Spicy whelks with noodles

Golbaengi-muchim 골뱅이무침

A few years ago, when I taught a cooking class at Whole Foods in New York, golbaengi-muchim was one of the recipes on the menu. After finishing the class, I asked them which dish was the most delicious and the one they wanted to make as soon as they went home. Golbaengi-muchim came in second on next to Korean grilled beef ribs (LA galbi). I didn’t expect this dish to be so popular with my students, but it always is.

You can get a can of golbaengi (whelks) at a Korean grocery store, but if it’s not available in your area, you can replace it with any of your favorite seafoods: clams, mussels, scallops, or shrimps. You can serve this as a side dish to rice or noodles, and it’s also good party food. Make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. When your guests come, cook the noodles. When you’re ready to eat, place the noodles on a large plate and add golbaengi-muchim over top and sprinkle some sesame seeds. They’ll love it.

Are you going to a potluck party and you’re thinking about making this dish? Yes, that’s a great idea because it will be the most popular dish there! I once brought this to a potluck party in a park. I made sure my golbaengi-muchim, cooked noodles, disposable plastic gloves, sesame seeds, and a large plate were all kept separate. Carrying these 5 things separately is very important, because it keeps them fresh and delicious, and you’ll get lots of attention from the people at the party when you prepare it! When everybody was ready to eat, I put the plate on the table and added the noodles and golbaengi-muchim on top, and sprinkled sesame seeds.

I’m looking forward to hearing your golbaengi-muchim story! : )


Directions (for 4 servings)

Cooking time: 30 mins

Prepare ingredients:

  1. Rinse a can of whelks (golbaengi) in cold water, drain, and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Hand toss the cucumber, carrot, and onion into a bowl with 1 ts kosher salt. Set aside.

Let’s make sweet sour spicy sauce in a bowl:

  1. Mix hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, vinegar, honey, sugar, toasted sesame oil, and minced garlic together.
  2. Add green chili pepper, chili pepper, and green onion to the sauce.
    *tip: Adjust the amount of hot pepper flakes or hot pepper paste to your taste. If you don’t like spicy food, skip them both and use soy sauce
  3. Boil water in a large pot for the noodles.
  4. Squeeze the excess water out of the vegetables and add to the sauce in the bowl.
  5. Add the whelks to the bowl and mix well with a spoon.

Cook noodles:

  1. Spread out about 3 oz (84 grams) noodles in the pot of boiling water. Stir them with a spoon to prevent them from sticking together. Close the lid.
  2. A few minutes later, they’ll start boiling over. Open the lid and stir the noodles. Cook a few minutes more with the lid open until they are cooked well.
    *tip: You can tell if they are cooked enough by taking a sample. The noodles are very hot, so add a few noodles to a small bowl filled with cold water to let them cool down before tasting. The noodles should be chewy and soft when you chew them.
  3. When the noodles are cooked, rinse them in cold water couple of times,strain them, and set aside. The noodles will expand and lose their chewiness as time passes, so the last step of preparing this dish is always cooking the noodles.

Let’s serve!

  1. Place the cooked noodles on a large plate and then ladle the spicy whelk over the noodles.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tbs roasted sesame seeds on top and serve.

golbaengi muchim


Spicy whelks with noodles

Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 5/5 from 3486 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  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??

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.