Asian Mash-Up: Lychee-Plum Soju Sorbet

lychee

This fruity sorbet was served as a palate cleanser before the main course.  The soju, or Korean distilled grain alcohol, used to spike this was difficult to detect.  Chef Nalin later revealed its potency:

For the lychee-plum ‘sorbet’, it couldn’t be easier. Fragrant, soft, fruits do well with this treatment. I peeled some plums (both yellow and red), diced them, and then cut up some lychee. I froze the fruit pieces and then when it was time, blended them along with fridge-cold Korean soju (about 2:1 ratio of fruit to soju). For a previous dinner, I cut up some peeled grapes, froze those and blended them with white wine, which was also nice. This time, I wanted to use soju because I haven’t used it before, and I fit with the theme. Also, its 20% ABV(!), which may have contributed to the general merriment around that time of the evening.

The soju, which turned this from a palate cleaner into a boozy interlude, was also a Proustian madeleine for the chef, for whom it recalled the ill-fitting powder-blue suit jacket he was forced to wear in an elegant, “jackets required” restaurant at the tender and vulnerable age of 16.

A formative or traumatizing experience– you decide.

This was part of the Spicebox Supperclub’s Asian Mash-Up menu.

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Asian Mash-Up: Kimchi Sesame Noodles

soba

The Spicebox Supperclub normally reveals its recipes on Tuesdays, but this is a perfect dish for Meatless Mondays, hence our early appearance.

Last week, we enjoyed a fusion of Japanese and Indian flavors with a delicious salmon course.  The salmon course was followed by a spicy chaser– these Kimchi Sesame Noodles.  Notice the zippy chutney in the corner of the photo– we all decided it went well with everything and kept it on hand for the courses that followed.  Chef Nalin told us that his family had a grand time trying out a variety of noodles for this dish– ramen, somen, udon and others.  They all lend a different texture and flavor to this dish, so you can really use any noodle you prefer.

Kimchi Sesame Noodles

Recipe by Chef Nalin

Ingredients

1/2 pound dried somen or udon (Japanese wheat noodles)

1 1/2 cups kimchi, chopped

1 tablespoon kimchi juice from the jar, or more to taste

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Salt, optional and to taste

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Procedures

Bring a pot of water to boil and boil the noodles according to package directions, 7 minutes in my case. Drain the cooked noodles and run under cold water until cool.

In the meantime, chop the kimchi and combine it in a bowl with the sugar, vinegar, and kimchi juice. Add the cooked noodles and the sesame oil, and toss to combine.

Season to taste with salt (kimchi is already quite salty) and top with scallions.

This is part of the Asian Mash-Up menu, presented by Chef Nalin.

For another kimchi dish you might enjoy, try SpiceboxTravels’ Kimchi Fried Rice.  What are some other ways you enjoy kimchi?  What is your favorite Asian noodle?

At this point in the dinner, the Spicebox Supperclub has already visited the flavors of Singapore, India, Japan and now, Korea.  Check back next week to see where our palates will go next!