Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)

The easy and healthy Bibim Guksu recipe we all need — spicy, tangy, fresh, exciting. Dig into a tangly bowl of Korean Spicy Cold Noodles!

Once the weather gets warm, I start craving Bibim Guksu — spicy, cold Korean mixed noodles.

15-minutes from start to finish! Lots of fresh vegetables to keep things light and crunchy! Refreshing, mouth-wateringly addictive, and easy to make Korean Bibim Noodles are my favorite pantry meal, for sure!

What is Bibim Guksu?

Bibim Guksu is an easy and healthy Korean noodle dish that’s translated “mixed noodles.”

Part noodle dish, part salad — it’s similar to Bibimbap (“mixed rice”) in that everything is mixed together before eating.

A favorite in hot, humid weather, there’s minimal cooking required. The sauce is so easy to mix together! Add the noodles and toppings of choice — and that’s it!

Bibim Guksu vs Bibim Naengmyeon

The main difference between Bibim Guksu and Bibim Naengmyeon is the type of noodle that’s used.

Bibim Guksu refers to thin, wheat noodles like Somyeon/Somen or Mak Guksoo. The texture is soft and pliable, similar to angel hair spaghetti.

Bibim Naengmyeon refers to noodles made from buckwheat, arrowroot, and/or sweet potato starch. Long and darker in color, Naengmyeon noodles have more stretch and chew. The texture is not as soft but pleasantly chewy and a little bit tough.

Ingredients:

All of the ingredients keep a long time in the pantry. To whip up this light, fresh, easy Korean Bibim Guksu recipe, keep them on hand! You can make Bibim Guksu noodles whenever you like!

  • Somyeon/Somen or Mak Guksu. Korean thin wheat noodles that cook very quickly (3-4 minutes). The thin, long strands twist together in a satisfying, delicious heap.
  • Kimchi + Kimchi Juice. Tastes best with perfectly ripe kimchi that’s not too old.
  • Bibim Sauce ingredients: Gochujang, Rice Vinegar, Sugar, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Garlic.
  • Toppings: Essential for a fresh, crunchy, healthy summer dish! (see below)

Toppings or Mix-Ins:

The beauty of Korean Bibim Noodles is the variety of customizable, DIY-style toppings you can add.

Feel free to add as much or as little as you like. Remember, it’s part noodles, part salad. The vegetables add lots of freshness, crunch, and lightness.

Some suggestions to keep things light and fresh:

  • Hard/Soft Boiled Egg (cut in half)
  • Thinly Sliced Cucumber
  • Thinly Sliced Korean Pear (regular apple or pear also work)
  • Thin Sliced Watermelon
  • Kimchi (extra)
  • Salad Greens (romaine, Bibb lettuce, mixed salad greens, micro greens, etc.)
  • Shredded Cabbage (red or green)
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Gim (roasted seaweed snack)

My favorite combo is soft boiled egg, cabbage, and cucumbers, as pictured below. A hearty and filling vegetarian meal!

My meat-loving husband prefers it with shredded chicken and two eggs — although it’s not exactly conventional.

Just to say, make it your own and enjoy!

bowl of cold spicy Korean noodles or Bibim Guksu with chopsticks and napkin

Can I substitute with another kind of noodle?

The best kind of noodles for this easy Bibim Guksu recipe is Somyeon/Somen noodles or Mak Guksu.

But in a pinch, I’ve also used Soba noodles which are Japanese buckwheat noodles. And I’ve even used Angel Hair pasta in desperate situations. If you don’t have access to Somyeon or Mak Guksu, they are easy substitutes.

But be careful not to overcook — the texture is everything! Bibim noodles mixed with spicy sauce are infinitely addicting.

Can I make Bibim Guksu without Gochujang?

Yes, you definitely can. That’s the way I grew up eating it. But for ease and simplicity (most people have Gochujang in their fridge), I modified my recipe to include Gochujang in the sauce or dressing.

Simply substitute the Gochujang with Gochukaru, as noted in the recipe card below.

How to eat Bibim Guksu recipe:

Korean Bibim Guksu can be enjoyed as an individual meal or a larger dish to be shared.

Individual meal: divide mixed cold noodles evenly between two bowls. Top with cucumber, egg, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Fast and easy! (This is the way I wrote the recipe below.)

Side dish (to be shared): pile Korean Cold Mixed Noodles onto a large serving platter. Top with mixed salad greens, thinly sliced Asian pear, thinly sliced cucumber, and sesame seeds.

And of course, mix everything right before eating! That’s how Bibim noodles are best enjoyed.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

For maximum textural enjoyment, eat Korean Cold Mixed Noodles immediately after plating. That way, the noodles keep their bouncy, soft texture.

Making this dish ahead of time will result in bloated noodles that are too soft and not as texturally satisfying.

To make this dish ahead of time, make the sauce and prep the toppings. They can keep 3-5 days in the fridge, tightly covered. Then cook the noodles, right before serving. When it’s time to eat, mix everything together and serve.

Watch How to Make Korean Bibim Guksu Noodles:

Other easy dishes you may enjoy:

An easy visual: How to Make Bibim Guksu

Cook noodles. Rinse noodles in cold water.

Add noodles to sauce and mix! Add kimchi and juice and mix some more.

Divide evenly between two bowls. Serve cold with sliced cucumbers, red cabbage, and hard/soft-boiled egg. Enjoy!

bowl of cold spicy Korean noodles or Bibim Guksu with chopsticks and napkin
bowl of Korean Bibim Guksu recipe or spicy cold noodle salad

Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Dig into a twisted heap of Kimchi Bibim Guksu! The Korean cold noodle recipe that's easy, satisfying, and so refreshing!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 10 oz/ 285g Somyeon/Somen or Mak Guksu (Korean thin wheat noodles)

Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (white vinegar or apple vinegar also works)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup kimchi + kimchi juice (ripe kimchi that's good for table eating – do not use old kimchi!)

Additional Toppings: (optional)

  • 1/2 cup julienned cucumber, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage, divided
  • 2 soft or hard-boiled egg, halved (1 for each serving)
  • sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, add sauce ingredients. Mix with a spoon until well combined and no clumps remain. Set aside. (The sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3-4 days beforehand.)
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. When the water comes to a boil, add noodles. Cook according to manufacturer's instructions. (The noodles should be soft but not overcooked, about 3-4 minutes.) Drain and rinse with cold water until noodles are cold to the touch.
    cooked and drained makguksu in white bowl
  • Add drained noodles to the sauce and mix well.
    bibimguksu in stainless steel bowl and tongs
  • Add kimchi and juice and mix well. Drizzle with additional sesame oil if the noodles look dry.
    Bibim Guksu in stainless steel bowl with tongs
  • Evenly divide between two bowls. Scrape all the remaining sauce + kimchi onto the noodles. Top with cucumber, red cabbage, egg, and sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately, with more sesame oil for drizzling if needed.
    bowl of cold spicy Korean noodles or Bibim Guksu recipe with chopsticks and napkin

Notes

*If you’d like to serve this as a side for many people to enjoy, omit the eggs.  Add a big handful of mixed green salad mix, julienned cucumber, and a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.  
Keyword Bibim Guksu, Cold Noodles, Korean, Spicy
15 minutes, All Recipes, Featured, Gochujang, Kimchi, Korean, Main, Weeknight Meals

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Ina Cheat Day: The Subversive Table – Store Bought Is Fine

  2. What brand of soy sauce did you use?

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