Despite being Korean, I don't often find myself eating at Korean restaurants. It's difficult to find a restaurant with authentic Korean dishes that's worth paying money for. However, there are certain dishes that are worth seeking like jeng ban gook su. Jeng ban gook su is a cold buckwheat noodle dish with vegetables and a spicy sauce. You usually share one order between 2 people because the portion is so large. Since I can't remember the last time I had this dish, I knew it had to go on my menu this week. Here is my homemade jeng ban gook su.
Jeng Ban Gook Su
Sake poached shrimp
- 8 oz shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sake
- 1 inch ginger bruised
- 2 cloves garlic bruised
- 1 dried chili de arbol
- 3 tablespoon gochujang Korean chili paste
- 1 ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 3 rolls soba noodles buckwheat noodles, cooked and drained
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced on a bias
- 1 medium cucumber sliced
- 2 cups red leaf lettuce chopped
- ½ medium Asian pear peeled and sliced
- 2 boiled eggs sliced
- Combine water with sake, ginger, garlic and dried chili de arbol in a medium pot. Bring a simmer over medium heat. Add shrimp and poach until shrimp turn pink about 3-4 minutes. Remove shrimp from poaching liquid and set aside.
- Prepare sauce by mixing together all sauce ingredients (gochujang - soy sauce) in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook buckwheat noodles according to directions on package. Drain, rinse in cold water and place in the center of platter. Arrange prepared vegetables and poached shrimp around the noodles. Garnish with sliced egg. Drizzle sauce on top and mix all together. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Jeng ban gook su is often served with buckwheat noodles, a variety of vegetables, sliced Asian pear, and boiled egg with a spicy sauce on the side. Since the dish is vegetarian, it can be filling but leave you hungry several hours later. To remedy that, I decided to add sake poached shrimp to the meal.
Other than poaching the shrimp and boiling the egg, there is no other cooking involved - perfect for novice cooks! Chop all the ingredients, find a partner to devour the dish, and enjoy! Because of the number of ingredients, it can be difficult to make this for one, but no one will judge you if you eat both servings.
When purchasing gochujang, a Korean chili paste, be aware that certain brands can be spicier than others. It's impossible to know which is mild and which is spicier until you taste it. Keeping that in consideration, adjust the seasonings for the sauce as needed. If the one you bought is too spicy, add more sugar and vinegar. The sauce may still seem spicy on its own, but once all the other ingredients are mixed in, the level of heat will decrease.
Give everything a good stir to thoroughly incorporate the sauce and dig in! Refreshing, light, yet incredibly satisfying, this jeng ban gook su definitely hit the spot.
For more Korean inspiration check out this omurice with kimchi fried rice!