|Noodles for Every Taste & Occasion, Korean-Style|
|Warm or Cold, Always Satisfying|
|Noodles - foodstuffs made from rice and other cereals, and ever so predominant in Asia - may have actually originated in Arab countries in the eastern Mediterranean; ironically one of the few areas of the world where they are seldom found except in the form of couscous.
In China, their history is excellently documented. Noodles made from wheat appeared in the north, becoming well-established by 100 AD, using technology likely imported from the Middle East. Chinese rulers were the first to enjoy them, but as wheat-based noodles are nutritious, store well and are easy to prepare, they were quickly adopted and their popularity has never diminished. From China, noodles found their way into the cuisines of most Asian countries: Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, as well as Korea.
In South Asian countries, rice noodles predominate. Rice flourishes in warmer southern climes, whereas northern climates favor wheat cultivation. In Asia, noodles are differentiated by what they are made from, rather than their shape. They can be made not only from rice and wheat, but also mung beans, barley, soybeans, buckwheat, seaweed and tapioca.
Noodles owe their popularity and longevity to a combination of intrinsic advantages. They also symbolize long and happy lives in a marriage. That is why, in Korea after a wedding, bowls of noodle soup (or guksu) are served to guests who've come to celebrate the newly married couple. Noodles are cheap to make, nutritious and filling, quickly prepared, can be eaten hot or cold, may be stored for years and are easily transported.
In North Korea, the famous cold noodle dish, naengmyeon is the proto-typical noodle dish, but in South Korea, warm noodle soup, called onmyeon, was more common until the onset of the Korean War. Noodles used for onmyeon are generally made of a wheat called somyeon, and are very easy to prepare and cook.
|Janchi Guksu or Noodle Soup with Chicken|
|A simple noodle dish of thin wheat noodles in a clear broth, topped with egg garnish, sauteed chicken or beef, and julienne vegetables. This dish is traditionally served warm at large feasts such as weddings.|
1. Place the quarter chicken in a pot and pour water to just cover. Simmer with garlic, leek and a few peppercorns for about 30 minutes until chicken is tender.
2. Remove the cooked chicken and save the flesh, discarding the bones. Mix the chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Sieve the broth and season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
4. Slice the courgette and carrot very thinly, then fry lightly with a little oil in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Separate the egg and make two thin omelettes, one with egg white and the other with yolk. Slice very thinly, same size as the vegetables.
6. Boil water in a big pot to cook the somyeon noodles, about 7 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain. Re-warm the broth.
7. Place the cooked somyeon in a serving bowl, garnish with seasoned chicken meat, vegetables and egg. Add the warm broth and some sesame oil.
|Yeolmu Bibim Guksu or Noodles with Young Summer Radish Kimchi|
|This spicy cold noodle dish is particularly popular in summer, both appealingly appetizing and remarkably refreshing in warmer weather.|
1. Boil somyeon noodles for approx. 7 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain.
2. Prepare the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients together.
3. Cut the yoelmu kimchi and mix with the sauce.
4. Slice the cucumber very thinly and chop the spring onions.
5. Slice the boiled egg.
6. Mix the noodles with the yoelmu kimchi and sauce mixture, garnish with sliced cucumber and egg, and sprinkle with chopped spring onion.
|The article courtesy of Seoul magazine|