I've been craving Korean bibim gook soo for the longest time and now that the weather is getting warmer, it's perfect for lunch! This recipe is a bit different from others because it uses fruit and vegetables directly in the sauce. But don't worry, the outcome is just as good if not better than the traditional recipe!
Korean Bibim Gook Soo
Bibim gook soo sauce
- 7 ¾ oz Fuji apples chopped with skin, core removed
- 5 oz canned pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
- 2 ½ oz fresno chopped with seeds, destemmed
- 2 oz red bell pepper chopped
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sake
- ½ cup Korean coarse red pepper powder aka gochugaru
- ½ cup rice syrup
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup Korean red pepper paste aka gochujang
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¾ tablespoon salt
- ½ cup sesame oil
- 14 ounces somen noodles
- 1 cucumber julienned
- 2 hard boiled eggs cut in half
- ½ Asian pear peeled and sliced
- 1 cup kimchi roughly chopped
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Prepare the sauce for the noodles by blending all of the ingredients from apples to sesame oil. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to three days.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the somen noodles and cook according to the package directions. Rinse in cold water and drain.
- Pour half of the sauce over the noodles and mix well until the noodles are fully coated. Add more sauce if needed, reserving any remaining for next time. Portion the noodles into four bowls. Top with ½ a boiled egg each, julienned cucumber, pear slices, ¼ cup kimchi and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I know, I know. It's a long list of ingredients just to make this one sauce, but every item contributes to the overall flavor. If you have trouble finding the items, your best bet is to visit an Asian market. Items like Korean red chili paste (gochujang), red chili flakes (gochugaru), and rice syrup are more commonly found in Korean markets.
The great thing about this sauce is that you can make it ahead of time, several days in fact. I even make a large batch so that I can eat these Korean bibim gook soo noodles multiple times a week. Just blend up all of the ingredients until smooth and let it sit for 30 minutes. The flavors will meld together as it sits; in fact, it tastes even better the following day.
While the sauce is marinating, prepare the toppings. The most common toppings for these noodles include Asian pear, cucumber, and hard-boiled eggs. However, I have had some versions that had chopped romaine, sliced daikon radish, pea sprouts, and even sliced braised brisket.
Once all of the ingredients are ready, cook the somen noodles. Somen noodles are thin wheat noodles that only need about 2-3 minutes to cook. Drain and rinse the noodles in cold water.
Mix the noodles with the sauce, top with your garnishes and you are ready to eat! I love the flavors of this sauce as opposed to others that use kimchi as the base. You just don't get the same spicy and sweet quality you do from this sauce as you from a kimchi-based sauce. Sure it can be a little more work, but it's definitely worth that extra step.
For more Asian noodle inspiration check out this cold ramen with broiled unagi!