JULY 22, 2013

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
MAKE THE
Chilled Buckwheat Noodles with Spicy Sauce
Chilled Buckwheat Noodles with Spicy Sauce

YIELD

2 servings (plus leftovers)

TIME

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Total: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

White sesame seeds, 1½ teaspoons

Granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons

Rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons

Gochujang (Korean chile paste), ⅓ cup (buy it here)

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

Ice

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)

DIRECTIONS

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:

  • Gochujang
  • 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

  • Ice

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.

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STEP BY STEP

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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.

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