MEET THE SOUS CHEF
JONAH KIM, EXECUTIVE CHEF, PABU, BALTIMORE
Jonah Kim, executive chef at Pabu, knows about the dog days of summer. The Texas native has worked in Austin, Las Vegas and Baltimore, three spots that positively sizzle in July.
His antidote? A chilled buckwheat noodle salad dressed with an assertive dressing made with gochujang (spicy Korean red pepper paste), a nod to his Korean heritage.
Master the recipe, crib the method, and you'll be well on your way to some sweat-free summer slurping.
Photos: Noah Fecks
2 servings (plus leftovers)
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
White sesame seeds, 1½ teaspoons
Granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons
Rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons
Garlic clove, 1 small (grated on a Microplane-style grater)
Fresh ginger root, ½-inch piece (skin scraped away with the edge of a spoon and grated on a Microplane-style grater)
Scallions, 3 (white and light green parts only, finely chopped), ¼ cup
Buckwheat soba noodles, 4 ounces
Small Asian pear, ½ (cored, thinly sliced, stacked and sliced lengthwise into matchsticks)
English cucumber, ¼ (peeled, halved, thinly sliced, stacked and sliced lengthwise into matchsticks)
1. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the
- White sesame seeds
Toast the sesame seeds, shaking the skillet often, until they are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the sesame seeds to a small plate.
To the skillet, add the:
- Granulated sugar
- Rice vinegar
Reduce the heat to low, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then transfer the sugar-vinegar mixture to a food processor (use the small bowl insert) along with the:
- Grated garlic
- Grated ginger
- Chopped scallions
Process the mixture until it is a semi-smooth paste, about 20 seconds.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with
Add enough water to create an ice-water bath (don't overfill the bowl). To the pot of boiling water, add the:
- Soba noodles
Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions, until they are al dente. Drain in the colander and transfer the soba to the ice water. Once the noodles are cooled, drain.
3. Transfer the cooled soba noodles to a medium bowl. Add the gochujang sauce, using tongs to coat the noodles with the sauce. Divide the soba noodles among 2 bowls. Top with the:
- Asian pear matchsticks
- Cucumber matchsticks
Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.
STEP BY STEP
TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Buckwheat or Bust
For this chilled noodle dish, Jonah Kim uses buckwheat noodles, called soba, which are available dried. Though we love the nutty flavor and chewy texture of soba, Chinese egg noodles, udon, rice vermicelli--even spaghetti--could be substituted for the soba.
Spice is Nice
For the dressing, Kim uses gochujang, a Korean chile paste that is both spicy and sweet. You can find it at well-stocked grocery stores; it will keep in the refrigerator for several months after opening.