Korean Market Find: Pink Cactus Noodles

On a recent trip to the Korean market, we spotted these pink cactus fruit noodles. We had no idea what they'd taste like or the best way to prepare them, but how could we resist giving them a try?!

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Made in Korea, the noodles contain "wheat flour 92%, powder of cactus fruit 5%, salt 3%." We aren't sure what kind of cactus fruit is used; perhaps prickly pear? Any "cactus" flavor was barely discernible but we think we detected a slight sweetness. Although they weren't much different from plain wheat noodles, they had satisfying chewy texture and the color was certainly fun!

On the advice of our favorite Korean mom, we served the noodles with white radishes (pickled and julienned). We chilled them on ice and added a vinegary-sweet sauce and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. These would also work well in other Asian cold noodle dishes.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find an online source for cactus fruit noodles, so your best bet is to search Korean grocery stores. If you're in the Los Angeles area, look for the Well Rich brand noodles at the new Farmers' Market on the corner of Western and San Marino across from Koreatown Plaza. (Farmers' Market is just the name; it's not an actual farmers' market.)

Have you by any chance tried these – or anything else fun from an ethnic market lately?

Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Acorn Noodles

(Images: Emily Ho)