What do you make for lunch, or dinner for that matter, when there seems to be nothing in your fridge? For Koreans, it’s usually a dish made with kimchi because there is almost always some kimchi in our fridges. So, when your fridge has nothing substantial but has kimchi, make this kimchi bibim guksu (김치비빔국수) for a quick lunch or a light meal any time of the day. It’s deliciously spicy, sweet and tangy with a kimchi crunch!
How to make kimchi bibim guksu
Unlike my other bibim guksu recipe which uses a few different vegetables, kimchi is truly all you need for this humble dish. But, you can add other vegetables such as cucumbers or lettuce, if you want. I also like to use some perilla leaves (kkaennip) for a wonderful aroma and flavor it adds to the dish. Thinly sliced gim (dried seaweed sheet) is also an excellent addition.
For the seasoning, I mix kimchi and some juice from kimchi with a few staple ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste), and some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes). You can leave out gochugaru if you like the noodles to be less spicy. For the sweetener, I use a combination of corn syrup (or oligo syrup) and sugar. The syrup gives a nice sheen to the dish, but you can simply use more sugar if you want.
What noodles to use
Typically, kimchi bibim guksu is made with thin wheat noodles, which come in two slightly different thickness — somyeon (소면), very thin noodles, and joongmyeon (중면), slightly thicker noodles. You can use either one for this recipe, depending on your preference.
This kimchi bibim guksu recipe was originally posted in July 2011. I’ve updated it here with new photos and minor changes to the recipe.
More similar cold noodle dishes
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Kimchi Bibim Guksu (Spicy Cold Noodles with Kimchi)
A simple cold noodle dish made with kimchi and a few seasoning ingredients! Spicy, slightly sweet and tangy!
- 8 – 10 ounce somyeon, 소면, (thin wheat noodles)
- 1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (preferably fully fermented)
- 1/4 cup juice from kimchi (use a little more soy sauce and vinegar if unavailable)
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or any other clear vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (or oligo syrup, 올리고당) (use more sugar if unavailable)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 4 perilla leaves (kkaennip) (thinly sliced)
- or cucumber (thinly sliced)
- 1 hard boiled egg
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil while preparing the kimchi sauce.
Thinly slice the kimchi and place it in a medium size bowl. Add the juice from the kimchi and remaining sauce ingredients, and mix everything well.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (3 – 4 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in icy cold water to stop cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water again. Repeat until the noodles become cold. Drain well.
Combine the noodles with the kimchi sauce, and toss everything until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste by adding more soy sauce, sugar and/or vinegar, if necessary. Garnish with your choice of the optional vegetables and/or the boiled egg and serve cold.
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