Korean jjolmyeon are chewy wheat noodles served chilled in a spicy, sweet and sour sauce with vegetables.
The word “jjolymyeon” literally translates to “chewy noodles” and refers to both the kind of noodles and this recipe. When you cook jjolymyeon they should be elastic and soft, but not tough or hard. Every brand of noodles is a bit different so I suggest you first cook the noodles for five minutes and take a sample to taste. If they're soft and chewy with nothing hard inside, they're well cooked. If not, cook them 1 or 2 minutes longer.
You can find jjolmyeon sold in the frozen section of a Korean grocery store. There are 2 types of packages: a jjolmyeon set that includes the noodles and the sauce, and a package that just has the noodles.
I prefer to buy the just the noodles and then make my own seasoning sauce at home, which is more delicious and cheaper. If you're in a hurry you can get the set with the sauce, but I suggest that when you make jjolymyoen with the kit you dress it up with more seasonings and vegetables, as well as an egg and some toasted gim. And if you can't find jjolmyeon noodles near you, you can replace them with any other noodles you have on hand, even spaghetti noodles!
Jjolymyeon is a regular dish in Korean snack bar restaurants called bunsikjip (분식집) that also usually serve inexpensive dishes that students love like gimbap, tteokbokki, and ramyeon. I like jjolmyeon but when it comes to cold noodles my favorite is still bibim-naengmyeon, where the noodles are thinner and darker. I also love kimchi-bibimguksu, where the noodles are not chewy at all and are mixed with kimchi and gochujang (hot pepper paste).
But chewy jjolmyeon, mixed with the spicy sauce, soybean sprouts, vegetables, and toasted gim has such a unique refreshing flavor and texture that it's unforgettable and has a special place on my menu.
Try it out and make your summer more delightful! : )