Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup with Soba and Swordfish

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup with Soba and Swordfish

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup
Beef Broth, Buckwheat Noodles, Swordfish, Seaweed

It’s not the elegant soup I would serve at a dinner party, but rather a rustic soup I absolutely crave on a winter night. This soup is kimchi guk on steroids.

Kimchi guk is a simple Korean soup where chopped napa cabbage kimchi is simmered in beef broth. Sometimes daikon, meat, or tofu are added. It is usually garnished with scallions.

This version with ground beef, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, and swordfish is much more hearty, and served as a meal. The broth is sour, spicy, savory, salty with a hint of sweetness, and really explodes with flavor.

There are a few non-traditional foods that I like to pair with napa cabbage kimchi such as cheddar cheese, mashed potatoes, and BBQ oysters. Swordfish is another, with its mildly sweet flavor and a juicy meaty texture with a good balance of fat, it just goes well with sour and spicy kimchi.

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup Recipe

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cold soba noodles with eggplant and mango

ottolenghi soba noodle with eggplant and mango

cold soba noodles with eggplant and mango
red onion, basil, cilantro
garlic chile lime dressing, peanut and lime garnish

This is Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s dish. He says, “It is the refreshing nature of the cold buckwheat noodles, the sweet sharpness of the dressing and the muskiness of the mango that make it so pleasing.” Hard to argue with that.

I made a few minor changes, including grilling the eggplant instead of frying in sunflower oil. And I added peanuts. The photo of this dish in his book Plenty looks like a mess, a delicious mess. Initially I plated it in the Taste With The Eyes style, but it looked too fussy, so I dumped the whole lot onto another platter, to mess it up, just like Ottolenghi. Not only did I think the noodle dish was spectacular, but I learned a lesson in plating too. Sometimes disheveled is better.

cold soba noodles with eggplant and mango recipe

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Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad

gourmet picnic
Gourmet Picnic

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles with Peanut, Scallion, and Cilantro
Radish, Tofu, Shiitake, Carrot, Cucumber, Edamame, Shrimp

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover assignment for May is Gourmet Picnic Food, perfect for the Memorial Day holiday. “Take your favorite picnic food for a ride and make something special. Lots of leeway and freedom, you choose the ingredients. Just make sure it is 5 Star.”

My contribution to May’s Picnic is a makeover of the ubiquitous pasta salad. This one is portable, delightfully colorful, bursting with flavor, healthy, and since guests compile the salad themselves can be made vegan (just skip the shrimp).

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Summer-in-Winter Soba Soup

Chilled Soba Noodle Soup
Fragrant Soy Milk Broth with Ground Sesame, Lemongrass, Ginger, Curry Leaf
Buckwheat Soba Noodle & Chick Pea
Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber, Scallion, Cilantro, Red Jalapeño, Sesame Seed

Lemongrass, Ginger, Curry Leaf

Buckwheat Soba Noodle

As we Angelenos bask in a mid-winter heat wave with temperatures reaching the 80’s…we’re dining on a cool fragrant heart healthy soup here. Soy milk is infused with lemongrass, ginger, and curry leaf. Ground sesame seeds add a nutty component. The garnishes are bright and refreshing. My friends in the mid-west and north-east may want to remember this recipe for the hot months to come, and those in the Southern Hemisphere and Southern California (for the time being), can enjoy this chilled soup now!

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Asian Pizzette


Congratulations, you’re one step closer to becoming the next Food Blog Star!
Your entry has advanced to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010.
Your next challenge? “Recipe Remix.”


Challenge Prompt: One recipe, 72 variations! We’re challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe. How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? You’ll be asked to put your own spin on Pizza. For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping. Get super creative or just share your secrets for the very best results. (from foodbuzz here)

Thank you to the folks at foodbuzz for hosting such a unique and well-executed competition. It has been a blast! The serendipity of participating in this contest has been the introduction to so many creative bloggers! To my readers, thank you for your warm comments and enthusiasm, as well as taking the time  to vote and support Taste With The Eyes. Voting for this round is now open through Thursday, October 21. Please come to the Pizza Party, and vote for your favorites!

Finally, another note of thanks to my dear friend Gina and and my favorite local restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro in Redondo Beach, for the inspiration to remake their terrific dish, Chicken Katsu with Soba Noodles, into a pizzette! I have been meaning to share my noodle cakes made with udon noodles and chow mein noodles – usually topping them with sautéed mushrooms or spinach. The buckwheat soba noodle cake makes an earthy base for the juicy chicken katsu cutlet, and the flavors from three vibrant sauces and colorful slaw work very well together in this Asian Pizzette. I think Gina would approve.


buckwheat soba noodle cake
macadamia nut chicken katsu, yuzu tahini sauce, sweet ginger soy
tri-color slaw, rice wine chile syrup, daikon sprouts

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French Goat Cheese – Cheese of the Month

Goat Cheese Katsu Salad
Soba Noodle, Edamame, Spring Greens 
Creamy Sesame & Sweet Soy Dressing

Goat Cheese Katsu:

Dip chilled goat cheese medallion in egg white, then in panko breadcrumb/black sesame seed mixture. Fry in hot peanut oil until golden, transfer to paper towel. Season with sea salt.

Soba Noodles with Edamame:

Toss cooked chilled soba (buckwheat) noodles, edamame (shelled boiled green soy bean) and sliced scallions with dressing.

Creamy Sesame & Sweet Soy Dressing:

Heat ½ c. each low-sodium soy sauce and mirin (rice wine) in a sauce pan, with 1 t. each minced garlic and ginger. Reduce by half. Add honey to taste. Let cool then mix with 1/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste).

Assemble Goat Cheese Katsu Salad:

Place baby leaf spring greens on a platter, drizzle with dressing. Place soba noodles alongside the spring greens, top with warm Goat Cheese Katsu medallion.

I used the delicious Ile de France Goat Cheese. It is an indulgent, fresh, tangy, snowy white rich cheese made from milk of goats grazing in the French Alps. Looking for ideas for the next time you serve goat cheese? There are many creative cheese recipes in the Ile de France Spring Follies here.

The inspiration for this cheese served with an Asian-style twist came from my favorite local restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro, owned by my dear friends Scott & Gina Lee. They serve a delicious Chicken Katsu over Soba Noodles with Asian Vegetables. And if you are a fan of chèvre chaud you might enjoy this pumpkin seed crusted version as well.