Recipe: Dangmyeon Noodle Soup with Chickweed, Nasturtium, and Gomasio
I really want to tell you about these noodles. They are slippery but not slimy; silver gray and opalescent; perfectly round, chewy, and slurp-able. They are better than rice noodles. That's big.
I used a couple of neighborhood weeds in this soup - and they are quite pretty - but the noodles are the star. They are sweet potato vermicelli, also known as Korean glass noodles, and available at any Korean or Asian food market. I happen to have such a market in the neighborhood; if you don't, Amazon is your friend.
Dangmyeon noodles are most commonly used in a delicious stir fry dish called Japchae. If you'd like to try making it, check out this adorable video (thanks for sharing, mom). Like rice noodles, though, these are super adaptable to whatever you want to throw on them. In this case, I had some chicken stock brewing on the stove, some wilting chard in the fridge, a half an avocado, and some neighborhood weeds.
Dangmyeon Noodle Soup
Prep your toppings: I used a ragtag assortment of greens, but almost any veggie would be nice. In this case - quickly sauteed chard with some garlic and lime juice, Thai basil, chickweed (literally a weed that grows all over my neighborhood and tastes real nice), nasturtium for a peppery kick, some avocado, some gomasio (or furikake), and a few lime wedges. If you don't want to eat weeds or don't know where to find them, cilantro, green onions, and mint would all be nice. Same goes for other sauteed greens, carrots, roasted yams, corn...if you've got it, try it. No limits, I tell you!
Bring a pot of water to simmer and add an egg to boil After six minutes, remove and run under some cold water. Set aside.
Bring the water back to a boil and add a half bunch (handful) of dangmyeon noodles as well as a heavy pinch of salt. Boil for 1 minute, stir a bit to make sure they don't stick together, and cover to boil for another 6-7 minutes (or until they are soft and chewy). Remove, drain, and divide into bowls (or, you know, just put it all in your biggest single person bowl like I did).
Top with desired toppings, including the egg, which you will have cut in half and gently spooned out.
For the broth:
Bring chicken or vegetable stock (or water) to a boil and add some ginger chunks. Reduce heat and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add a heaping spoonful of miso and a generous squirt of gochujang (Korean spicy fermented paste...sriracha is an acceptable substitute) and stir to combine. This broth is in no way authentic, it's just what I made that day.
Pour broth over eager ingredients and slurp loudly.