Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kalguksu - Knife Noodles

I've got an updated kalguksu recipe, if you're interested. It's been tweaked slightly and the photos are prettier and easier to follow.

Kalguksu literally translated is "knife noodles," and it makes sense because you make dough, roll it out, and cut it with a knife to make noodles and then dump it in some soup. A lot of Korean restaurants will make it using chicken but my childhood kalguksu was cooked in a broth made with anchovies.

Ingredients:
[NOODLES]
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon canola oil (any neutral flavored oil will do)
1/2 cup warm water (I just stuck my water in the microwave for a few seconds - warm to the touch is what you're looking for)
[SOUP]
6 cups water
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon medium-sized dried anchovies**
1 medium-sized potato
1 small zucchini (I ended up using half of a HUGE zucchini)
1 teaspoon salt (or as much as you need to make the soup taste good)

**You're not likely to find these at a normal grocery store so you'll have to venture out to an Asian market to find these. Dried anchovies come in a few sizes - super tiny ones (smaller than 1/2"), medium sized ones (1/2" - 3/4"), and giant ones (>1") - and you can use any of those to make a stock; just use about 1 tablespoon worth. If you don't have anchovies or you don't want to use them, you can use a vegetable stock or chicken stock.
First I mixed the dough together. There isn't a real technique to it - just mix it all together and knead for about 10 minutes until it forms a smooth, elastic ball. Then I cut it into four equal pieces, floured the board and rolling pin, rolled it out to about 1/8" thick, folded it into thirds, and then cut it into noodles - similar to fettuccine. Make sure to use plenty of flour to make sure the noodles don't stick together or get gummy.
To make the stock, I filled a big pot with water, added the anchovies and garlic, and let it come to a boil and then lowered the heat to let the broth simmer for an hour. I cut up the potato and zucchini into sticks and added it to the stock and put the heat on medium high to bring it back up to a rolling boil. After about 10 minutes, when the veggies were tender, I added the noodles to the stock and then added a bit of salt to taste.
Serve piping hot.

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