Gogi Guksu - Jeju Pork Noodles.
One of my favorite things of Jeju Island is Gogi Guksu (고기국수).
You can’t find a proper bowl of it on mainland Korea – only the island.
I still remember my first bowl.
I was heading onto shore after my first full-day of scuba diving off Jeju Island. I had a kimbap roll for lunch and I could hear my stomach… roaring!
Near the scuba shop, we could smell the pork in the air. We poked our heads into a local noodle shop – and were quickly greeted by the owner.He walked us to a small table - and enthusiastically recommended the Gogi Guksu. We ordered two bowls, along with a few draft beers.
While we were waiting, we heard an argument taking place in the kitchen. The owner and staff (family members?) were shouting back and forth in Korean.
I translated some bits and pieces to my non-Korean friend – as he grew more curious heh.
The argument started to escalate and I looked at my friend... “Maybe we came to the wrong restaurant?”
But 10 minutes later, the owner came out with a big smile (as if nothing happened) - and two large bowls of Gogi Guksu.
We took a sip… and we looked at each other in agreement. The broth was simply amazing!
It was deep-tasting, clear and very hearty - exactly what we needed to refuel!
We wolfed the bowl down – and the next day, we went right back for our second bowl.
Funny enough, there was another heated argument in the kitchen… and we agreed that perhaps “passion” (or anger) was what made the noodles taste so good 😉
Today, I wanted to recreate Gogi Guksu with a similar passion!
Cooking note for Gogi Guksu:
In Jeju, the broth for Gogi Guksu is made by boiling pork bones for a long time. At larger Korean marts, you can find leftover pork bones (if you ask the butcher).
But I’m assuming - most people will not go through the hassle of sourcing pork bones.
Instead, we’ll make this broth using ready-made Sagol Yuksu (beef bone stock broth). This is a popular Korean stock broth that's sold in packets at Korean markets.
Don't let the "ready-made" description put you off. These packets are high-quality - NOT made from msg or mixing artificial powder with water .
It's real bone broth made by boiling beef bones en masse.
We’ll then boil a chunk of pork belly (or pork shoulder) in this beef broth to get a deep-tasting flavor.
After boiling, pull out the pork, let it rest and then cut into thin slices.
At the restaurants, they also have a small jar of spicy paste. I absolutely love this paste - and I've nailed down the ratio for you!
Finally, you can also skip the noodles and make gukbap (Korean rice soup) with the leftover broth if you'd like.
Simply mix a cup of rice into the leftover broth and top it off with the thinly sliced meat (like below). Tastes great for breakfast!
If you dig this recipe, I hope you can fly out to Korea one day - and visit Jeju Island for these noodles.
Also, tag us on IG and show us your gogi guksu!
We love flipping through pics of your creations in the morning 😉
-Daniel out 🕺
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)
- 500-600 grams Pork Shoulder (Or Pork Belly)
- A handful of Thin Korean Wheat Noodles (Somyeon Noodles)
- A handful of Chopped Green Onion (for garnish)
- ½ whole Onion
- 1 Spring Onion Stalk (White Portion)
- 5-6 cloves Garlic
- 7-8 Whole Black Pepper
- 3-4 Bay Leaves
- Few splashes of Mirin (or Soju, or Sake)
- 1000 grams Sagol Yuksu (Korean Beef Bone Broth) (Use 2 x 500g packets)
- 500 grams Water (Fill-up one of the 500g packets)
- 1.5 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon (!) Kosher Salt
- Few cracks Black Pepper
Spicy Paste (Optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Gochugaru Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon (!) Saeujeot (Korean Salted Shrimp)
- 1 Tablespoon Mirin
- 1 teaspoon (!) Soy Sauce
- Few cracks of Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Broth (Scoop out from your boiling pot)
Boil Pork Piece
- Fill a pot with a good amount of water (enough to submerge the piece of pork). Place it on high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Add in ½ Onion, 1 Spring Onion Stalk (white portion), Garlic (5-6 cloves), Whole Black Pepper (7-8), Bay Leaves (3-4) and Mirin (Few Splashes).
- Once the pot comes to a boil, carefully add in the pork piece (500-600g).
- Set a timer for 30 minutes. For the first 10 minutes, let it boil away on a HIGH heat. After 10 minutes, reduce it to a MEDIUM heat and let it continue to boil away on gentle (controlled) simmer.
Mix Bone Broth with Blanched Pork
- After 30 minutes of boiling, remove the pork piece from the pot. Place the pork piece into a NEW pot - we won't use the boiling liquid.
- To the new pot, add-in 1000g of Sagol Yuksu (Beef Bone Broth). Next, add in 500g of water. (It's a 2:1 ratio of broth-to-water.)
- [Note: Some Korean marts sell Sagol Yuksu in 350g packs (as opposed to the 500g sized ones). If you are using these smaller packets, add in 3 packets of broth (~1000g). And 1.5 packets for water (~500g).
- Next, we'll season the broth with: Minced Garlic (1.5 Tablespoons), Kosher Salt (1 teaspoon!) and Black Pepper (few cracks).
- Now, place the pot on a high heat and bring it to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, you'll see foam on the surface. Skim it off with a soup ladle!
- Now set a timer and let it boil away on medium heat - with the lid on - for 20 minutes.
Make Spicy Paste (Optional)
- While you wait, take out a bowl and mix: Gochugaru (2 Tablespoons), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon), Saeujeot Salted Shrimp (1 teaspoon!), Mirin (1 Tablespoon), Soy Sauce (1 teaspoon!), Black Pepper (few shakes). Then open the pot and grab some of the Broth (2 Tablespoons). Add the Broth into the mix and give it all a thorough stir.
- After 20 minutes of boiling, the broth is ready. Turn off the heat. Then carefully scoop out the pork piece and let it rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board. Afterwards, carefully cut the pork into thin slices.
- Fill a pot with water. Add a few pinches of salt to the water. Then bring it up to a boil. Once its boiling, add in a handful of the thin wheat noodles (somyeon). You'll start to see foam rise up as the noodles cook. Once the foam reaches the brim of your pot, pour-in a dash of cold water. The foam will settle down. Repeat this process 3x and the noodle should be ready by then (reference the video). After 3x, sample one of the noodles just to double-check.
- Then quickly drain the noodles and rinse them under running water to stop the cooking process.
Plate and Enjoy.
- Place the noodles in a large bowl. Add the sliced pork on top of the noodles. Use a soup-ladle and scoop-on the broth. Then add a small dab of the spicy paste - along with a small handful of chopped green onion (for garnish).
- Bon Appetit!!