Remember when my parents suddenly packed all their belongings and moved to South Korea a couple of months ago? My dad, after living in the U.S. for almost forty years and unbeknownst to him became an American, has returned to visit me, and is in the kitchen as I write this, eating bagel with cream cheese, omelet, breakfast sausages, avocado, melon, and his second? helping of coffee.
There is a Costco in South Korea, where the parents buy all their American goods. But apparently mouthwash is the price of truffle oil there, and my dad swears that everything Western tastes different in S.Korea–and not in a good way. He can’t get on board with the fish based sausages, or the $8 coffee at Starbucks, or the weird cheese(his words).
Not everyone feels this way, and my step-mom is having a hell of a time there, and has decided to stay behind while my dad is here raiding my kitchen.
Before he heads out to In-N-Out, I better make plans for lunch—some light healthy soba noodles to keep his cholesterol in check.
(I use a basic myeolchi stock as my base for the soba noodles dipping sauce. Myeolchi stock is an excellent base for many Korean stews and soups.)
- Kombu (about 6" x 3" piece cut from a larger sheet of Kombu)
- 1 c dried Myeolchi (dried anchovies)
- 5 c of cold water
- Place ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer.
- Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, and use stock as base for soups and stews.
- (Add daenjang or miso and tofu for a simple soup.)
See below to turn Myeolchi stock into soba noodle dipping sauce.
Blending Japanese and Korean Flavors: Cold Soba Noodle Dipping Sauce
Pour 4 cups of Myeolchi Stock into a small pot.
Add 1/2 c soy sauce, 1/4 c of mirin, 1 tbs sugar to the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Cool and refrigerate. To serve: ladle a cup of sauce into a rice bowl per person. Add grated Korean radish or daikon to sauce to taste. Serve with cold soba noodles that are cooked according to package.