100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 92: Cold Spicy Noodles at Kimbob Deli

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.

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.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart