This dish is great in summer on a really hot day. In Korea, people line up to get into guk su restaurants for lunch, as Koreans believe that eating spicy food in summer helps reduce the temperature in our bodies.
Guk su means a long life, as represented by the length of the noodle. You can use a different variety of noodle if you wish, and adding coriander or bean sprouts adds more flavour.
I like to enjoy this dish in my adopted homeland of Australia with a nice local sweet wine.
Kimchi Bibim Guk Su
300 grams kimchi
300 grams wheat noodles (thin vermicelli)
3 tbspn gochu jang (Korean chilli paste)
3 tbspns honey
1 tbspn white vinegar
1 tbspn sesame oil
1 tbspn sesame seeds
½ tbsn Korean chilli powder
½ fuji apple
Boil 2 litres of water and add the noodles the same as you would add pasta, in a circular clockwise motion. When the water is boiling, add one cup of water and repeat one more time when the water reboils. To know when the noodles are ready, either taste or put a few strands into cold water – if they are no longer firm, then they are ready.
In a separate saucepan, boil the egg until it is hard-boiled.
Drain the noodles with cold water and set aside.
Add the chilli paste, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds and chilli powder in a bowl and mix together. Slice the apple and peel the egg. Cut the egg in half lengthways.
Divide the noodles evenly in two large bowls and top with an equal amount of the kimchi. Now pour over the desired amount of sauce and decorate with the sliced apple and boiled egg.
Before eating, each individual should give their dish a good stir through and enjoy.
Chung Jae Lee is former head chef and owner of Adelaide’s Mapo Restaurant and is the author of Korean Cookbook: A Twist on the Traditional. He will soon be taking up the role of executive chef of the new Elan Soho Suites hotel in Darwin.
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