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 homemade jeng ban gook su!
**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 spicier 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.