$ $ $ $ $
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45 mins

Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking
Serves 2

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.

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© 2024 Maangchi · Reproduced with permission. · Excerpted from Maangchi, © 2015 by Maangchi. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photographs © by Maangchi 2015
  • Step 1

    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.

  • Step 2

    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.

  • Step 3

    Divide the noodles between two soup bowls or put them in earthenware serving pots.

  • Step 4

    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.

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