Janchi Guksu (Korean Warm Noodle Soup)

Janchi guksu photo (1)

Updated May 2014

Janchi guksu, translated into “banquet/feast noodles,” is a simple warm noodle dish made with thin wheat flour noodles (somyeon) that are usually in a clear anchovy or beef broth. Because noodles symbolize long and happy lives in Korean culture, this noodle dish is traditionally served alongside other special occasion foods at large feasts such as weddings. The name of the dish comes from that tradition.
 
In my family, this is another easy go-to meal when we crave something warm and light. It is one of the most frequently requested meals by my daughter when she comes home from college.
 
Janchi guksu is typically topped with thin strips of beef, eggs, and vegetables such as zucchini and carrot. The dish is usually served with a spicy soy sauce based sauce (yangnyeomjang). However, I personally like it without the overpowering flavor of the sauce because I enjoy the clear and refreshing broth.
 
Janchi guksu (warm noodle soup)

2 servings
Ingredients:

8 ounce somyeon (somen) noodlesAnchovy Broth:
4 oz Korean radish*, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 onion*
2 garlic cloves*
1/2 of scallion* (white part)
10 – 12 medium to large dried anchovies (Myulchi)
1 3-inch square dried kelp (dasima/kombu)6 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce (preferably soup soy sauce – gukganjang)
(*Simple anchovy broth can be made with dried anchovies and kelp. However, the vegetables will add more depth to the flavor of the broth. You can freeze any leftover broth to use at another time for making jjigae or gaeranjjim.)

 
Toppings*:
1/2 zucchini (4 ounce), julienned
1 small carrot (3 ounce), julienned
1 egg, beaten and fried into a thin sheet (jidan), julienned
3 ounce beef, cut into thin strips
1/2 scallion (green part), chopped
(*Other common toppings include eomuk (fish cake), mushrooms, onion, and kimchi.)
 
Sauce (Yangnyeomjang) – Optional:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 scallion finely chopped
(Mix all sauce ingredients well and set aside.)
 

Add the radish, onion, garlic, scallion and 6 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 15 minutes, covered. Drop the anchovies and kelp to the pot. Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste and boil for an additional 10 minutes over medium heat. Discard all the solid ingredients from the broth. Keep the broth warm over very low heat while preparing the toppings and noodles.

Season the beef strips with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, and pinch black pepper. Set aside while preparing the vegetables.

Lightly sprinkle salt over julienned zucchini and set aside for 5 – 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid from salted zucchini by hand. Sauté in a lightly oiled skillet over medium high heat (1 – 2 minutes). Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan, sauté the julienned carrots over medium high heat (1- 2 minutes), sprinkling salt and pepper to taste. (If using eomuk, mushrooms, or onion, cook the same way.) Transfer to the plate with the zucchini.

Sauté the beef for 2 – 3 minutes over medium high heat.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook somyeon noodles according to the package instructions (about 3 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Continue to drain and rinse in cold water. (Somyeon noodles are not resilient. This rinsing process is important so the noodles don’t get soggy.) Make two one-serving size mounds as you remove from the water. Place the mounds in a colander to drain.

Place the noodles in a serving bowl. Pour the hot broth over the noodles. Nicely arrange a small amount of each topping on top of the noodles. Finish the dish off with a sprinkle of the chopped scallions.

Serve warm with the optional sauce on the side.

unnamed

 

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Comments

  1. I've never had this but it sounds wonderful!! It reminds me a little of Chinese Mee Sua Soup which also uses soft, fine wheat noodles in a clear and light broth, traditionally topped with pork and kidneys.

    I really think I would enjoy this very much! Thanks for sharing :)
  2. So pretty... I may have to roll up my sleeves and give this a try! :)
  3. I just happened upon your blog. You've got wonderful recipes and photos.
  4. Denise, wannafoodie, and Moogie - Thank you all for visiting and leaving nice comments! Hope you get to try the recipe and enjoy.
  5. I wonder if these noodles are the equivalent of Japanese somen noodles. My mom recently introduced me to a hot somen soup but it was something we bought, not made and I have been trying to figure out how to replicate it. This looks fantastic and I would love to try this. :)
  6. i am making this tonight for a nice, light meal. what type of beef do you usually prefer to use? when i don't have time to go to the Korean market, the American market beef choices seem more limited.
  7. I am sorry I just came home. You can use any tender cut of meat, such as sirloin or rib eye. Hope this helps. Thanks.
  8. I ended up using ribeye. My dish looked almost like yours, and I was so proud! Hubby and daughter gobbled it up. Thank you so much for keeping me inspired!
  9. I am delighted to hear it turned out well for you! Thanks for trying it out and for the feedback.
  10. Just a question . . is the recipe for only 2 servings? I want to serve this meal to 4 adults and 2 children . . thanks!
  11. Sophia - Yes, the recipe is for 2 servings. You will need to at least double the recipe for the number of people you have, depending on how big children are. Funny you asked because I made this for 4 adults for lunch today. Just made a big pot of anchovy stock III from: http://eatingandliving.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-make-anchovy-broth-for-korean.html.
    Of course I doubled the noodles and vegetables. Enjoy!
  12. A wonderful looking dish!

    Can I substitute spaghettini for the noodles? Thank you.
  13. Hi, my grandma used to make this a lot. She also used a packet that came in a box for the soup, its the same color as this, could you be able to tell me what the packet is? I tried to find it in hmart but I can't clearly remember what she used. I made this though, its good, reminds me of my grandma's cooking, all the recipes I tried remind me of my grandma's cooking =)
    • Hi Dana - I'm glad janchi guksu turned out well for you. Thanks for letting me know. I believe it's anchovy powder pack (마른 멸치 팩). It's a convenient pack that makes anchovy broth quicker. I've never used it, so I'm not sure what else is in it other than the anchovy powder. Several packets come in a box or a package. Hope this helps. Happy Korean cooking!
  14. I am so happy to have found your blog on Pinterest. My daughters are half Korean and love Korean food when they visit their dad's family. Thanks to your great recipes I now can make their favorite Korean food at home instead of going out. Thank you :)
    • Hi Patricia - Welcome to Korean Bapsang! I'm delighted to hear my recipes can help you cook Korean food that your daughters love. I look forward to hearing more about your Korean cooking. Thanks!
  15. Greetings from Singapore! Tried this recipe today after seeing it on a cooking show called Korean cooking with chef myeon. She put a block of beef into the soup stock to cook and then marinated it which is different from most recipes online. I tried that together with your recipe. It was great. My sister loved it too. Thanks for putting time into this wonderful blog. I'll be trying your red bean soup next. Luckily we have many of your ingredients here in Singapore.
    • Yeah, this soup can be also made with beef broth. I am sure it was really good! I've been craving this for a while, so I need to make it soon. Glad you can easily find Korean ingredients in Singapore. Let me know how the red bean soup turns out. Thanks for coming by!
  16. Seongjae An says:
    Hello Ms.Ro! I'm Korean student living in Seoul. I just came out of the library after cramming for my mid-term. It's 3am here! As usual I went to nighttime restaurant which serves noodles like this. I chose this noodle Janchi guksu and enjoyed it. Suddenly I became curious about if this noodle has been introduced for foreigners. And I found your blog and you are so doing well and I'm so proud and thankful of your job! I hope you to stay healthy and happy so that every citizens on this planet would know and enjoy Korean food. Thank you!