soaking liquid and kimchi (don’t forget the juice!). Kimchi jjigae is the inspiration of this dish, retaining the spicy and sour umami that the Korean stew is known for.
The misua or vermicelli noodles and sweet potato thicken in the broth, with the latter also adding sweetness, and the noodles’ slipperiness is a great contrast to the assertive flavor of the kimchi. Feel free to top up the kimchi vermicelli with water if you want a soup base for this dish. And as you slurp the slippery noodles, you draw in more air into your mouth, cooling it briefly and making for a better experience.
Adding meaty textures
My go-to meat substitute of choice for texture is firm tofu. I use the mushroom soaking time to air fry or pan fry the cubes of tofu. I also like using a combination of fresh and dried mushrooms, and throw in some cubes of potatoes too.
A few weeks ago I was able to get sticks of dried yuba from the soybean store. Since then I have been obsessed with using yuba in every ulam I make. Yuba has this soft, stretchy, and slightly rubbery texture that I find novel and enjoyable, and quite different from the tofu and mushroom textures.
The diverse textures of mushrooms, tofu, and root vegetables, along with the slippery misua noodles make eating this dish quite pleasant.
- ¼ cup dried tengang daga (wood ear mushrooms)
- 4 pieces of dried yuba or beancurd sticks
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- ½ cup kimchi, drained (recipe here)
- 2 to 4 Tbsp kimchi juice, depending on desired sourness
- 1 medium yellow sweet potato, cubed
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- 40 grams misua noodles
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water and mushroom soaking liquid combined
- Sesame oil
- Spring onions
- Rehydrate the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of water, drain and set aside the soaking liquid. Rinse the mushrooms and cut into bite-sized pieces if needed. Break the yuba sticks into 2-inch pieces, and soak for at least an hour.
- Using a pan over medium-low heat, cook the onion in oil until translucent, around 5 to 7 minutes.
- While waiting for the onion to soften, strain the soaking liquid to remove the dregs then top up the liquid with enough water or vegetable broth to come up to 2 cups. Set aside.
- Once the onion is cooked, add garlic and cook until fragrant, around a minute.
- Add the mushroom-water mixture, sweet potato, potato, kimchi, kimchi juice, and mushrooms. Let it boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, salt, and the sugar (if using).
- When the sweet potatoes are tender, mash them with the back of a fork to add sweetness.
- Stir in the misua noodles and let cook for 5 minutes. Stir gently. Top up with water if needed.
- Add soy milk skin and let it cook for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust to preference, adding more kimchi juice if you want it sour or sugar if you want more sweetness.
- Turn off heat and drizzle some sesame oil. Serve hot in a bowl garnished with spring onions.
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