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.
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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.