Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.
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There are days in the roasting heat of a Texas summer when we crave a cool, refreshing lunch that’s also got a spicy kick. What meal in Dallas combines hot peppers with light summery flavors? Jjol myeon, a Korean cold noodle dish that’s a specialty at Kimbob Deli on Royal Lane near the junction with I-35.
There are several ways of spelling this dish, including “jjolmyun.” We’ve used the Kimbob Deli's spelling, since the main menu at the ordering counter does not include any English-language explanations. Jjol myeon literally translates as “chewy noodles,” which is technically true, but the chewiness is meant in a good way: the noodles are soft enough to give slightly between the teeth, but certainly not “chewy” in the usual, unpleasant meaning of the word. They’re mixed with a red sauce that’s primarily chili pepper paste, with a bit of vinegar and garlic for good measure. The chilled noodles and slow-building heat are refreshing, light and sinus-clearing at the same time.
Framing the plate — which at Kimbob Deli is a huge platter, more than a foot wide — are four kinds of veggies, salads dressed with that same chili pepper paste. For a gigantic plate, jjol myeon can be a lightish meal, and it practically cries out for a lager and a patio. Kimbob Deli has neither; luckily, they do takeout.