The kind of pantry meal we all need right now — spicy, tangy, fresh, exciting. And ready in 15 minutes! Dig into a twisted heap of Bibim Guksu and satisfy all those Korean noodle cravings!
The weather is getting warmer. Finally — time for Korean cold noodles!
Koreans are masters at the art of cold noodles. And Bibim Guksu is one of my favorites — super fast and very easy to make. Pantry ingredients. Thin noodles that cook quickly. The hardest part will be waiting for the water to come to a boil, no joke!
Coated in slick sauce with a sharp vinegary kick, these noodles are the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling blah. Enjoy!
What is Bibim Guksu?
Bibim Guksu is a Korean cold noodle salad dish. Roughly translated “Mixed Noodles,” they are usually mixed with whatever vegetable is on hand.
Often eaten in the summertime, Bibim Guksu is made with an exciting spicy-sweet sauce that has a vinegary kick. So delicious! And refreshing for the hot days of summer!
The sauce comes from a trio of fermented goodness: gochujang, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Combine in one bowl and slather over a tangled mess of noodles. So easy!
Bibim Guksu is also made from thin wheat noodles. The texture is everything! Thin and chewy, these noodles are infinitely addicting.
Bibim Guksu is an easy dish to make at home because they are made from pantry ingredients. Well, pantry ingredients from my Korean American pantry that is.
Make it once and see how easy and fast this dish is. You’ll be keeping the ingredients in stock, year round!
- Somyeon or Mak Guksu. Korean thin wheat noodles are essential. Do not overcook! Make sure to rinse with cold water after draining.
- Gochujang. Sweet and spicy with that savory depth of flavor. The flavor base of the sauce.
- Rice Vinegar. White vinegar or apple vinegar also works but that acidic tang is essential!
- Sugar. Sweetness balances out all the other flavors.
- Soy Sauce. Savory, deep, umami-richness.
- Sesame Oil. Fragrant and nutty, also keeps the noodles from sticking together.
- Kimchi + Kimchi Juice. Adding kimchi and a little kimchi juice (poured straight from the jar) is essential! Adds SO much flavor!
Part salad, part cold noodle dish — Koreans typically add all kinds of toppings to Bibim Guksu. Add as much or as little as you like.
- Hard Boiled Egg (cut in half)
- Thinly Sliced Cucumber
- Thinly Sliced Korean Pear (regular apple or pear also work)
- more Kimchi
- Salad Greens (romaine, Bibb lettuce, mixed salad greens, etc.)
- Shredded Cabbage (red or green)
- Thinly sliced carrots
How to serve Bibim Guksu:
For an individual meal, divide 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.)
For a side dish to be shared, pile noodles onto a large serving platter. Top with mixed salad greens, thinly sliced Asian pear, and sesame seeds. Refreshing and simple — SO good!
Note: This dish is great for potlucks. Drizzle with extra sesame oil to make sure the noodles don’t stick together.
How to Make Bibimguksu:
Cook noodles. Rinse noodles in cold water.
Mix sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Add noodles to sauce and mix!
Add kimchi and juice and mix some more.
Divide evenly between two bowls. Serve cold with sliced cucumbers and hard/soft-boiled egg. Enjoy!
Bibim Guksu aka Korean Spicy Cold Noodles
- 10 oz/ 285g Makguksu or Somyeon (Korean thin wheat noodles)
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (white vinegar also works)
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil (plus more for drizzling)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup kimchi + kimchi juice (ripe kimchi that's good for table eating – do not use old kimchi!)
Additional Garnish: (optional)
- 1/4 cup julienned cucumber
- 1 soft or hard-boiled egg
- sesame seeds
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. As the water heats up, add sauce ingredients (except kimchi) to a large bowl and mix with a spoon.
- When the water comes to a boil, add noodles. Cook according to manufacturer's instructions. (The noodles should be soft but not overcooked, about 3-5 minutes.) Drain and rinse with cold water until noodles are cold to the touch.
- Add drained noodles to the sauce and mix well.
- Add kimchi and juice and mix well. Drizzle with additional sesame oil if the noodles look dry.
- Evenly divide between two bowls and top with cucumber, half an egg, and sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately, with more sesame oil for drizzling.
PSST! If you liked this dish, you’ll probably also love Spicy Soba Noodles!