If you are wondering what’s Janchi Guksu (잔치국수), it is a traditional Korean dish that roughly translates to “banquet or festive noodles”. It is a simple warm noodle dish made with thin wheat noodles — somyeon (소면) in a clear anchovy or beef broth.
The white noodles symbolize happiness and longevity in Korean culture. And janchi (잔치) means celebration. Therefore, this is a dish usually served on special occasions like weddings or birthdays in the olden days. Most Koreans grew up enjoying Janchi Guksu made by their grandma and is a classic, sentimental food that reminds them of their childhood.
For me, Janchi Guksu is comfort food that reminds me of winter, road trips and highway rest stops (Hyugeso 휴게소) in Korea. You can always find them at highway rest stops, and somehow the noodles just tasted better on the colder days. The thin wheat noodles pair well with the clean, umami-tasting soup, and is warmly comforting — Literally soul food for winter road trips!
You can use any preferred clear broth to make this dish. Personally, I find anchovy broth works best for this dish. I use dried anchovies, kelp, and dried oyster (totally optional) to make the broth. Ultimately, you may simply drop one Dashi Pack from Souperstar to make the broth. Daily and Light soup packs works the best for this dish.
For the toppings, you can use any combination you fancy. The classic toppings include zucchini, carrot, shredded seaweed, fry eggs and kimchi. I added a piece of SPAM as I was clearing the left over in the fridge!
Broth • Anchovies 6-8 big anchivies • Yellow Onion Half • Leek 2 stalks, cut into 5cm long • Kelp 2 pieces, around 5 cm long Sauce • Soy sauce 4tbsp • Korean Chilli Flakes 1tsp • Plum Juice 1 tsp • Sesame Oil 1tsp • Sesame powder 1tsp • Garlic half tsp, finely chopped • Onion 1tsp, finely chopped Garnish • Zucchini half, julienned • Carrot half, julienned • Egg 2-3 • Aged Kimchi 2 cabbage leaves, finely chopped
1. Make the broth by putting all of the ingredients for broth into a pot of water (1400ml), and boil for 10-15 minutes. Remove the anchovies or the soup pack if you are using a soup pack.
2. Pour 1 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce into the broth, turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for another 5-20 minutes.
3. Pan fry the julienned zucchini. You may add a little bit of salt to the veggies to taste. Set aside. Repeat for carrots.
4. Fry the eggs. You may make it to Gyeran Jidan (thin egg sheets), and set it aside.
5. Warm the pan, put in some olive oil and fry the finely chopped kimchi until moist and soft. Add just a few drops of sesame oil into the kimchi and turn off the heat immediately. Mix well and set aside.
6. Mix all the ingredients in the sauce category into a bowl. Set aside.
7. Follow the instructions on the Korean Somyeon or Somen packaging and cook the noodles in another pot until al-dente (or any softness you like).
8. Arrange the cooked noodles into a bowl, pour in the broth and fill the bowl with zucchini, carrots, fried kimchi and egg.
9. Lastly, put 1-2 tsp of sauce into the noodle bowl. Serve with shredded seaweed.