Despite being Korean, I don’t often find myself eating at Korean restaurants. Many times, I feel as if I can make the dish better than ones sold outside and other times, I have a difficult time finding a good restaurant. However, on the occasion that I do eat at a Korean eatery, I will look for certain dishes that are, in my book, a must order. One of those dishes is jeng ban gook su, a spicy buckwheat noodle dish mixed with vegetables and tossed in a spicy sauce. Often made large enough to share, it is served with a wide variety of toppings and is tossed together to make one large “salad.” 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 home made jeng ban gook su!
- 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sake
- 1 inch ginger, bruised
- 2 cloves garlic, bruised
- 1 dried chili de arbol
- 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 3 rolls soba noodles (buckwheat noodles), cooked and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
- 2 cups red leaf lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 medium Asian pear, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
- 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 turns 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 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. No, this is not a traditional ingredient found in jang ban gook su, but what can I say, I’m a rebel that way!
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 more spicy 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.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.