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Picnic Perfect: Bill Kim’s Egg Noodle & Watermelon Salad With Pattypan Squash

By Melissa Wiley in Food on Aug 30, 2013 7:20PM

“If you use 14-15 flavors in your cooking, it’s easy. But if you use only two or three, you have to be really honest,” Bill Kim reflected at a recent cooking demonstration on his bellyQ patio.

“Pigs eat apples, so apples and pork naturally go well together. But mostly you have to consider what’s in season. Anything that’s in season at the same time complements each other. So blueberries and peaches taste great together. The same with watermelon and squash,” he explained while preparing an egg noodle and watermelon salad with pattypan squash well worth replicating for your Labor Day picnic.

The proof of any culinary philosophy is always in the tasting, and a few bites were enough to convince us to scrap our traditional potato salad for something more seasonal and with a Korean kick.

Here’s Kim’s recipe for 10 servings:


1 ½ lb egg noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
2 pounds pattypan squash
1 tablespoon olive oil plus ¾ cup, separated kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small watermelon, preferably seedless, cut into 1” cubes
1/3 cup garlic, minced
1/3 cup onion, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
¼ cup Chinese black beans, soaked 30 minutes, then rinsed and chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
¼ cup pickled ginger, minced 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 pound arugula, washed
2 sprigs mint, leaves picked and thinly sliced


Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water and dress with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Cut squash into quarters. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the squash until tender. Season with salt and pepper and cool.

To make dressing, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a sauté pan on low heat and sweat the garlic, raw ginger, and onion until tender. Allow to cool. Then add black beans, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled ginger, jalapeno, soy sauce, and white wine vinegar.

To assemble, toss arugula with some of the dressing and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, combine noodles, mint, watermelon, and squash and toss with some dressing. Add arugula and noodle mixture to complete.