Today I am starting a short, 5-recipe series for my favorite Korean summer dishes. I’m starting with the easiest one- bibim guksu! This is a spicy cold noodle dish that only takes 10 minutes to whip up, and it’s one of my favorites! I LOVE spicy cold noodles.
Bibim guksu is easily one of my favorite dishes ever. Cold, spicy noodles are my FAVORITE type of noodle dish! I’ve never cared much for pasta, ramen, udon, or any other noodles except for spicy cold noodles. There are a few kinds- bibim guksu, bibim naengmyeon, & mil myeon. All of them super delicious and refreshing!
This is definitely a dish that I make a lot. Like weekly. And that’s because it is SO easy to make and only takes about 10 minutes. My mom also made this for me a lot when I was younger, and she taught me this recipe!
Somyeon- also called somen (Japanese pronunciation), these noodles are thin, chewy, and cook super fast. I recommend cutting down the boiling time by 20-30 seconds to prevent over cooking, because they will cook fast as heck. Also super important to wash thoroughly under cold water to remove as much starch as possible.
Fermented kimchi- your kimchi doesn’t have to be well fermented for this dish to work, but I always prefer sour kimchi. It’s VERY important that you use really good kimchi. This can make or break the dish, because a lot of the umami element is in the kimchi and brine.
Bibim sauce- kimchi, kimchi brine, gochujang (Korean pepper paste), vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, fine gochugaru (Korean chili powder), sugar, and crushed sesame seeds. You can double or triple this recipe to keep ready in the fridge, but if you do this I’d recommend leaving out the garlic and sesame oil. Just add them to your sauce before you’re about to make your meal, otherwise they will change the flavor of the sauce while sitting in the fridge for long periods of time.
Optional toppings– you don’t need these ingredients to make bibim guksu, but I highly recommend adding them! Thinly sliced cucumbers, hard boiled egg, and a generous amount of crushed sesame seeds.
Somyeon (thin wheat noodles) is usually used for bibim guksu, but you can use soba noodles or naengmyeon noodles which are a mix of buckwheat and potato starch. Naengmyeon noodles are VERY chewy, which I love, but may not be for everyone.
If none of these are an option for you, it’s totally fine to use instant ramen noodles! Any noodles will work to be honest- just make sure they are cold because it’s not bibim guksu if it isn’t cold.
If you don’t have fermented kimchi or any kimchi at all, don’t worry because you can still make a delicious bibim sauce!
Instead of kimchi & brine, just increase the soy sauce to 2 tbsp for a delicious bibim sauce. You may also need to add a bit more vinegar to make up for the tang missing from the kimchi brine.
You can double or triple this recipe to keep ready in the fridge, but I’d recommend leaving out the sesame oil and garlic. Add those into the sauce when you’re about to use it, otherwise they will change the flavor a bit while sitting in the fridge. Garlic becomes much stronger (not in a good way in my opinion) and I don’t know how to explain it but sesame oil starts to taste weird after being mixed with other sauces and sitting for long periods of time.
Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)
- 8 oz somyeon thin wheat noodles
- 1/2 cup fermented kimchi
- 3 tbsp fermented kimchi brine
- 1/4 cup extra spicy gochujang or mild
- 1 tsp fine gochugaru
- 3 tbsp sugar any kind
- 3 tbsp plum vinegar or rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp crushed sesame seeds
- hard boiled egg
- thinly sliced cucumber
- Grind toasted sesame seeds until about half has turned into powder
- Boil the eggs to your liking and thinly slice the cucumber
- Mix together kimchi brine, gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, vinegar, and half of the crushed sesame seeds. Note: If you plan to keep this in the fridge to use later, I recommend leaving out the garlic and sesame oil. These will change the flavor while sitting in the fridge. Just add them when you're about to make your meal. Also: If you don't have any kimchi or brine, that's ok! Increase the soy sauce to 2 tbsp. You will still have a delicious bibim sauce.
- Once the sauce is a smooth consistency, add the kimchi.
- Boil the somyeon noodles for about 3 1/2 minutes. Be careful with the time because these cook VERY fast. Note: 4 oz is a good amount for one person. That is usually a tad bit bigger than the size of a quarter when wrapping your fingers around the noodles.
- Immediately wash under cold water. Rinse it well so you can remove as much starch as possible.
- Add the sauce to the noodles and mix. This recipe makes enough sauce for 2-3 servings.
- Top with crushed sesame seeds, sliced cucumber, and hard boiled egg.