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  • Writer's pictureBaekin Kitchen

Hand Cut Noodles (Kalguksu 칼국수)

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

My wife thinks that I'm a Korean ahjumma at heart. I have all the tell tale signs: I wear a giant sun hat outside, I make kimchi like a boss, I love K-Drama, and I get no greater joy than watching my kids eat my food.

I'm not sure why it makes me so happy. Maybe it's because the food is a gift that I am thoughtfully preparing and giving to them. Or, maybe it's my own pride that I made something that a 5 year old, notoriously the world's toughest critic, will eat willingly.

I was totally blown away when they liked this homemade noodle dish.

Kalguksu is a classic Korean dish of homemade noodles in an anchovy broth with green onion and potatoes. There are common variations, that include chicken (dak kalguksu) or vegetables (yachae kalguksu), but the base and noodles are always the same. It's a wholesome and simple soup that is perfect for a cool day or when you need some light but comforting food.

Though it's a simple dish, it's not so simple to prepare if you're making everything from scratch. The noodle dough, you'll want to start at least 2 hours before you plan on eating. I always assumed making noodles was laborious task, but these noodles are incredibly easy to whip up with a little flour, water and salt. Honestly, it's kind of fun to make them and cut them.

We kept ours simple and followed my wife's family's recipe, adding only clams.

Without further ado:


5 cups of anchovy broth:

6 cups of water

8 large anchovies

1 hand sized piece of dashima (thick, dark green kelp)

1/2 of an onion


2 cups of flour

2/3 cups of water

a teaspoon of salt

1 large potato cut in to thin, 2" strips (like skinny french fries)

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of anchovy sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of salt (add more to taste)

1 lb of little neck clams

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)


1) Prepare noodles

  • Mix flour, water, and salt in a bowl and mix into a dough. You can use a stand mixer with a hook if you have one.

  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

  • After 30 minutes, dust a surface with flour and roll dough into a thin, 1/8" sheet

  • Lightly dust dough with flour and gently fold onto itself

  • Cut off the ends to make the dough even and put aside to make more noodles if you have enough

  • Use knife to cut into thin, 1/4" slices

  • Unfold noodles and they're ready to cook

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil to pre-cook or par-boil the noodles. Doing this will leave you with a lighter and cleaner soup in the end. This step isn't necessary, but I prefer it. Once the noodles cook, drain and set aside. You'll add them back in on the last step.

While noodle dough is resting for its required 30 minutes, make the anchovy stock.

  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a pot.

  • Add dashima, sliced onion, and anchovies and let simmer on med low heat for at least 30 minutes.

  • When stock has boiled for at least 30 minutes, strain broth into a new pot or a bowl to remove kelp and anchovies. You can leave the onion if you like.

For soup broth:

4) In a separate large pot, bring anchovy stock to a boil and add potatoes, soy sauce, and anchovy sauce (this is different than the broth - you could substitute with fish sauce if you need to)

5) Simmer until potatoes are starting to become soft and add green onion and garlic

6) Let cook for 3-4 minutes and add clams.

7) When clams start to open up, add pre-cooked noodles, mix, and serve.

Alternatively, you can place the noodles in a bowl neatly and add boiling broth on top.

Add a few fresh green onions and some red pepper flakes on top

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