Homestyle chicken noodle soup

Dak-kalguksu 닭칼국수

I’m sharing my family’s all-time favorite food with you today, chicken noodle soup – dak-kalguksu in Korean. The word kal means knife and guksu means noodle soup, indicating that the noodles in this soup are made by cutting them from the dough.

There are many kinds of kalguksu, but this version is made with chicken (dak in Korean). The noodles are made from scratch, which makes this dish very special and welcome in any home. You can picture a housewife kneading dough, the chicken broth boiling in a huge pot on the stove behind her, giving off a great aroma, filling the whole house, and her family excited about the upcoming noodle soup.

“Mom, is it ready yet??”
“Can I help you knead the dough?”

This dish always reminds me of good times with my relatives, siblings, parents, neighbors, and friends. Kalguksu is a very social dish and this is something we used to make when we had a lot of people over. Everyone could pitch in and help, especially to make the noodles.

In this recipe I use a half cup of starch in the dough, which is optional and can be replaced with flour. But you should use starch because it makes a big difference in the noodles. There’s a great kalguksu place here in New York City that has chewy and firm noodles that never go soggy no matter how long they’re in the broth. I couldn’t figure out how they did it! Of course I did a lot of experiments at home and discovered that a bit of starch did the trick. If you’re a hardcore cook & noodle lover, you’ll absolutely be able to tell the difference between noodles made with starch and without.

This recipe serves 4, but if you want to make 2 servings, just use only half the dough this time, and keep the other half in the fridge for more kalguksu or something else. Divide the chicken stock, too, and keep half in the fridge for later.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 16 cups water
  • 16 peeled garlic cloves (about ½ cup)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 3½ cup all purpose flour, plus ⅓ cup flour to dust
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks (about 1½ cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • vegetable oil
  • toasted sesame oil
  • kosher salt
  • fish sauce (or soup soy sauce)
  • ground black pepper


Start the broth:

  1. Put water, chicken breast, garlic, and onion in a large stock pot and boil for 1 hour over high heat.
    Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

While it boils, make the noodle dough:

  1. Combine flour, starch, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1¼ cup water in a large bowl.
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a lump. Knead it by hand until it forms as ball. Put it into a plastic bag, seal it, and let it sit in the fridge or on the kitchen counter for 10 minutes.
    Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)
  3. Take the dough out of the plastic bag, knead it for 2 to 5 minutes, and then put it back in. Kneading it in stages like this, and storing it in the plastic bag between sessions will make it soft and pliable with a minimum of effort.
    Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

Prepare the zucchini:

  1. Combine the zucchini matchsticks with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the excess water out by hand and sautee with a few drops of vegetable oil in a pan. Set aside.
    Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

Finish the stock:

  1. After an hour of boiling, remove from the heat. Strain. The stock will be about 13 cups at this point and it should look clear but a little milky.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or soup soy sauce) or to taste. Mix well and put it back to the stock pot. Set aside.
    Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

Make garlic seasoning paste:

  1. Collect the cooked garlic into a small bowl and mash it with a spoon. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Pull the chicken into thin strips with your fingers and mix it in with the garlic mixture. Set aside.
     Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

Make noodles:

  1. Take out the dough and knead it again for a couple of minutes until it’s really smooth. Divide the dough into 2 balls.
  2. Dust a large cutting board or clean kitchen table with flour and put the dough on it. Roll it out with a rolling pin to a circle about 18 inches wide and 1/16 inch thick (1 or 2 mm). Flip it over occasionally to make it even, round, and flat. If you need to, sprinkle some flour on it when you flip, to keep it from sticking.
     Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수) Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)
  3. Evenly spread some flour on the dough, and fold it over 3 or 4 times. Cut it into thin noodles, about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle some flour on them, and gently mix them up to separate them and spread the flour evenly.
  4. Make noodles with the other ball of dough but repeating the steps above.
     Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수) Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수) Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

Make soup:

  1. Bring the stock to a boil and add the noodles. Stir with a wooden spoon and cover.
  2. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes until all the noodles float and some bubbles form on the surface. Remove from the heat.
  3. Ladle into large individual bowls. Put some zucchini on the center of each bowl and add some chicken. Sprinkle some chopped green onion over top, and serve immediately with kimchi and few more side dishes if you have them. Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수) Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수) Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

To make spicy version:

  1. Combine 2 table spoons hot pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil in a small bowl. Mix well and serve. When you eat, add some of the mixture to your noodle soup and eat.
     Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

 Korean chicken noodle soup (Kalguksu: 칼국수)

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  1. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 275 comments

    I made the spicy version today, but since I can’t roll out a large amount of dough at once, I made noodles similar to sujebi using the mandu-pi method.
    I used cornstarch instead of potato starch and 2 Tbs more water, more onions and a piece of leek in the already rich broth I had and skipped the zucchini and the green onions.
    Chicken legs instead of breast. Wonderful!

    I use a Chinese method for cooking chicken: Bring water with onion or stock to a boil, add the chicken (or parts) which should be submerged, bring to a boil again, let it cook gently for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the covered pot for 30 minutes more or longer. Take it out, let it cool, remove the bones.

  2. Luth Indonesia joined 10/20 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi I did it, thanks a lot for a guidance

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  3. Bat7rose Israel joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Loved making these noodles and so chewy and yummy!!(: thanks(:

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  4. Heathert7900 Mid-Atlantic US joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Just made this for my hesitant American family, and they absolutely loved it! Nothing left in the pot! The noodles came out well and the flavor was delicious.

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  5. helenj London joined 5/20 & has 2 comments

    I made this today and it was delicious! Soup was so tasty (only difference is, I used chicken carcass instead of breast). Loved the chewy noodles too :) can’t wait to make it again. Thanks Maangchi! I’m enjoying your recipes so much these days.

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  6. mklc France joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi, my noodles broke into pieces when I boiled them. What’s wrong with them? :(

  7. Chickpea NJ joined 3/20 & has 1 comment

    Can you please link the plastic bags and gloves you use?

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve made 3x using store bought noodles and next time will try hand-making the noodles!

  8. Afiqah Ab Rashid MALAYSIA joined 7/19 & has 1 comment

    I’ve made this today but I think I cut my noodle too big. Gonna make it again for sure. Thank you for the marvellous recipe

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  9. Julieloveskfood Philippines joined 3/19 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I want to make this but I am wondering if I can use corn starch instead of potato starch. Thanks in advance for your response.

  10. XXanimeseekerXX North Carolina joined 6/18 & has 5 comments

    Finally had a chance to try out this recipe and it was wonderful! So yummy and I can’t wait for my family to get home from work to try some too. Served with rice and homemade kimchi, of course!

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  11. LiljaS Iceland joined 3/18 & has 16 comments

    This was very fun to make. I never realized before I dove into Korean cooking that making your own noodles would be this easy. Very yummy

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  12. Curriedcabbage Indianapolis IN joined 2/19 & has 2 comments

    Holy cats. I have been sick for a week, and I got enough energy today to make this soup. I’m patting myself on the back so hard over the noodles, which came out a bit wide but SO good! All that garlic has me feeling almost normal.

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  13. Foodfanselenge Mongolia joined 9/18 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi! Can is ” Myolchi dashima gugmul” for fish sauce? This is the only sauce I can find so far. Will taste same?
    Thank you :)

  14. misia Chicago, IL USA joined 8/18 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I love watching your videos and I hope to make this soup soon! If I don’t use all of the noodles after cutting them, can I freeze some to use for later? Thanks!!

  15. Hafizah Malaysia joined 10/16 & has 5 comments

    Hello maangchi how long can I keep the noddles?

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