Korean Cold Noodle Soup with Radish Water Kimchi

eating Korean noodles with a fork
Eating cold noodles in winter, preferably in front of a great big fire, is a way of enjoying the best of two seasons.

We made a meal of this when Mr. Tess returned from Philly after working there for nearly two months. As a dyed-in-the-wool noodle-lover it was the best thing I could think of to welcome him home.

I don’t think he was disappointed in the menu; at any rate he was happier than the cats were.

Korean Radish Water Kimchi

water kimchi cut for dinner

Making kimchi seemed a wonderful idea. I spent a lot of deep-in-the-night sleepless hours roving the internet while Mr. Tess was working in Philadelphia. Radish water kimchi made me laugh, especially when I heard about a cold noodle soup made with this pickle. The weather was beginning to be chilly in October, and I wanted to hold on to summer if only in my dining room.
These pickles are absolutely delicious, especially the water which can only be called addictive: sour, salty, sweet, and popping good…

Minty Carrot Tsukemono

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There many kinds of Japanese pickles (漬物). Pickles add a diversity of color, shape, and texture to a meal, even to the most basic Japanese meal of rice, miso soup, and pickles. 

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While some pickles are made especially to preserve food, others celebrate the time of year by transforming the best seasonal vegetables into annual traditions to look forward to.

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Japanese pickles play a role similar to Korean banchan, making a dinner more than the sum of its parts. They are like little salads—almost as if one picked out the best most flavorful items without having to chew through the acres of greens, drenched in oil based dressings.

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Shiso-Cucumber Pickles

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The garden is showing signs of the end of summer. Tomatoes have stopped producing, the soybeans have been harvested, chard is enjoying the cool nights with an extra growth spurt, basis and shiso are going to seed. I’ve not used either the green or red leaves enough this summer! They will soon be gone and I’ll have to pay for a small packet of only a few leaves. This recipe didn’t originally call for red shiso, but I used a little and was pleased that it colored the cucumbers a little.

Asparagus Tsukemono

Asparagus with Lemon and Onion from “Easy Japanese Pickling serves 4 page 19 a large bunch of asparagus 1/4 cup water 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 4 Tablespoons vinegar 1 Tablespoon lemon juice 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced 1/4 onion, thinly sliced thin lemon slices Blanch asparagus. Spread out in a colander to…

Summer Squash Namul

Summer Squash NamulLast year I did a recipe test called Hobak Namul. I did not think about the name of the recipe at the time, but now I’ve learned that “hobak” is a Korean squash with green skin and yellow flesh. I’ve never seen one! Namul is a Korean term for a seasoned vegetable dish. The test recipe used green and yellow summer squash, but here I’ve used only yellow squash, with carrots.

Cucumbers in Spicy Soy Sauce

Cucumbers in Spicy Soy SauceIf you are trying to add more vegetables or salads to your diet, I highly recommend this book: Easy Japanese Pickling in five minutes to one day. This dressing is written to be used with small Japanese eggplants, but Ms. Ogawa suggests that cucumbers make a nice variation. It’s an easy and original way to serve either vegetable.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Japanese Sauteed MushroomsIn the fridge was a package of baby bella mushrooms. When I’m grocery shopping the beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables inspire me to over imagine what I’ll cook. The mushrooms were fresh and firm, full of promise though I had no recipe in mind. They were on sale. That was a week ago, and they were still in the fridge. Though the following recipe calls for using a variety of mushrooms, it was very nice with only the one kind.

Tosa-Style Cucumbers

Bonito Soy Flavored CucumbersI made a nice welcome-home dinner because Mr. Tess is back for a couple of weeks. I had some pretty little cucumbers in the fridge, and while I love cucumbers with just a little salt, he’s not a big fan of them. To make them more special, I found a recipe called Tosa-Style Cucumbers. Without prompting, he told me the cucumbers were really delicious. I started wondering exactly what does “Tosa-style” mean?

Cooking Technique: Pickling (Tsukemono)

Pickling: Tsukemono Pickles are a vast domain in Japanese cuisine with an endless variety of delicate and strong pickled foods, preserved in many different ways. The pickles I’ve made are all quick and simple to make, so I’m missing most of that variety. From “Easy Japanese Pickling—in five minutes to one day” by Seiko Ogawa…