Sunday, February 12, 2006
Waste Not, Want Not
I can't believe I did this, but today, I actually wasted food. Well, I wouldn't have if the whole thing didn't taste like ass.
Craving some bibim naeng-myun, or Korean spicy cold buckwheat noodle, I bought a bag of refrigerated instant bibim naeng-myun from the Korean market for about 3 bucks. Forget the fact that I could have just bought myself a bowl from the noodle stand inside the market for about 5 bucks. No, my cheapskate self had to try and make it the instant way and save two dollars.
The bag, whose brand I do not know beacuse it was in Korean, contained 2 packets of buckwheat noodles and sauce that I tried to prepare according to the package's instructions, which coincidentally, were also in Korean. But there were pictures at least. OK, a pot of boiling water--check. Dunk noodles in boiling water for...OK, I can't read Korean but I recognize the numbers 2 and 3. Dunk noodles in boiling water for 2-3 minutes--check. No wait--uncheck. I think I had my noodles in the water for about a minute and a half and when I took them out, all I got was mush. Throw noodle packet number 1, now a goopy, mushy mess down the garbage disposal--check.
Lucky for me, the package came with two servings of noodles so I decided to give it another shot. OK, a pot of boiling water--check. Dunk noodles in boiling water for less than a minute this time--check. The next step I did on my own...rinse noodles in really cold water for a few seconds to chill--check. Now back to the pictures...add sauce packet--check. I added a few sliced cucumbers, but unfortunately no sliced beef or boiled egg because I had none in the fridge. But still, the noodles and sauce were horrible. The gochujang (red pepper paste) based sauce was frighteningly bitter, no nice saltiness or sweetness to round it out. The texture of the noodles was flat, not having that taut, chewy pull that good Korean buckwheat noodles have. I ate the cucumber slices and everything else went into the garbage disposal. Bleh.
I'm wondering if there was something in the Korean instructions that I missed, or if the noodles really, truly did taste like ass. Anyone out there read Korean? If so, please enlighten me...did I skip a step? If not, I guess I'll just stick to eating my bibim naeng-myun at restaurants. And for now, I can't believe my 3 bucks went down the drain...literally.