This dish is most popular in the summer but delicious year-round. Korean naengmyun noodles are made from wheat and buckwheat and are wonderfully chewy; Japanese soba is an adequate substitute but lacks the chewy texture. Because of the noodles' firm texture, the dish comes to the table with scissors, and you are to snip a few times and then mix everything together after enjoying the initial presentation.
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste, such as Annie Chun's)
2 tablespoons ground Korean chile (gochugaru) or ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Korean radish or daikon radish, cut into thin 1 1/2 x 1/2-inch slices
10 ounce uncooked Korean naengmyun noodles or soba noodles
24 thin slices Asian pear
1 cup julienne-cut English cucumber
2 hard-cooked large eggs, chilled and cut in half lengthwise
How to Make It
To prepare sauce, place onions and garlic in a mini food processor; process until minced. Add gochujang and next 6 ingredients (through sesame oil); process until smooth. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
To prepare pickles, combine 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH for 2 minutes or until boiling. Place radish in a medium bowl; top with hot vinegar mixture. Cover and chill 2 hours; drain.
To prepare remaining ingredients, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Arrange about 1 cup noodles in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons sauce. In each bowl, arrange 1/4 cup radish on one side of noodles and 6 pear slices on the other; arrange 1/4 cup cucumber in middle. Top each with 1 egg half.
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