Author Notes:We've been taught to use our pickle brine to marinade meat, so kimchi counts, too. Here, it works its magic on shrimp, puncturing it with flavor and then serving as the dressing for a noodle salad.
One16-ounce jar kimchi (or homemade equivalent)
3 1/2tablespoons rice vinegar
3 1/2tablespoons soy sauce
1tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2teaspoons sesame oil, plus more for coating noodles
6ounces soba noodles
1pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1cup shredded Napa cabbage
Sesame seeds, to garnish
In a large pot, bring a lot of generously salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, strain the kimchi brine into a large bowl, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. Taste and adjust to your tastes. Then roughly chop the kimchi and stir it into the marinade.
Once the water is boiling, add the shrimp and cook until just pink, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size of shrimp. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and immediately place into the marinade. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for a half an hour, then transfer to the fridge while you finish prepping the rest of the salad. (The shrimp will keep in the fridge for 2 days.)
Bring the water back to a boil and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. When they’re done, drain them, coat them with sesame oil to prevent sticking, and let cool.
Add the soba and cabbage to the shrimp and toss to combine. Taste and adjust accordingly. Garnish with sesame seeds.