Wednesday, October 1, 2008


You're freaking right I love to cook! I thought I'd start sharing some great recipes I've come up with in numerous attempts to replicate delicious Korean meals I've consumed. Maangchi is great, but sometimes browsing through the local supermarket and trying some new stuff out is equally successful. Sometimes.

When we were in Jejudo, we had the most delicious soup ever. It tasted like a piece of home. The only hint that we were even eating Korean food (aside from the fact that we walked into a blatantly Korean restaurant) was the sprinkling of gim (pronounced "kim"), or dried seaweed over the top of the soup. I'm not a huge fan of gim, so I tend to leave it out of this recipe, but feel free to add as much as you like (taking into consideration how it may alter the taste).

Anyway, after eating this amazing soup I was determined to find a similar restaurant in Suwon. I couldn't (if you know one, please tell me!) but one day I was wondering what to do with some leftover chicken broth and the idea for this soup came into my head. I explained the soup to one of my Korean friends and she said the name is Kalguksu. Perfect. So here is what I found about Kalguksu on Wikipedia:

"The broth for kalguksu is usually made with dried anchovies, shellfish, and kelp. In order to obtain a rich, umami flavor, the ingredients should be simmered for many hours. Added to this broth are soft noodles and various vegetables, most often zucchini and potatoes."

Many hours? As if. My version takes about half an hour and Patrick says it tastes better than the one we had in Jeju. And I don't use anchovies or kelp in my broth. Here's the recipe!

Janine's Kalguksu

You will need:

- One whole chicken, cut into parts (you can get one already cut up at your local supermarket for, like, five bucks)

- Two Potatoes, peeled and cubed

- Half a zuchinni, sliced and halved

- One onion, roughly chopped

- Store bought hand rolled noodles (they're in the refridgerated section of your local supermarket)

- Two packages of stock seasoning (found in the salt section of your supermarket)

- Lot's and lot's of pepper

That's it! Your ready to cook! Here are the directions:

First you need to make the stock. Fill a large pot (like, as big as possible) with tap water, and don't worry because it will boil and all the bad stuff in the tap water will go away. Then, add the chicken parts, the onion and the stock seasoning (the seasoning comes in a package filled with "tubes" of seasoning. Almost like the yoghurt tubes kids like to eat, and there's a picture of a big, uncooked steak on all of the packages. You can't miss it.). You want to bring the pot to a boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked through (no more pink), take it out of the stock and pick all the meat from the bones. Keep the chicken meat in a bowl for now, and put the bones and skin back in the pot to simmer for awhile longer.

Meanwhile, chop and wash all of your vegetables. When this is done, take a strainer (collander) and put all of the broth through, catching all of the bones, skin and pieces of onion from the stock. We don't want any of that stuff in our soup!

Keep the broth down to a simmer and add your potatoes and zuchinni. Let simmer for about five to ten minutes, then add the chicken and the noodles. Simmer for an additional five minutes. Add a liberal amount of pepper. They give you pepper at kalguksu restaurants and it really adds depth to the broth. When the noodles look done, your soup is finished! At this point you can feel free to garnish with a bit of gim or green onion or both! I don't even add garnish to mine, this soup is amazing on its own.


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