Sunday, January 27, 2019

[Food] Bibim Guksu (비빔국수, Spicy sauce-mixed cold noodle)


[Food] Bibim Guksu (비빔국수, Spicy-sauced noodle)

A typical spicy sauce-mixed cold noodle

It was a really hot summer's day in Korea and the cicadas were chirping louder than usual and the cool breeze from the air conditioner had just woken me up from a sweet nap at 2 p.m. I didn't want to eat at all though I was hungry. I did a little jogging around my block a few earlier in morning but the summer heat made me swelter and almost unconscious.

As I slowly opened my eyes, I missed my mom's tasty dish even though she wasn't a good cook at all. It was a very simple Korean-style noodle recipe. Cold, spicy, sweet and sour noodle that slides smoothly into my esophagus. Ah...with such imagination, saliva was pouring out like a flood.

I remember her boiling some dried noodle and mixing some chili paste, vinegar, sugar, chili powder and soy-sauce with cold water and ice cubes. When the noodles were all cooked, she showered them with cold water and ice and tossed them into a pre-made cold, spicy, sweet and sour sauce.

'Mom, I'm hungry. What do we have in the freezer?'

'You want some spicy cold noodles? We have some kimchi too'

'Hooray! I like noodles!'

Well, no one knows the origin of this spicy cold noodle in Korea but I think maybe it was a mother who loved her family so much - like my mom - who figured it out its recipe....or not :)

Spicy cold noodle with kimchi

I tried to remember her recipe but I failed. So I'm calling her today.

[Hello? Mom?]

[Hey, Jerry, How are you? what on the earth is happening? You very rarely call me, son.]

[Uhm...that's not true, mom. If anyone hears that they would think I'm a jerk who never calls his mom unless he has something to ask]

[Isn't that true...?]

[No, mom. I'm sorry that I don't call you frequently but I'm not a jerk like that. I've got something to ask you anyway.]

[See. You called me because you have 'something to ask'...tsut..tsut..]

Uhm...yeah...that's very true....:P

[Mom, what do you put in when you make sauce for spicy cold noodle?]

[Spicy noodle? hm.....not much.]

[Not much? what's 'not much'?]

[Not many things, just what I just said, son. Chili paste, chili powder, sugar and some soy-sauce. That's it.]

[That's it? Is that it?]

[ loved the noodle so much. I was so happy when you finished it to the end.]

Yeah...the recipe is very simple but....that's amazing...she made a fantastic flavor with these few ingredients. Is this so-called 'power of love'?

However many times I tried, I couldn't re-create the same taste that I had tasted from her. Darn, she was so good. However, even if she had to leave this world someday in the future, I'm satisfied that I have something to make me think of mom - like a gimbap that she made for us.

A typical bibim guksu of a famous noodle restaurant in Korea.

Maybe, someday, she will let me know the exact recipe of her bibim guksu so that I can share it with my family and friends in future. Till then, I won't try to find out her secret recipe :) because, you know, a treasure box is hidden to be discovered someday, so the recipe will come to me like a treasure :)

An instant bibim guksu ramen

Spicy, sweet and sour sauce for bibm guksu

Bon appétit!