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Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)


Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)

Bibim guksu is a cold noodle dish that is usually made with thin wheat flour noodles (somyeon) or buckwheat noodles (memil guksu). The noodles are typically mixed in a sweet and sour gochujang sauce along with thinly sliced crisp fresh vegetables. If more soy sauce and less chile pepper paste is used, bibim guksu can have a mild flavor. You can toss it all together before serving, or nicely arrange everything in a serving bowl so it can be mixed at the table. The latter allows each person to adjust the amount of the sauce to his or her liking.

As with its rice counterpart, bibimbap, this is a very versatile dish. A simple version I recall from my childhood memories is made only with sliced kimchi and fresh cucumbers. There are more elaborate versions as well. Here, I kept it simple. Using buckwheat noodles, I added a few vegetables to create a nice combination of colors, flavors, and textures. The result is an especially appetizing dish that is perfect for hot summer days!

Click here to see 7 Great Chilled Noodle Recipes for Summer.



*Note: Gochujang is a Korean fermented chile paste, traditionally aged in clay pots. It's used as a condiment in many Korean dishes, and is available at Asian markets.

**Note: Gochugaru are Korean chile pepper flakes; if you can't find them, feel free to use red chile pepper flakes instead.


For the sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons gochujang paste*
  • 1 Tablespoon gochugaru**
  • 1 Teaspoon Korean or Asian hot mustard paste (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar, honey, or corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame seeds

For the noodles

  • 1 Kirby cucumber, julienned
  • 3 -4 red cabbage leaves, julienned
  • 3 -4 lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 Cup thinly sliced kimchi
  • 8 Ounces buckwheat or wheat flour noodles
  • 1 egg, hard boiled (optional)


For the sauce

In a bowl, mix together all of the sauce ingredients and keep cool in the refrigerator.

For the noodles

Place all of the vegetables in a bowl and keep cool in the refrigerator.

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles according to the package directions, about 5-6 minutes. Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and rinse in icy cold water until the noodles are very cold. Make 2 single-serving size mounds. Place the mounds in a colander to drain.

Place the noodles in the middle of the serving bowl and nicely arrange the cold vegetables and eggs, if using, over the noodles. Drop in a few ice cubes so the dish can stay cool while eating. The sauce can be served on top or separately.