Cold Korean Buckwheat Noodles Recipe

Dec 30, 2013 1:00 pm

Homemade noodles pay tribute to the 1988 Olympics

Photo: Noah Fecks
Photo: Noah Fecks
A mixture of Korean red pepper paste and powder spices up these traditional buckwheat noodles.

One of our favorite food books of the year is The Way We Ate, a cookbook chronicling the iconic foods of our past and present via some of the world's favorite chefs. The book’s authors (and photographers) Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz share a desire to re-create, cook and capture some of the best recipes of the 20th Century that they either missed the first time around, or want to relive in their own kitchens. In the book, food writers and chefs each take a year in the 20th Century and develop a recipe that pays tribute to an invention, moment in history or nugget of pop culture.

The second Olympic Summer Games to be held in Asia (the first was in Tokyo in 1964) saw higher numbers of participating countries than any previous games of the 1980s. Some of the 20th century's best-known athletes, including Flo-Jo, Greg Louganis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, would attend and compete. The South Korean peninsula, and its people, were largely undiscovered to generations of Americans. As a result, the intricate platings and divine, opulent preparations of Korean food seemed extraordinary to the average American. Today, Korean cuisine is still woefully underrepresented outside metropolitan East and West Coast cities. Thankfully, the brilliant and polished Scott Hocker has created a dish to introduce the flavor and excitement of Korean cuisine to American cooks and diners.

Reprinted with permission from The Way We Ate

Servings: 4


3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
3 tablespoons fine gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) or hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon sugar
kosher salt
1/2 pound daikon or Korean radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 pound dried buckwheat noodles
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 scallions finely chopped
2 English cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup shredded toasted kim (nori)
4 cups cold stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  1. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup rice vinegar, gochujang, gochugaru, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well. Add the radish and toss well to combine.
  2. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Season with salt until the water tastes like the ocean. Add the noodles and cook until they are just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 4 teaspoons of the toasted sesame oil, garlic, scallions and the remaining 1/2 cup rice vinegar. Stir well.
  4. When the noodles are cooked, drain in a colander, rinse well with cold water and drain again. Divide the noodles among four large bowls, mounding the noodles in the center of each bowl. Drizzle each pile with 2 teaspoons of the remaining toasted sesame oil. Top each pile with scallion-garlic sauce, radish mixture, cucumber, sesame seeds and seaweed (called kim. Pour 1 cup stock around each pile of noodles. Serve with chopsticks and a large, long spoon.

Try out these Asian noodles recipes on Food Republic:

Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
10 minutes
Cooking Time: 
20 minutes
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