Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beef Bibim Guksu / Bibim Naengmyeon (Mixed Cold Noodles)

I'm surprised at how quickly I have almost finished my little tub of gochujang (which is Korean red pepper paste), considering that I just started my foray into cooking Korean cuisine a few months ago. So far, I have used it in making Yangnyeom Tongdak (fried chicken), Korean-style Slaw and a dipping sauce for Buchujeon (garlic chive pancake). This time, I'm using it to prepare a cold noodle dish called Bibim Guksu (meaning mixed Korean noodles), or alternatively, Bibim Naengmyeon which literally means "mixed cold noodles".

Before this, I was pondering over Bibimbap and how nice it would taste with noodles instead of rice. It then struck me that Bibimmen (or bibim myun) is the same as the Korean instant noodles that I used to eat (the one that comes in the blue packet if you're familiar with it). Ahh...I never thought of it that way until now. So there I went on my search for a Bibimmen recipe, and I found one on Eating and Living, where I realised it's actually called Bibim Guksu (as explained above). It was exactly what I was looking for, and how I envisioned it to be.

Bibim Guksu usually calls for either soba (buckwheat) noodles or somen (thin wheat noodles). I didn't have either of those in my pantry, but what I did have was a packet of Assi Chajang noodles which is described on the front as "Oriental-style Noodle (Pasta)". It's used for making Jjajangmyun, but I figured these soft, silky and smooth noodles would go really well with the Bibim sauce especially when served cold. And indeed, it was delicious. Both G and I agreed that it tasted authentic. A taste of Korea!

I modified the recipe slightly to include thinly sliced beef as one of the toppings, alongside some cucumbers, capsicum and carrots. I also made some hard-boiled eggs with soft and gooey oozy centres. The runny yolk mixed together with the sauce and noodles adds a touch of richness to it.

I love the flexibility of this dish, as you can substitute the topping ingredients with various types of vegetables, meat or even seafood I reckon. Try tasting the sauce as you go along, and feel free to adjust the quantities used to suit your taste. I usually have a bottle of apple juice in the fridge, so I added a little of that to the sauce for added flavour.

Here is the recipe, adapted from Eating and Living. Keep the ingredients cold/cool and enjoy it on a hot summer's day!

Bibim Guksu Recipe
Serves 2


100g Assi Chajang noodles (or soba and somen if you prefer)
200g beef scotch fillet, thinly sliced or shaved, seasoned with salt, pepper, soy, sugar and sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1/2 capsicum (red pepper), cut into long thin strips
2 semi-hard-boiled eggs (boiled in lightly simmering water for 7-8 minutes) (see here for recipe)
A large bowl of iced water

1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tbsp Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) (optional)
2 tbsp corn syrup (or substitute with sugar, or a mixture of both)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or substitute with rice vinegar)
1 tbsp apple/pear juice (optional)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds


Prepare the sauce ingredients by mixing them together in a bowl. Place in the fridge to chill for one hour or so.

Place the carrots in a bowl with a little hot water, cover and microwave for 1 minute until slightly softened. Set aside.

Heat up a little oil in a pan and fry the capsicum with a pinch of salt for 1-2 minutes on high heat until slightly softened. Remove and set aside.

Add a little oil to the pan (if required) and pan-fry the sliced beef until just cooked. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, then transfer onto a plate and let it cool.

Prepare noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water, and place it in a bowl of iced water to cool it. It also stops the noodles from sticking together. Drain well before serving.

To assemble, use a pair of tongs and twirl the noodles in a bowl to form a small mound in the middle. Arrange the carrots, cucumbers, capsicum and beef over the noodles. Spoon the sauce over the middle and garnish with the egg.

Tip: If the egg is too soft to peel, then simple break it in half and scoop out with a spoon, which will be quicker.


Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Oh wow~~~~~~! Looks super delicious!! I love the semi hard boiled egg on top - makes the noodles and all the ingredients extra yummy. I love Hyosun's blog too,javascript:void(0) she has the best Korean blog! I can't eat too spicy but my husband will go crazy with this dish!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

This one is not too spicy (for me at least) if you omit the red pepper powder. There is also a Japanese style cold ramen dish served in summer but I don't know what it's called, but it's yummy. Do you know what it is?

Unknown said...

This looks so beautifully delicious! You got the right idea that bibim guksu can be made with any kind of noodles. It's that versatile. Thanks for trying out my recipe and mentioning!

Thank you, Nami! You're so sweet.

Sylvia@peachesanddonuts said...

This is a great dish to eat during summer but it's getting cold here so hot food will be better..however, will definitely keep this in mind when summer comes around again!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Hyosun: Thanks! Look forward to trying more of your recipes soon!
@Sylvia: Yes, over here, it's only spring but weather seems to be getting hot lately! Cold noodles can be so refreshing :)

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Fern, it's called Hiyashi Chuka (cold Chinese style (noodles)). I think without spice it is no longer Korean food. HAHAHAHA! My husband says "it's not spicy" and I'd be drinking water like crazy. See how low tolerance with spice!? =P

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Thanks Nami.
Maybe you need to eat more chilli in one go rather than just a little bit, then it would just numb your tongue and you can't feel the heat! :p

Basset Training said...

I like spicy foods. Maybe that's why I fancy Korean Cuisine. A lot of their foods recipe have one or two spicy ingredients in it like gochujang and gochugaru. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely make one for our Korean Night.

Sook said...

I love bibimguksu! Oh the gochujang sauce... sour and sweet. so delicious.

tastingkorea said...

This recipe can be called bibim myun(or guksu) as the second words refer to "noodle". Not all Korean dishes are spicy, so it doesn't have to be spicy to be considered Korean.

tastingkorea said...

Bibim Guksu originated from the dish 골동면 (pronounced 'goeldoengmyeon'), a noodle mixed with a soy-based sauce, and eaten by Korea's first king. Perhaps it is similar to other dishes, but it is unfair to speculate about the origins of a country's dish without doing research.