Kamis, 18 September 2014

Jumbo sized Buckwheat Noodles - 쟁반국수

Jaengban-guksu (cold buckwheat noodle platter) has been popular since the 1990's when mak-guksu (mixed buckwheat noodles) restaurants first began to offer 2~3 portion of Makguksu on large platters, with mounds of delectable garnishes. The noodles, mixed with spicy sauce, fall somewhere between Bibim-guksu and Bibim-naengmyeon.
Jaengban-guksu literally means 'platter noodle.' One may wonder why noodles are served on a platter instead of individual bowls. But that's the key point. Jaengban-guksu is basically Bibim-guksu on a platter. Mixed with several kinds of vegetables, Jaengban-guksu epitomizes the Korean style of dining: mixing and sharing. The Korean practice of eating from the same dish signifies trust and intimacy. Another merit of Jaengban-guksu is that individuals can eat as much or little as they want.
Jaengban-guksu is best described as a dish made of 'half noodles, half vegetables.' The vegetables include lettuce, crown daisy, cucumber and carrot. Boiled beef and eggs are also tossed in, but the main ingredient is definately vegetables. It is a low-fat, low-calorie meal and perfect for weight-watchers.
Buckwheat, the main ingredient, contains ten to twelve percent protein. Most of all, the abundance of essential amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan, which are lacking in most other grains, make it one of the most nutritious foods.

6 ounces buckwheat (memil guksu/soba) or green tea (nokcha) noodles (or somyeon/somen)
1 Korean cucumber (or Kirby/pickling cucumber), julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
3 to 4 red cabbage leaves, julienned
3 to 4 Romaine lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
6-8 perilla leaves (kkaennip), thinly sliced
2-3 ounces alfalfa and/or radish sprouts
1 boiled egg (optional)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice (or apple or any other fruit juice)
2 tablespoons vinegar (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon hot mustard powder (gyeoja), mixed with 2 teaspoons water (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
pinch pepper

Mix all sauce ingredients and keep it cool in the fridge.
Prepare the vegetables and keep them cool in the fridge or in ice water (drain well before using).
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (5-6 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Drain and rinse in icy cold water until the noodles are very cold. Make two or three mounds. Place the mounds in a colander to drain.
Place the noodles in the middle of a large platter, and arrange the cold vegetables nicely around the noodles. At the table, you can toss everything together with the sauce or let each person take his or her portion and then mix it with the sauce to taste.


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