Summer has introduced some excellently refreshing and delicious summer dishes.
Mul Naeng Myeon—a spaghetti hybrid (minus the tomato sauce) is served in ice water with shredded cucumber, radish, a hard-boiled egg, and some spicy chili sauce. Granted the noodles are not quite spaghetti noodles, but you have the idea.
Before you right this off and place it with kimchi in the “Not-So-Delectable Korean Cuisine” category (though I happen to like kimchi) let me just say that it is a relatively hearty dish while staying as refreshing as dinner can get. Refreshing is really the key as temperatures are rising into the 80s and 90s. While you think, “well, okay, here too,” I could guess that you are probably looking onto those harsh summer temperatures from the other air conditioned side of a window.
Before summer in Korea hit, I genuinely thought that those traditional folded fans you buy in Asia served purely as tourist souvenirs. They. do. not. While my pretty traditional folded fan will soon be hung on a wall at home, it is busy at work in Korea. I break that puppy out in every classroom and in most buildings because the truth is that a lot of buildings don’t have AC and the ones that do simply don’t use it.
Pat bing su (which sounds a lot like “pot bing Sue”) is snow cone meets ice cream sundae. I can make it quite easily at home here, but I hope to recreate something close to the real deal in the States.
Step 1) crushed (or if you can get your hands on it) shaved ice
Step 2) sweetened condensed milk. I actually think it’s too sweet with sweetened condensed milk so I use regular milk
Step 3) sweetened red bean paste. Sweetened red bean paste is used in a lot of Korean desserts—in everything from ice cream bars to pastries— I don’t remember seeing anything similar to this in the States. I hope to find it in a specialty store at home. All the same, I don’t think it would be hard to make.. . i.e. smash red beans (into the consistency of refried beans) and add a little bit of sugar. Easy, right? OR, and here is where a modification could be made (I’ve never personally tried this, but if you’re feeling adventurous, then please give it a whirl and let me know how it turns out), do use the sweetened condensed milk and use unsweetened red beans. But whatever you do, don’t forget the beans!! You need your beans!
Step 4) Add whatever other goodies you’d like. My favorite ones are made with fruit and deok (gummy rice cake), but I’ve seen ice cream, yogurt, little candies, corn flakes.. . really.. sky is the limit.
Add it all. You can’t go wrong.
Step 4) Consume and cool off