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…

Ginger and Pepper Tsukemono

Hot, spicy, zippy sweet ginger and pepper pickles appealed to my desire for distinct flavors.
As I wheeled my grocery cart around the store’s vegetable displays the jalapeños looked dark green, shiny, and plump. I’d recently bought some that were very mild. I thought how pretty they would look with the pink gari. How colors look together has been in my mind: the new house, still mostly empty, needs to have a few rooms repainted.
I was led astray by smooth green skin!
~~~should have considered this:
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Minty Carrot Tsukemono


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


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.

Senmaizuke Turnip and Kombu Tsukemono

Senmaizuke Turnip TsukemonoThe most common turnip (Tokyo turnip) in Japan is only about 2 inches in diameter, but the Kyoto turnip (shougoin kabu) is extraordinarily large and is used for the famous senmaizuke pickles, which translates literally as thousand sheet pickles and that is exactly what they look like. Pickling them is a traditional preparation for winter around Kyoto. The thin slices are layered in barrels with salt and weighted for several days. This recipe is a quick version—it takes only a few hours.