One of my favourite Korean dishes: Bibim-naengmyeon 비빔냉면

Bibimnaengmyeon COVER - One of my favourite Korean dishes: Bibim-naengmyeon 비빔냉면

Since I’ve been writing about Korea lately, it seems like the perfect opportunity to introduce you guys to one of my absolute favorite Korean dishes in the universe: the Bibim-Naengmyeon [비빔냉면]. It’s probably a combination of a love for Asian noodles and spicy things that created this love for bibim-naengmyeon. I honestly never expected to like cold noodles but between this and cold soba and cold ramen, I seem to have no issues with the temperature as long as I’m eating Asian noodles.

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Naengmyeon is actually a popular dish within Korea. It’s so popular that it has a song! A slightly comedic one that became a hit nonetheless. But actually I am not really largely fond of just naengmyeon. I prefer BIBIM-naengmyeon, which is the spicier, less icy brother of the normal naengmyeon.

A taste of Western-Japanese fusion dish Mentaiko Spaghetti at home

Mentaiko Spaghetti COVERR - A taste of Western-Japanese fusion dish Mentaiko Spaghetti at home

I’ve been writing restaurant and travel posts exclusively the last couple of weeks, so I thought I’d drop this recipe for Mentaiko Spaghetti in the middle of it all real quick. This recipe is one of the easiest noodle recipes I’ve ever made, and it features one of Japan’s delicious delicacies that travelers can easily bring home. I’m not sure if people here in the Philippines know much about mentaiko, but with the amount of Filipino tourists flocking to Japan these days, I thought this would be a fun recipe to write about.

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I personally first discovered the joys of mentaiko in Fukuoka. As one of their specialties, Fukuoka produces a good number of products featuring this ingredient, including mentaiko mayonnaise and mentaiko crispy rice puffs. All of them are pretty good, but perhaps not as good as the fresh kind. The other best option is frozen mentaiko, which I discovered can be found in the fridge section of the food souvenir shops in ALL the major Japanese airports. If you’ve never had it before, Mentaiko Spaghetti is one of the easiest and yummiest ways to enjoy it.

Attempting to make Nagasaki Champon at home

Nagasaki Champon COVER - Attempting to make Nagasaki Champon at home

Nagasaki Champon [長崎ちゃんぽん] to me is a bit like a warm comforting hug. It’s the kind of noodle soup you’d probably want on a day when you’re not feeling too good and you want something warm to slurp on. It’s not spicy, and it’s not extra flavorful. It’s got a light milky taste, and it is packed with nutritious veggies and tasty seafood (plus some protein).

I will say that champon isn’t my favorite Japanese noodle dish. (Miso Ramen is hard to beat.) However I found myself enjoying this nonetheless. It’s rather different from most noodle dishes I’ve tried in Japan; different in the sense that it’s very Chinese.

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Japan has always had a very identifiable cuisine, but here in Nagasaki, the rest of the world has managed to add bits and pieces of influence to the cuisine. Back when this port city was a busy hub to foreigners, a lot of Chinese, Portuguese, and other Europeans sailed onto its shores. This part of Nagasaki’s history is very much apparent in the architecture and the food you will find here. In one meal, you can have Chinese sweet and sour pork plus champon as your mains, then Portuguese egg tarts for dessert.

An attempt at Food52’s Kimchi Mac & Cheese

Food52 Kimchi Mac Cheese 1 - An attempt at Food52's Kimchi Mac & Cheese

I’ve been a fan of Food52 for a while now, but I never actually tried cooking up one of their recipes until now. This recipe for Kimchi Mac & Cheese was one of the first I bookmarked, and every time I was about to forget about it, it found some way to pop up on my social media feed.

And then I received a big package of cheese from the California Milk & Cheese Board some months ago. I can take a hint from the Universe, because that felt like an even bigger reminder for me to make this. I used some of the cheeses I received there to make this Kimchi Mac & Cheese dish, and in the process, I realized I have never cooked anything this indulgent before. There was a lot of cheese, my friends.

[READ ALSO: Cheesy Gochujang Pork Sandwiches in Two Ways]

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Mac & Cheese isn’t particularly complex to make, but what excited me about this dish was the fact that kimchi was going to play a role in it. I’m a big fan of how Korea manages to fuse cheese into many of their spicy dishes, and I thought this experience would be no different.

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