Korean Chicken Noodle Soup (Dahk Kahl Gooksoo)
This Korean soup uses a couple of skills that are good to master. One is making a suitable soup stock and the other is how to saute some vegetables. The rest is just construction and everyone can do that. It is my mom’s and my take on Kahl Gook Soo ( 칼국수). The Kahlgooksoo in Korea tends to be very very starchy and it is really about the homemade knife-cut noodles. The broth is the second major player in the dish and the rest is more for decoration or garnish. I’m not such a huge fan of eating a massive amount of boiled starch and neither is my mom, so we tend to add a more protein and a lot more vegetables to bring the dish into a more balanced state of nutrition. I like a good flavored broth to go under the noodles and then really nicely seasoned vegetables to go on top. The finishing touch is a sauce that flavors the entire dish and makes it YUMMY!
5 quarts of water
1 or 2 chicken breasts, still on the bone, but skin off (bones add flavor, skin only adds fat)
1/2 of an onion
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 inch knob of ginger root, peeled and sliced
Rinse chicken breasts under cold running water. Place into a large stock pot with the water, onion, garlic and ginger root. Place covered pot over high heat and bring to a hard boil. Once soup is boiling, reduce heat so that the broth continues to simmer. Skim any scum or fat off the top of the soup.
Total cooking time 1 hour. Remove garlic, onion and ginger from broth and discard. Remove chicken from broth and set aside.
Vegetable Saute Topping
2 zucchini, cut julienne (or if you can find it, 1 nice Korean zucchini with the light skin)
2 carrots, cut julienne
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1 package of enoki mushrooms
3-4 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a fry pan over medium high heat, and then add one tablespoon of oil. Add zucchini and quickly saute. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, until zucchini is slightly wilted, but still with texture, about 2 minutes. Remove zucchini from pan.
In the same fry pan, over medium high heat, add one tablespoon of oil, and carrots and saute. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, until carrots are cooked, but wilted, about 3 minutes.
In the same fry pan, add one tablespoon of oil, onions, salt and pepper and saute. Cook until onions are translucent and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
In the same fry pan, add a dash of oil and the enoki mushrooms and quickly saute for 30 seconds. Add all the cooked vegetables and mix together, checking seasoning (add more salt and pepper if necessary) and then finish off with toasted sesame seeds. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
Chili Scallion Soy Sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon Korean chili powder (gochugaru 고추가루) (2 tablespoons if you like it spicy.)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
Shred cooked chicken.
1 to 1.5 lbs of noodles – I use fresh knife noodles, which I can find at my Chinese supermarket, but you can use whatever dried Asian wheat noodle you have on hand.
Set aside about 3 cups of the chicken stock. I do this in case I need to thin out the broth later, as cooking the noodles in the broth often makes the soup really thick (which I personally don’t like…others do.)
Bring remaining stock to a rapid boil and add noodles and cook according to package directions. (fresh noodles cook in about 4-5 minutes.) When noodles are fully cooked, then prepare to serve. Portion out noodles into each bowl, the broth (using the reserved broth if necessary) and top with mixed vegetables and shredded chicken. Serve and pass the scallion sauce separately, allowing people to serve themselves.