It’s been extremely hot and humid here! I previously mentioned the Korean idea of cooling off and boosting energy with boiling hot chicken soups, such as samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) and dak gomtang (chicken soup). Add this dak kalguksu (닭칼국수) to the list!
Kalguksu (칼국수) means “knife noodles”, but it actually refers to a steaming hot noodle soup that’s traditionally made with handmade, knife-cut noodles. There are many variations using different ingredients for the soup base or for the dough. Dak (chicken) kalguksu is made with a rich chicken broth, and shredded chicken meat.
You can certainly use commercially packaged fresh kalguksu noodles available in the refrigerated section of Korean markets. However, making noodles at home without a machine is not that difficult! You can make them at a moment’s notice as long as you have flour and salt! Homemade noodles taste so much better, and obviously they are much cheaper. A bit of oil makes the dough silkier and a little easier to work with, but it’s not absolutely necessary. The noodles are typically parboiled in a separate pot before adding to the chicken broth. This is strongly recommended because the soup can get very thick from all the starch the noodles release while cooking.
Dak kalguksu is typically made with a whole chicken. It’s a cheap way to feed more people, not to mention the stock will be more flavorful. You can cut up a whole chicken before boiling if you want it to cook a little faster. If you want to use cut chicken pieces, leg quarters and chicken wings will be good for a flavorful stock. The soup is made similar to dak gomtang. Simply boil the chicken, with some aromatic vegetables, to make a flavorful broth, and shred the meat to use as a topping. Typical kalguksu also includes julienned or sliced vegetables such as onion, zucchini, carrot, and/or potato.
Kalguksu is delicious with baechu geotjeori (fresh kimchi)!
All the tableware shown in the final photos of this post are sponsored by Huue Craft, an online store dedicated to the finest Korean pottery tableware. They ship worldwide to over 25 countries. Visit Huue Craft online store for the beautiful tableware created by five of the renowned potters in Korea!