How to Make Kalguksu 칼국수 (Korean Knife-Cut Noodle Soup) -Recipe

October 18, 2016 § 1 Comment

Every time I am in Korea, my first restaurant stop is Myeongdong Gyoja. They have the best kalguksu I have ever had, which is perfect for me because kalguksu is my favorite food! Kalguksu literally means “knife noodles” and fortunately, they taste delicious in just about any broth. Myeongdong Gyoja uses a beef broth, but I make mine at home with chicken broth. I love kalguksu because I can’t turn down a good bowl of noodle soup. Ramen, pasta, pho, the list goes on, but my absolute favorite is kalguksu. Yes, your breath will smell like garlic for a few hours, but let’s be honest, is that really so bad?

You can freeze the leftover broth or use it as a delicious base for other soups. It will also make a fantastic shabu shabu base broth.

Chicken Kalguksu (Knife-Cut Noodles) Recipe

Serves 4 generous portions


Broth (adapted from Maangchi):

  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 inch piece ginger, smashed
  • 10-20 cloves garlic, peeled, trimmed, and left whole
  • One onion, halved
  • Two green onions, cut into thirds
  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 dried jujube, dates (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp shirodashi (optional)p dried red chili rings

Garlic and mushroom paste:

  • Garlic and mushrooms reserved from broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Optional toppings: mushrooms, chives, green onion, red pepper flakes


  1. Broth: Bring everything but fish sauce and salt to boil then reduce to medium and cover. Cook 1 hour. Remove chicken to a bowl to let cool. Scoop out garlic and mushrooms as much as possible to separate into a separate bowl. Discard the rest of the vegetables.
  2. To the garlic and mushrooms, add sesame oil and salt. Mash together and set aside.
  3. Shred chicken when cool enough to handle. Throw away bones (if using bone-in chicken breast). Toss the shredded chicken in the garlic paste and set aside.
  4. To the broth, add salt and fish sauce (and shirodashi, if using) to taste.

Noodles (Maangchi):

  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 0.5 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp veg oil
  • 1.25 cups water
  1. Noodles: Mix together flour, starch, salt, vegetable oil, and water. Knead for 5 minutes. Let it rest 30 min, knead again 2-5 min, let it rest 10 minutes.
  2. Roll out as thin as possible. If using a pasta maker, roll out the dough on the first setting, then move to second setting and roll out again. Then, use a tagliatelle or pappardelle cutter to cut your noodles.
  3. If rolling out by hand, dust the dough with flour evenly on both sides and roll the dough into a loose roll. Using a sharp knife, cut slices around 1/8-1/4″ thick and unravel the noodles with a toss of flour so they don’t stick together.

Dadaegi (chili sauce, yangyeomjang):

  • 2 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes gochugaru (cannot be substituted with any other chili flakes!)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1 tbsp shirodashi
  • 1/4 cup chives (optional)
  1. Dadaegi: Mix together all the ingredients. Let it rest for 10 minutes, mix again until it is a thick paste.

To assemble:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high. If using vegetables or mushrooms as toppings, blanch them and then remove using a slotted spoon.

Add noodles to the boiling pot and stir well so they don’t stick. Boil for 4 minutes on high.

Drain the noodles and add them back to the pot. Add a few ladles of the broth and add salt or shirodashi, and pepper to taste. It shouldn’t be too salty, since the dadaegi is very salty.

Divide the noodles and broth into bowls. Top with shredded garlic and mushroom chicken, mushrooms, chives, and other toppings if using. Serve with dadaegi sauce on the side.

I like to use a separate bowl and add the dadaegi a little at a time to each bite of noodles. But you can put the dadaegi directly into your bowl if you’d like as well!

§ One Response to How to Make Kalguksu 칼국수 (Korean Knife-Cut Noodle Soup) -Recipe

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