Homemade noodles with black beans and tamari

Black bean noodles

There’s a special kind of joy in discovering a movie by accident. A movie you haven’t watched trailers for, or read reviews of, or looked forward to seeing. The other night we watched a Korean film called Castaway on the Moon. Knew nothing about it. What a nice surprise! A delightful mix of very human, and slightly but magically surreal. I’ll try not to give too much of the plot away, but here’s the basic story. A man jumps off of a bridge over a river in the heart of a bustling city (Seoul). He washes up on an island in the middle of the river. He might as well be in the middle of nowhere. He becomes an unlikely Robinson Crusoe. And he becomes obsessed with black bean noodles. To him they represent hope. Of course, after watching the movie, I, too became obsessed with black bean noodles. It turns out real Korean black bean noodles don’t have black beans as I know them, but a paste made of black soy beans. Too late! The idea of black beans and noodles was firmly implanted in my head. It seems they sometimes add meat or seafood to the black bean noodles, so I thought of my black beans in that capacity. Apparently the soy bean paste is mixed with caramel. So I made a sort of caramelized soy sauce with tamari and raw sugar. Malcolm, who is a big fan of noodles with tamari, helped me pick the spicy spices. We decided on garlic, ginger, basil, red pepper flakes and scallions. Delicious! Black beans and tamari are wonderful together. Why didn’t I think of it sooner?

We didn’t go to all the trouble that the man in the movie did, to make the noodles, but we did make them ourselves. It turned out to be very easy and very very fun. Not as easy as opening a cardboard box of dried noodles, but much more delicious. We’ll be making more noodles, soon. And different shapes, too. Watch out!

Castaway on the Moon.

Here’s Culture’s beautiful I’m Alone in the Wilderness.

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