Kalguksu is a popular noodle to eat in the summer in Korea. The noodle dish consists of handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in rich broth with various (seafood) ingredients.
Today, we will be adding fresh clams! There is also another popular version that uses chicken breast. But I prefer this version as it is a lighter broth.
In Korea, many grandparents like to eat hot soups or noodles during the summer. They believe that eating extra hot food on hot days makes you sweat, thereby cooling your body down. Not sure if it is scientifically accurate, but for me, I certainly don't enjoy sweating through my shirt while eating. Whether its summer or winter, Kalguksu is a delicious and hearty noodle to eat. Here is a simple recipe to make at home.
Key taste variable: Clam broth. The clam juice adds richness and deep flavor to the noodle broth. Try to use fresh clams if possible. There are also a nice topping as it is fun to pluck them out of the shell.
Kalguksu Noodles with Fresh Clams
- Clams - 600 grams
- Water - 4 cups
- Salt - 3 Tablespoon
- Mirin - 1 Tablespoon or any cooking wine
- Fresh kalguksu noodles - 2 cups
- Carrot - ¼ a whole
- Zucchini - ¼ a whole
- Onion - ¼ a whole
- Spring onion - 1 stalk
- Cheongyang chili peppers - 1 Jalapeno ok, use ¼ of it, no seeds
- Dried anchovies - 10
- Dashima - 2 iPhone-sized pieces
- Water - 4 cups
- Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Salt - ½ Tablepsoon
- Pour 4 cups of cold water into a mixing bowl. (Don't use a glass bowl as light will shine through). Dissolve salt into water. Place clams in. Cover with black paper bag or a layer of aluminium foil.
- Let clams sit in this dark bowl for 1 hour. In the meanwhile, move to next step.
- Make julienne cuts for the carrots and zucchini. Cut spring onion and chili pepper at a slant and make thin slices.
- Drain the clams and give them a nice wash. Scrub off any impurities from the clam shells as well. Take out a large pot and place the cleaned clams inside.
- Fill the pot with 4 cups of water and place on medium high heat. Then place in mirin. Bring up to a boil.
- As soon as the clam shells open, turn off heat and drain water.
- Drain the clams and make sure to save the residual water for the next step (broth).
- Take out a large frying pan. Clean 10 anchovies (as instructed in video) and place in pot.
- Turn on medium-high heat and roast the anchovies for 30 seconds (without any oil).
- Then pour in 4 cups of water. Then add kombu pieces.
- After 10 minutes, use a strainer and take out both the anchovies and kombu. Now you have your anchovy-kelp broth
- Then add the residual clam water to the anchovy-kelp broth.
- Add in zucchini, carrots and onions. Let it cook for a few minutes until they are soft.
- Then soak your Kalguksu noodles in a bowl of cold water to get rid of the excess flour.
- Place wet Kalguksu noodles into your broth. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Then season broth by adding in minced garlic and salt.
- Now place the cooked clams back into the broth
- Finish by placing in the chili pepper and spring onions.
- Slightly roast the anchovies in the pan before starting the noodle broth. This will almost completely eliminate the fishy smell in the broth.
- I forgot to mention in the video. But typically, the fresh noodles have a layer of flour on them. It's best to remove that layer by quickly soaking them in a bowl of cold water. Do this before adding into the broth.
- More details in the video below