Despite it only being the fourth week of the semester, I’ve found myself feeling plenty deprived of homemade Korean food. Taking matters into my own hands, I decided to invite my friends over and whip up something familiar. Janchi guksu — which literally translates to “party noodle” — is a traditional Korean dish that was served at celebratory events such as weddings and birthdays. Every province in Korea takes its own twist on the dish, making it a popular, long-lasting staple. After growing up eating my mom’s recipe, janchi guksu is one of my favorite comfort foods.
Back at home, my mom would boil onions, kelp, radishes and anchovies for hours to achieve the perfect, rich broth. Living in a dorm, I have neither the time nor the desire to make my hall smell like anchovies for days. My secret solution? Broth powder. Broth powder comes in small packets at H Mart and creates the perfect base broth for any Korean soup dish.
Interested in discovering your own spin on janchi guksu? Start by gathering the ingredients listed below.
Traditionally, the toppings are zucchini, carrots, kimchi and eggs. However, I used whatever remaining vegetables were ready to wilt away in my fridge, which turned out to be mushrooms and carrots. This recipe will serve four hungry students.
Leftover vegetables, sliced (recommended: zucchini and carrots)
1 pound of sōmen noodles
6 cups water
2 beef broth packets
½ onion, sliced
2 spoonfuls soy sauce
Optional: dried seaweed, pepper flakes
First, bring the water to a boil and throw in the noodles, stirring often. When the noodles are boiling, add a cup of cold water to the pot. Once the water is brought to a boil again, turn off the heat and drain the hot water. Wash the noodles with cold water to prevent them from getting mushy and soggy.
Cut the vegetables into thin slices and cook them with a sprinkle of oil on low heat in a frying pan.
Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and cook into a large flat omelet. Once the egg is folded over, cut the omelette into thin strips.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add two beef broth packets and the sliced onion pieces. Add soy sauce, seasoning to preferred taste.
Note: If you don’t want to eat the onion but want to keep the flavor, place half the onion into the broth and take out before serving.
Now comes the best part — assembly. Place a handful of noodles into a bowl and pour in the steamy broth. Garnish with the sliced, cooked vegetables and eggs. For an extra kick, add some red pepper flakes and dried seaweed.
I’m proud to say my guests were pleased enough to do the dishes after dinner. More importantly, I didn’t even have to use my “phone-my-mom chance” to hopelessly salvage the food. Studying away in the city can feel unfamiliar and difficult at times, but I’m now one bowl of noodles closer to home.
Email Ju Hee Shin at [email protected]