Let’s say that one of your favorite food trucks serves Korean food. Every week, you visit it out of habit to the point where the owner knows your name by now. But there is an easier way to fulfill your cravings for Korean noodles. Grabbing the freshest ingredients from your friendly local Asian supermarket can teach you what you need to know and get your family hooked on it, too.
On a hot summer day, eating and drinking anything cold, from shaved ice to iced tea, can be sweet and refreshing. While you might be familiar with cold savory dishes from other types of cuisine (such as gazpacho, a cold Spanish soup) you might not realize that these dishes are commonplace all over Asia as well. Koreans know what it’s like to suffer through long, hot summers. That’s why cold noodles, also known as mul naengmyun, are such a smash hit.
These buckwheat noodles serve as the base for a chilled broth along with meat, eggs, and veggies. It comes from the mountains of North Korea where it originated as a winter staple. Although it doesn’t sound like it at first, it is something tasty to give to anyone in your party who must abide by a gluten-free diet.
The stir-fried Korean noodles called japchae are a great entry point for anyone new to eating Korean cuisine. Although it is already wildly popular in its homeland, it is also gaining ground here in the West. Glass noodles made from mung beans or sweet potatoes are the base for a delicious mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and spinach also add another dimension of flavor. For the most authentic taste, however, you shouldn’t shy away from including bulgogi beef along with onions, mushrooms, and red peppers.
Black Bean Noodles
Finally, let’s turn our attention to black bean noodles. Known as jajeongmyun in its native tongue, it is a Korean spin on a Chinese classic that has a cognate (similar-sounding) name in zhajiangmian. The special sauce used for these Korean noodles contains a paste made from caramel and soybeans that give it such a distinctive color. Many Chinese restaurants in Korea serve it, but it isn’t as easy to find here in the States. When you do, though, you know you have a hidden gem in your hands.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.