kimchi fried noodles, korean, vegan

*joke about ‘noods’ and ‘nudes’ being homophones*

so delighted to announce that my beloved cabbage daughter, kim minchin, is finally old enough to be sacrificed to the korean food gods haha. and what better way to celebrate her coming of age than by turning her into kimchi fried noodles!

cooking kimchi only works when the kimchi is hella funky (my girl kim is 11 weeks old lol). but when it works, it really works! the complexity of flavour brought out by pan-frying it is really quite special.

in fact, i tend to be stingy and ration my homemade kimchis so i can save them for this exact purpose haha.

i think something like an udon noodle would be a bit more traditional, but the wannabe-hong konger in me was desperate for some fried hor fun – i’m sure we’ve all been there, right?

if you’re not vegan, adding eggs would be a great touch, as would spam, wee bits of cooked ham and a big ass handful of american-style mozzarella at the end (i promise i’m not making this up haha).

one of the joys of a dish like this is how customisable it is. and how quick it is to cook. and how delicious it is. a triple threat really haha.

ingredients (for 2 people, or 4 if part of a wider meal)

1 unit (lol) of whole/uncut kimchi (if you only have cut kimchi, just guess the size)

3 garlic cloves

1 cm piece of ginger

4 spring onions

6 shiitake mushrooms

1 handful of kelp/kombu

1/2 medium carrot

150g dry weight noodles

4 tbsp vegetable oil

sauce

1 tbsp gochujang

1 tbsp gochugaru (or less if you want less spicy!)

1 tbsp kimchi brine (like the juice you get in a pack of kimchi)

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp boiling water

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

garnish

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

method

1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the noodles. Cook for a few minutes until al dente. Drain and rise in the cold tap. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

3. Chop the kimchi into bite-sized pieces. Chop the spring onions, setting aside the green part for garnish. Finely chop the garlic and ginger. Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms and cut the kelp into roughly bite-sized lengths (remember to rehydrate it first). Either julienne the carrot or just coarsely grate it if easier.

4. Add vegetable oil to a super hot wok (you’re gonna want to open a window for this). Add the kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add the mushroom, carrot, kelp and white part of the spring onion and cook for a further minute. Then add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for a further 30 seconds.

5. Add the noodles and delicately toss them through the vegetables for 2 minutes, trying not to break them. Then add the sauce and toss until fully coated. Remove from heat.

6. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and the green part of the spring onion and you’re good to go! Although you’re gonna want some water nearby because it’s spicy as foooooooook 👏🏻👏🏻

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