It may be 90 degrees outside but I'm craving a nice hot bowl of dak kalguksu, also known as Korean chicken noodle soup. Noodles swimming in a clean bowl of chicken soup topped with chicken and seasoned with a soy sauce mixture...I'm drooling just thinking about it! The broth itself is incredibly easy to prepare so I took it one step further and made fresh noodles for the first time. The result? Everything I wanted and more.
- 3- lb whole chicken
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1- inch ginger
- 3 scallions white ends only
- ½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup cold water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove grated
- ¼ teaspoon ginger grated
- ½ teaspoon gochugaru Korean chili flakes
- 1 green onion sliced
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 zucchini sliced into half rounds divided
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ Idaho potato peeled and sliced into ½ inch half rounds
- sesame seeds and green onions for garnish optional
- Make the broth for the soup by combining the chicken - scallions in a large pot. Cover with enough water to cover the chicken. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and let cool. Strain the broth, discarding the green onion, garlic, black pepper, and ginger. Return soup to the pot and skim the fat.
- Meanwhile, make the noodles. Combine the flour - vegetable oil in the bowl of stand mixer. Knead on low for 3 minutes; the dough should be smooth and elastic. Remove dough from the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Combine half of the sliced zucchini with 2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Let stand 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and shred. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Make the sauce for the soup by combining the soy sauce - ½ teaspoon sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Add the sliced potato to the soup. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat, covering the pot. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are done.
- Generously dust work surface with flour. Unwrap dough and place on the counter. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until paper thin, dusting more flour on the counter and dough when it starts to stick. Fold the dough into thirds, dusting more flour on the dough after each fold. Use a sharp knife and cut ¼ inch wide strips. Unfold the strips and dust flour on the noodles to prevent them from sticking. Set aside.
- Return to the salted zucchini. Rinse the zucchini with water and squeeze out any moisture. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick pan. Add the zucchini and saute for 1-2 minutes or until cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the other reserved zucchini to the soup. Bring the soup back to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and stir to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until done. Remove from heat. Immediately portion the noodles into two bowls with soup, potatoes, and zucchini. Top with the shredded chicken and sauteed zucchini. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with sauce on the side.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Dak Kalguksu is all about homemade chicken broth. Make fresh chicken broth at home instead of buying canned; trust me it's a huge difference! You can always cook the broth the day before and reheat it the next day.
Since a whole chicken is used for the broth, the fat from the skin of the chicken cooks out into the broth. Skim the top, removing as much fat as you can. It's always easier to skim the fat when the soup is chilled, allowing the fat to harden on the surface.
Making the noodles for this soup is completely optional. Asian markets sell kalguksu noodles at reasonable prices and they are still of good quality; however since I never made the noodles before I wanted to give it a try.
The dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky, making it very easy to handle. When rolling out the dough, dust more flour on the counter and on the dough when it starts to stick. You want the dough to be paper-thin to avoid having too thick noodles. When folding the dough, make sure to dust flour on the dough before folding to prevent it from sticking. All of this flour on the noodles will later help thicken the soup.
Fresh handmade noodles! Who would have thought it was this easy?
Now for the zucchini. The idea behind mixing it with the salt is to remove any moisture from the zucchini. After letting it sit for 20 minutes, you can already see the water that has come out. Saute the zucchini to bring out the color and soften the vegetable
Once you have the toppings, noodles, and sauce ready, the soup is almost complete!
Dak kalguksu is seasoned at the table rather than in the kitchen. This allows the individual to season according to their palate.
Mmmhmm! My mouth was singing when the soup hit my lips. The broth was perfect, clean, simple, and a little thick from the noodles. The noodles themselves were nice and soft; what a difference from store-bought noodles! Thank goodness I made extra because I know I’m going to want another serving!
For more Korean food inspiration check out this sesame ginger beef with tomatoes and pickled onions!