So I have a new contact named Danny at Nongshim Korea – one of the guys from Happy Souper helped me get a hold of him via email – thanks! Danny was kind enough to send along these new Mr. Bibim varieties. They’re dry noodles with a liquid base and kimchi included. Here’s a little about kimchi from wikipedia –
The origin of kimchi dates back at least to the early period of the Three Kingdoms (37 BCE‒7 CE). Fermented foods were widely available, as the Records of the Three Kingdoms, a Chinese historical text published in 289 AD, mentions that “The Goguryeo people [referring to the Korean people] are skilled in making fermented foods such as wine, soybean paste and salted and fermented fish” in the section named Dongyi in the Book of Wei. Samguk Sagi, a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, also mentions the pickle jar used to ferment vegetables, which indicates that fermented vegetables were commonly eaten during this time.
Pickled radish slices make a good summer side-dish,
Radish preserved in salt is a winter side-dish from start to end.
The roots in the earth grow plumper everyday,
Harvesting after the frost, a slice cut by a knife tastes like a pear.— Yi Gyubo, Dongguk isanggukjip (translated by Michael J. Pettid, in Korean cuisine: An Illustrated History)
However, early records of kimchi do not mention garlic or chili peppers. Kimchi was not red until the late 16th century, when chili peppers were introduced to Korea by Portuguese traders based in Nagasaki, Japan. The first mention of chili pepper is found in Jibong yuseol, an encyclopedia published in 1614. Sallim gyeongje, a 17‒18th century book on farm management, wrote on kimchi with chili peppers. However, it was not until the 19th century that the use of chili peppers in kimchi was widespread. The recipes from early 19th century closely resemble today’s kimchi.
A 1766 book, Jeungbo sallim gyeongje, reports kimchi varieties made with myriad of ingredients, including chonggak-kimchi (kimchi made with chonggak raddish), oi-sobagi (with cucumber), seokbak-ji (with jogi-jeot), and dongchimi. However, napa cabbage was only introduced to Korea at the end of 19th century, and whole-cabbage kimchi similar to its current form is described in Siuijeonseo, a cookbook published around that time.
Kimchi is a national dish of both North and South Korea. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War its government requested American help to ensure that South Korean troops, reportedly “desperate” for the food, could obtain it in the field; South Korean president Park Chung-hee told U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that kimchi was “vitally important to the morale of Korean troops”. It was also sent to space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with South-Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon after a multimillion-dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odor without affecting taste.
Mr. Bibim seems to be a kind of play on the popular bibimbap dish. If I’m correct, bibim means ‘mixed’ but I could be wrong. Let’s go ahead and learn a little about Mr. Bibim!
Nongshim Mr. Bibim Stir Fried Kimchi Flavour – South Korea
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, add noodle block and vegetables sachet to 500ml boiling water and cook for 2.5 minutes. Drain noodles. Add in liquid base. Finally, stir and enjoy!
The noodle block.
The liquid base sachet.
Has a kimchi scent.
The vegetables sachet.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. The noodles came up just a hint al dente – probably due to the shorter cook time. This however worked quite well. The saucer coated all surfaces very well. It was indeed a kimchi flavored affair with a wallop of heat not for the faint of heart. The included kimchi was of good quality and quite nice. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 031146038930.