Color coded

Purple corn and rice noodles with red cabbage kimchi, bacon, scallops, scallion, and sesame
Purple corn and rice noodles with red cabbage kimchi, bacon, scallops, scallion, and sesame

Yes, this was one of the most wonderful things ever.

No, I did not follow my own advice about not being too “matchy”.


I used the leftover red cabbage from last week’s meal to make kimchi, which l may or may not have been eating straight from the jar. At a certain point, however, I started to worry that I was carrying the smell of rotting garlic and chile on me wherever I went. Getting rid of the rest of the kimchi by putting it into a stir fry was an obvious solution. When I got to the store, I serendipitously found these purple corn and rice noodles from Thai Kitchen (pictured, right). Maybe it was a case of kitchen OCD, but I couldn’t resist. They were the same color as my kimchi!

This loudly colored dish demanded loud flavors as well. Perhaps it was the voice of David Chang subconsciously speaking to me, but I knew that bacon would be necessary. And if that wasn’t enough, scallops too. Plus some more garlic and some more heat, just to make my smelly situation worse.

Here’s the recipe, which, it goes without saying, is not for the easily offended:

Kimchi noodles with scallops and bacon

Makes 2 servings


  • 4 ounces dried purple corn rice noodles, or regular rice noodles
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into large pieces*
  • 6 ounces scallops
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup kimchi brine
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 cup red cabbage kimchi or regular kimchi, roughly chopped**
  • 1 whole scallion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Put dry noodles in a large bowl and cover completely with warm water. Set aside until noodles are flexible, about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, fry bacon to desired crispiness. Remove and let rest on paper towels. Keep the skillet with the bacon drippings over heat.

Pat dry the scallops with paper towels, trimming off any ligaments still attached. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Add scallops to the warm bacon fat in the skillet. Sauté until browned, about 2 1/2 minutes each side, and remove to a paper towel.

Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat and return the skillet to heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add chicken broth, kimchi brine, and gochugaru, stirring to mix. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add the softened rice noodles. Let cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened and the noodles are almost done, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add the kimchi and stir to incorporate before removing from heat.

Divide the noodle mixture between two plates. Top each with the reserved bacon pieces, scallops, chopped scallion, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

* 2 or 3 ounces of slab bacon cut into lardons would probably be even better, but most grocery stores don’t seem to carry it, sigh.

** To make red cabbage kimchi, take your favorite cabbage kimchi recipe and substitute red cabbage for the napa cabbage.

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