Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking
This noodle soup has a clear broth that is slightly fishy and full of umami flavor. Most Korean housewives keep anchovy stock on hand so they can make a satisfying bowl of noodles at a moment’s notice; you can substitute a meat-based stock, though the taste will be very different. The recipe scales up (or down) easily. It is also easy to play with: For example, try adding chopped kimchi or cooked finely chopped beef to each bowl before serving for a more complex version.
While noodle soup is great for when friends drop in and you need food in a hurry, it is also a special-occasion dish. Koreans traditionally associate long thin noodles with longevity, so this soup is often served at birthday parties, to wish for a long life, and at weddings, to wish for a long marriage.
© 2021 Maangchi · Reproduced with permission. · Excerpted from Maangchi, © 2015 by Maangchi. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photographs © by Maangchi 2015
You Will Need
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil, garlic, fried tofu strips, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the garlic is crisp and golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and toasted sesame oil and stir for another minute to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles, stirring with a wooden spoon so that they won’t stick to each other, and cook until tender but still chewy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the noodles and transfer them to a large bowl of cold water to cool and remove excess starch. Drain. Rinse and drain the noodles under cold running water a couple of times until they are cold and not slippery.
Divide the noodles between two soup bowls or put them in earthenware serving pots.
Heat the anchovy stock until hot, then pour it over the noodles so the stock covers the noodles by 1 inch. Add half the tofu strips, the scallions, hot pepper flakes (if using), crushed seaweed paper, and a few drops of toasted sesame oil to each bowl. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Serve immediately.