Spicy whelks with noodles

Golbaengi-muchim 골뱅이무침

Today’s recipe is golbaengi-muchim, one of the most popular side dishes for drinking alcohol (anju) in Korea. Golbaengi-muchim is a sweet, sour, and spicy whelk salad that is enjoyed by many. Whelks are a type of edible sea snails that are high in protein and low in fat. Koreans typically use canned whelks (golbaengi) because they are pre-cooked and soaked in a sweet and savory brine, making them very convenient to use. The chewy texture of the whelks, when mixed with sweet, sour, and spicy seasonings and vegetables, creates a delicious flavor that is really amazing!

Canned golbaengi is widely available in Korean grocery stores worldwide, indicating its popularity among Koreans. However, many non-Koreans also enjoy this dish. Recently, I met a non-Korean American man who told me that golbaengi-muchim was his favorite dish at Korean bars. He was crazy about it!

I posted this recipe years ago, but this is a newly updated version. I’ve reduced the sweetness and added some of the brine from the can to the seasoning sauce. I used to discard the brine, but I found that it enhances the flavor of the dish.

Enjoy the recipe and let me know how yours turns out!

spicy whelks


Directions (for 2 servings)

Prepare the ingredients

  1. Combine green onion and onion in a bowl. Soak in cold water for 10-30 minutes to reduce the spiciness.green onion slices
  2. Rinse the green onion and onion under cold water until it’s curly and crisp. Drain well.
  3. Combine garlic, ginger, gochu-garu, gochujang, vinegar, rice syrup, salt, and soy sauce in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.golbaengi-muchim seasoning sauce
  4. Open the can of golbaengi and drain well, reserving ⅓ cup of the brine.
  5. Cut golbaengi into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.canned whelks

Cook the noodles

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over medium high heat and add the noodles. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to prevent them from sticking to each other.
  2. The noodles will float to the surface in 2 minutes. Stir them gently with a wooden spoon and cook for another minute.
  3. Remove from the heat and strain the noodles in a colander. Rinse them in cold running water, rubbing them with your hands to remove the starch. Drain well.
  4. Divide the noodles into 4 roughly equal portions. Roll each portion into a nice ball and place them together on a large plate.somyeon noodles

Put it all together

  1. Add the golbaengi, cucumber, green chili pepper, sliced onion and green onion to the seasoning sauce in the large bowl. Keep some shredded green onion behind to use as a garnish later. Add the sesame oil and mix well. spicy whelk seasoning
  2. Pour everything over top of the noodles on the plate.
  3. Add the pear over top and then the shredded green onion on top of the pear. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over top and serve right away.

Let’s serve!

  1. Everyone should get their own plate. Add some of the noodles, sauce, and golbaengi to their plates, toss with chopsticks, and enjoy!

golbaengi-muchim with noodles

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  1. Hi Maangchi! :) How long can you store golbaengimuchim until it goes bad?

  2. mionchia Singapore joined 2/14 & has 2 comments

    hello Maangchi !
    im a huge fan of ur korean cooking! Love how you make everything look so simple and easy to follow. Recently i managed to get my hands on the golbaengi and i want to make this recipe for my family but my family is small with only 3 people so i m wondering how long can this keep in the fridge if we cant finish it?

    Thanks alot !

  3. Renren Sydney joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    This is seriously good!!!!!!!!!deliciouoooooos!!! Thank u so much for the recipe!!!

  4. phyllis Pittsburgh joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s not anything we made at home growing up so my dad was so pleasantly surprised when I made it for lunch today!

  5. Nabi972 Dallas, TX joined 6/13 & has 2 comments

    My parents loved your recipe! They were delightfully surprised when I made this. Thank you, Maangchi!

  6. Maxxang Australian joined 10/12 & has 1 comment

    hi there Maangchi i like dish just wander what kind of vinegar use? cause my kinder bitter after i put vinegar in…

  7. This is one of my favorite dishes! YUM!

  8. Minji North Carolina joined 5/12 & has 1 comment

    Can you put beef or chicken instead of the welks??

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