Chicken Kalguksu. My, oh my! It’s the Korean version of chicken noodle soup (for the soul). A perfect noodle dish for the winter.
We have already introduced how to make Kalguksu before, using the traditional anchovy-kelp broth. However, this specific Kalguksu recipe is even simpler. I learned it from Chef Baek Jong Won, a celebrity chef in Korea. I remember watching him cook it on TV and was intrigued to see that he substituted the anchovy-kelp broth with a few tablespoons of fish sauce. Initially, I was skeptical about how great that would taste – fish sauce in a chicken soup. Didn’t sound like a good match. And the TV host’s reaction (“MMmmMmm, so gooood”) seemed a bit exaggerated as well. But I wanted to try it out for learning purposes. Always fun to learn how to approach classic recipes in new ways.
To my surprise, the broth tasted rich and had a deep flavor – tasted similar to any broth found at Kalguksu restaurants in Seoul. I was sold! Loved the taste, the approach and the simplicity of the dish. Also amazed by the versatility of fish sauce.
- Chicken - 400 grams
- Potato - 1 medium-sized
- Fresh Kalguksu noodles - 2 servings
- Onion - 1/2 a whole
- Spring onion - 10-inch piece
- Water - 6 cups
- Fish sauce - 3 tablespoons
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Minced garlic - 1 tablespoon
- Black pepper - sprinkle
- Cut potato into thin long strips. Cut onion into long strips as well. Cut green onions (or scallions) into small pieces for garnish.
- Put oil into a large pot. Turn on a high heat. Once the oil is hot, place all chicken pieces skin-side down. Let the chicken pieces cook until they get a nice golden-brown sear on one side. Once they get a sear, flip them over.
- Then put in the onion pieces. Once the onion pieces turn slightly translucent, add the water into the pot. Then season the water with fish sauce, salt and minced garlic. Wait until the pot comes back up to a boil.
- Once the pot comes to boil, let it boil for 5 minutes. Then add in the potato pieces. Let it cook for additional 5 minutes - so the potato pieces to cook through.
- In the meanwhile, dip the kalguksu noodles in cold water (to get rid of the excess flour) and then place into the soup.
- Boil noodles for 5 minutes. Finally, use a soup ladle to skim the surface and take-off any leftover scum. Turn off heat and its ready to serve. Place noodles, chicken and potato strips into a serving bowl. Garnish the bowl with spring onion (or scallions) and a pinch of black pepper!
- When soaking the flour noodles, simply dip them in-n-out of the water. Don’t try to wash them or move them around too much... they will turn sloppy and break off.
- Recipe by Chef Baek Jong Won
- For more details, watch video below