Korean Spicy Cold Noodle

Bibim guksu, a popular cold noodle dish, offers versatility similar to its rice counterpart, bibimbap. My childhood memories recall a simple version featuring sliced kimchi and fresh cucumbers, known as kimchi bibim guksu. Occasionally, we omitted kimchi, creating a version with only noodles coated in a gochujang sauce and topped with cucumber slices.

The inclusion of an abundance of fresh vegetables not only enhances the dish’s healthiness but also imparts a cool and refreshing quality, making it an ideal choice for warm weather. The result is a highly appetizing dish that perfectly suits summery days!

Preparation of Noodle & Sauce

Embark on a culinary journey with the enticing flavors of Korean Spicy Cold Noodles, a dish that perfectly balances refreshing elements with a fiery kick. To start, select your preferred noodles—soba or Korean naengmyeon—and follow the package instructions for boiling, ensuring they are cooked to perfection. Rinse the noodles under cold water, preventing them from sticking together, and toss them with a generous tablespoon of sesame oil for an added layer of nutty richness.

Next, dive into the creation of the spicy sauce, the heart of this dish. In the blender, blend half-sliced pear, 3 tablespoons of gochujang, 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger well, adjusting the spice and sweetness levels to suit your palate. Coat the cold noodles thoroughly with this delectable sauce, and let the flavors meld in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

What topping can you use here?

When it comes to toppings, the options are as diverse as your creativity allows. Julienned pear and cucumber, sliced boiled eggs, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds form the classic ensemble. However, feel free to embark on culinary experimentation with alternative ingredients. For a protein boost, consider shredded chicken, thinly sliced beef, or pan-fried tofu. Elevate the vegetable medley with additions like bell peppers, radishes, or bean sprouts. If you’re craving a nutty crunch, sprinkle crushed peanuts or cashews over the top. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.

As the final act unfolds, arrange your chosen toppings on the sauced noodles with artistic flair. The julienned vegetables, boiled eggs, and any additional elements should create a vibrant tapestry atop the chilled noodles. Sprinkle a handful of fresh cilantro, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds for a visually appealing finish. Just before indulging, give the dish a final toss to ensure an even distribution of flavors and toppings.

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xoxo, Joe

Korean Spicy Cold Noodle


  • 8 ounces buckwheat noodles (memil guksu) or wheat flour noodles (somyeon/somen)

  • 1 small cucumber (about 3 ounces)

  • 1 small pear

  • 2 ounces lettuce leaves

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced kimchi

  • 1 boiled egg – optional

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

  • Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Korean chili pepper paste, gochujang

  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili pepper flakes, gochugaru

  • 1 teaspoon Korean/Asian hot mustard paste, gyeoja optional

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or corn syrup/oligo syrup) adjust to taste

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar adjust to taste

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 clove garlic minced

  • 2 tablespoons soft drink (such as ginger ale, Sprite, etc.), apple juice, orange juice, or 1 tablespoon of Korean plum syrup (maesilcheong) optional


  • Mix all sauce ingredients and keep it cool in the fridge. The sauce can be prepared ahead of time, and it will keep well for up to 2 weeks.
  • Julienne the cucumber, carrot and red cabbage. Thinly slice the lettuce. Keep them cool in the fridge or in ice water (drain well before using) if you like.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking.
  • Drain and rinse in icy cold water until the noodles are very cold. Make two one-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 over the noodles. Drizzle the sesame oil over, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and place a half of boiled egg on top. The sauce can be served on top or separately.
  • Alternatively, you can toss it all together before serving. Mix the noodles well with the sauce, add the sesame oil and vegetables, and toss well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and place a half of boiled egg on top.

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