Today I’m going to show you my version of guksu (국수), a simple and delicious noodle soup, and one of my all-time favorites and go-to regular meals. This version is spicy and savory. I always have kimchi and anchovies on hand, so it’s something that I can always make quickly for lunch, or when people suddenly come over.

Guksu is also a special-occasion dish because Koreans traditionally associate long thin noodles with longevity, so we often serve it at birthday parties, to wish for a long life, and at weddings, to wish for a long marriage.

I learned this version from a friend of mine in Korea who came from Gyeongsang province, at a time when I lived in Jeolla province. It’s different than the traditional way of making it, which is the version I show in my cookbook. That way uses anchovy or beef stock with hot pepper flakes and chopped green onions as a garnish. To make it look fancy, sauteed zucchini, marinated and cooked beef strips, and a pan-fried egg stips (gyeran-jidan) can be added over top.

This version uses a kimchi mixture for a spicy kick, and uses my special anchovy stock. The stock is something I’ve been developing for years. Dried anchovies, kelp, radish, and onion give plenty of flavor and umami and a bit of sweetness, which makes it a good base for many other dishes, too. And when the mix of kimchi, green onions, honey, toasted sesame oil, and hot pepper paste meets that savory stock, it creates a unique, unforgettable flavor.

I made 10 cups of anchovy stock in this recipe, enough for a couple bowls of guksu with leftovers you can freeze or keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Then you can add the stock to stews, soup, or just like me, use it to make a yummy steamed eggs in an earthenware pot (ttukbaegi-gyeranjjim).

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Just writing this, I feel like having a bowl of guksu!

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

For the anchovy stock (makes 10 cups’ worth):

  • 14 cups of water
  • 8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, sliced thinly
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 medium onions (about 7 ounces), sliced
  • 18-20 large dried anchovies, heads and guts are removed
  • 1 ounce dried kelp
  • 2½ teaspoons salt

For the spicy kimchi mix:


The best way to make guksu is to prepare the stock and kimchi mixture first, and then make the noodles rapidly and put the guksu together just before serving. This way, the noodles don’t have time to sit and be soggy. They should be fresh and snappy when served, and the guksu should be served hot and quickly slurped.

Make the stock:

  1. Combine the water, radish, and onion, green onion roots, anchovies, and kelp in a large saucepan, cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 30 minutes.stock ingredientsguksu stock
  2. Turn down the heat to low and boil another 20 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and strain. You will get about 10 cups of stock. Stir in the salt.

Make the spicy kimchi mix:

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Set aside.kimchi seasonings

Cook the noodles:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir them with a wooden spoon so that they don’t stick together.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until they start boiling over.
  3. Open, lower the heat to low, and stir. Cook another minute until the noodles are nicely cooked. Take a sample: it should be chewy but there shouldn’t be anything hard in it as you chew.
  4. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold water a couple of times. Strain them. Divide the noodles into 2 portions and put each portion into a serving bowl or pot.

Make guksu:

  1. I like to warm the noodles up first, because they’ve been rinsed in cold water and they will cool down the soup. Use a strainer and a ladle to put a bit of bubbling hot stock over the noodles, and then drain it back out into the stockpot so it can be heated again. Do this a couple of times until the noodles are heated up.
  2. Add 2 or 2½ cups of the hot stock to the noodles. Place the kimchi mixture, ground sesame seeds, and gimgaru (crushed seaweed flakes) in the center of the noodle soup.kimchi noodle soup
  3. Add a poached egg on top if you made one.
  4. Serve hot and eat immediately.kimchi guksu noodle soup

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  1. Jang-geum Charlotte, NC joined 9/20 & has 26 comments

    Made janchi-guksu (korean banquet noodle soup) at home…yum..

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  2. Damir Kazakhstan joined 10/19 & has 2 comments

    OK! instead of dried fish, dashida took anchovy soup

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  3. JayS Las Vegas, NV joined 1/19 & has 3 comments

    Yum, this was delicious. Thanks!

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  4. Nayko france joined 10/18 & has 34 comments

    Guksu is my night savior!
    Coming home laaaate at night, time to bed but hungry and craving for good homemade food ? No problem for me thanks to this recipe!
    In that context, i admit that i make the lazy version… industrial chicken stock and dehydrated noodles, simply pourring a raw egg at the end… but still delicious recipe :) the kimchi mixture makes the dish! A good kimchi means delicius meals!
    ok, now i’ going to sleep, well fed and a smile on my face ;)

  5. VeganLegation Europe joined 6/17 & has 17 comments

    Wonderful korean noodle soup! We veganized the recipe and cooked it without fish and egg :-)

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  6. jerinladd15 New Hampshire, USA joined 2/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I’m really interested in making this recipe for a dinner party, but I know that my guests have a sensitivity to gluten. Are there gluten-free versions of the somyeon noodles? Or is there a good substitute you would recommend? Thank you! <3

  7. cookiemint London joined 4/17 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I made this and it tastes fantastic. I forgot to buy ghim but the broth is such a huge hit. Will continue to make more of your recipes!

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  8. MonicaY California joined 6/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, I love love this recipe. I really love poached egg too, and overtime I try poaching like you do in the video, only the edges cook and the middle of the egg is still raw. Is the stock at too low of a temperature for it to cook completely? How high should the stock be cooking while I cook the egg in the ladle? Thank you!

  9. Fany joined 12/15 & has 20 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Can I replace gim with nori, it’s really hard to find gim here And if I use nori, should I toast it, or better not?

  10. Puffpenguin23 New York joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! This soup looks absolutely amazing. Actually all of your recipes do. I was thinking about serving this at a dinner party. If I wanted to serve 6-8 peopke, can I simply triple the recipe you have or would you recommend something else? Thank you for sharing your knowledge of Korean dishes!

  11. Hi Maangchi,

    I love your recipes! I have been buying a lot of kitchenware as I am moving. I purchased a lot of korean earthenware and I LOVE it, but my question is what cutting board are you using? I could not find it anywhere. Thank you.

  12. Lisa2321 USA joined 5/13 & has 4 comments

    Maangchi, when you put the anchovy stock in the freezer, do you separate into 1-cup portions? What is easiest in your opinion? I imagine it would be difficult to use to make another soup if it is one big, frozen block. Or do you thaw the entire portion, take what you need, and re-freeze leftovers? Does it cause it to degrade (thaw, freeze)…?

    I would like to make this stock to keep in the freezer and save time when cooking during the weekdays. You can use it for so many delicious dishes! :-)
    Thanks again!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      I put all the leftover anchovy stock in a container and freeze it. When I need it, put it in a pot and boil it and use. If I still have some left over anchovy stock, I keep it in the fridge. It will be ok in the fridge for a couple of days. Good luck with your anchovy stock!

  13. T2 joined 10/15 & has 4 comments

    WOW!! Maangchi that guksu really look delicious, comforting and warming!! and i just looove your tiny little pot!! is that korean pot?? i just saw your video and i can’t wait to go to the asian grocery shop, grab the ingredients and make it!!

  14. HI, Maangchi! How can I replace the anchovies? Can I use fish sauce? In the local Korean grocery store is not dried anchovies :(

  15. grimnir joined 12/15 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    Very interesting recipe for me. I was born and lived many years in Uzbekistan, where, as You know, as i remember, there were many Koreans (“Koryo Saram”), that was deported into Middle Asia in the time of WWII.
    Guksu (or “Kuksu” in the russificated adoptation of the word) is very populuar dish both among the Uzbekistan’s koreans and other peoples living in that land.
    Nevertheless, this dish differs from the recipe You kindly offer us.
    In our version – obviously, adopted under local conditions – guksu is a “cold summer soup”, like spanish “gaspaccho”, russian “okroshka” or uzbekish “chalop”.
    It consists from three parts:
    1. Soup base (named “kuksi-muri”) – chilled water with addition of soybean souce, sodium glutamate, vinegar and sugar.
    2. Thin noodles.
    3. A lot of salads and other add-ons: fried beef with cabbage, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, green onion, thin egg pancakes etc.

  16. _gd6285 joined 4/15 & has 2 comments

    Looks so good! I think I’m going to make it soon!

  17. Fortran Alexandria, VA joined 6/11 & has 6 comments

    Mmm. A place near me does a really good janchi guksu filled with yummy veggies.

    Might have to try this now that I know how to do the anchovy broth.

  18. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 308 comments

    I just watched the video.
    Now I’m hungry! ;-)

    Bye, Sanne.

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