Today felt like summer. And I don’t think it was just because of the scorching heat, or the fact that I didn’t go to school.
Today had all the lazy, do-nothing, bum-around traits that makes summer, summer.
So of course I had my mom make what I think is the pure epitome of Korean summer food.
Now some of you might say that the Korean summer dish is moolnengmyun. But I would have to disagree. Ok, ok, I’ll admit that in sometimes in those dog days of summer, nothing hits the spot better than a bowl of chewy noodles, cucumber, and boiled egg in an icy, meaty broth. But my favorite summer dish of all time has to be kong gooksoo. That is, soybean noodles.
I know, it sounds crazy. But this has got to be my favorite chilled Korean dish. I like it more than moolnengmyun. More than mohmeel gooksoo (aka soba), more than bingsoo, more than bibim nengmyun… In fact, I like it better than kimchi. GASP. I know, that’s probably sacrilege to Korean dining culture. But it’s just that good. And when mommy makes it homemade… I can’t even begin to describe it how much I love it.
And it’s so simple to make. It’s pretty much noodles in a chilled soybean soup (almost a soybean gazpacho I guess?). By taking soybeans that have been rehydrated and then cooked, blending it with sesame seeds and water, pouring it over a bowl of noodles , and garnishing with julienned cucumbers and ice cubes, you end up with this:
The epitome of Korean summer food. At least for me. I ate it slowly, trying to savor every sip of my soybean soup. It’s just soo refreshing – and healthy too. Whole-grain barley noodles, pureed soybeans and sesame seeds, and cucumbers. How can you go wrong with that? It’s an excellent source of protein, and delicious to boot. I’ll probably be eating this multiple times a week this summer.
Oh, soybean noodles, how I love thee…