Food by VICE

Icy Buckwheat Noodles Recipe

Tossed with a charred peach-chili sauce and topped with granita, this simple dish is–dare we say it–better than ramen.

by Angela Dimayuga and Danny Bowien
Dec 7 2016, 3:52pm

Servings: 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 6 hours

Ingredients

for the icy beef broth granita:
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups beef drippings strained or 2 cups reduced beef stock
1 sheet kombu (about 4-inches-by-8-inches)
1 garlic clove, smashed
1-inch piece ginger, sliced
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
fish sauce, to taste
kosher salt

for the charred peach-chili condiment:
1 peach
6 red holland chilies, or your favorite kind
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce, preferably Red Boat
pinch of salt

for the mustard eggs:
6 large eggs
1 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup white wine

to serve:
roasted pork belly
assorted herbs
4 packets cold buckwheat noodles
edible flowers

Directions

1. Make the granita: In a small stock pot, combine all stock ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about two hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Dilute with water to bring back to original liquid amount, about 6 cups, and season with salt and fish sauce. Broth should be a bit saltier than your desired taste because the flavor becomes a bit muted when served cold. Pour into a small baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. Using the tines of a fork, stir the mixture every 30 minutes, scraping edges and breaking up any ice chunks as the mixture freezes, until granita is slushy and frozen, about 3 hours. Particles can vary in size to make it more interesting to eat! Keep frozen until ready to use.

2. Make the charred peach-chili condiment: Light a grill. Add the peaches and chillies and grill, turning as needed, until charred, about 10 minutes for the peaches and 5 minutes for the chilies. Place in a container and cover with cling-film for 10 minutes. The chilies and peach will steam in the container. Peel the peach and discard the chili stem and any tough bits. Add to a mortar and pestle with a pinch of coarse salt until it comes to a coarse paste. Fold in fish sauce and vinegar and keep in a container on your counter for a day or two until the flavor intensifies and develops through fermentation.

3. Make the mustard eggs: Drop raw eggs into boiling water and cook for 9 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water until cold, then peel.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the mustard and wine. Roll the eggs through the mustard and pickle for at least two days. It will be stable in mustard for several weeks just like any other pickled egg!

5. To serve: Arrange your garnish plate. Arrange sliced mustard egg, and your favorites of pickles, thinly sliced meat (steamed beef or roasted pork belly is our favorite), and herbs like sesame leaves, pepper lives, thai basil, shiso, mint, or even sliced chilies.

6. In a small stockpot , bring about 9 cups of water to a boil. Get an ice bath ready in a large salad bowl to shock the noodles. Season the boiling water and ice bath to seawater level salinity. Using a noodle blancher, blanch each set of noodles in the water bath and stir. After merely 15 seconds, transfer the noodle blancher with noodles to the ice bath to shock immediately. After shocking the noodles in ice water, aggressively shake the noodle blancher to remove as much water from the noodles as possible to not dilute your dish.

7. In a large mixing bowl, cut each pile of noodles four times with scissors. The noodles are very chewy and need to be cut down to serve. Season the noodles with all your chili-peach condiment and combine in your mixing bowl.

8. Divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Add about 1 cup of granita to each bowl and cover all the noodles. Garnish with edible flowers, such aw anise hyssop or garlic flowers. Serve with a fork or chopsticks and eat with accompanying garnishes.

Author's Note: There are many types of "cold buckwheat noodles" or nyeungmyun which you can find at your local Korean grocer. Our favorite is a blend of buckwheat and wheat flours, that come in a brown hue from the frozen section. You can substitute with ramen or your favorite noodle, but we like the chewy density of this Korean type!

From How-To: Cold Buckwheat Noodles