Jang Kalguksu, or gochujang noodle soup, is a comforting Korean noodle soup dish that is spicy, flavorful, and comforting. The delicious chewy noodles in the spicy warm broth make for a delicious meal, especially in the cold winter months.
💭 What is Jang Kalguksu?
Jang kalguksu, also known as gochujang noodle soup, consists of Korean knife-cut noodles, or kalguksu, soaked in an umami gochujang-based broth. It’s often served with some sort of meat, and additional vegetables, and garnished with sesame seeds and seaweed.
Similar to my chicken kalguksu recipe, jang kalguksu is super comforting and easy to put together.
🍳 Why This Recipe Works
Easy to make – Only takes 15 minutes to prep and cook altogether – perfect for a quick lunch or dinner at the end of a long day.
Flavorful and comforting – The umami gochujang based broth paired with the chewy noodles make this the most comforting savory dish.
Healthy and nutritious – Made with lower calories with careful portioning, this is a great healthy Korean food recipe, for those who want to eat Korean food while tracking their fitness goals
🍏 Calories and Nutrition – How to Make It Healthy
While jang kalguksu is delicious, it can easily add up in calories if not portioned correctly.
Thankfully, with careful portioning, this recipe for the gochujang noodle soup is only 433 calories, with 43 grams of protein, 18 grams of fat, and 42 grams of carbs.
Here’s what I did to make this higher in protein and slightly lower in calories:
- Portion the chicken – I used 4 oz of boneless skinless chicken thigh, which is the right amount for my protein intake needs. To see how much protein you need, refer to this online protein calculator as a starting point
- Portion the noodles – I used 1 serving of kalguksu in this recipe per serving in this recipe. The kalguksu is a vital part of this dish and carbs are an essential part of our diet, but it’s important to portion it mindfully.
- Be mindful of the sauce – The sauce is not made of high-calorie components, but portioning is still wise here. In this recipe, the seasonings only add 18 calories to the dish.
For a detailed breakdown of each ingredient, their portioning, and how they make up the nutrition profile of this gochujang noodle soup recipe, you may refer to the table below:
📋 Ingredient Notes
To make the gochujang noodle soup, you’ll need the following.
Chicken Thigh – I like to use chicken thigh since it’s a good balance of using a lean protein source but still being juicy enough to enjoy the meal.
Kalguksu – An important component of this dish is the kalguksu or knife-cut noodles. You can buy them at your local Asian grocery store.
Gochujang – To simplify the recipe, I used store-bought chicken stock. You can also opt to make your own homemade chicken stock.
Egg – These 3 aromatics are the holy trinity of flavor for poaching the chicken and making the stock.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
📖 Substitutions and Variations
Switch up the protein – Seafood, such as shrimp or squid rings, and tofu are other delicious lean protein options.
Omit the gochujang to make normal kalguksu – If you’d prefer a non-spicy kalguksu, follow my Chicken Kalguksu recipe.
Stock options – Chicken stock, anchovy stock, or plain water are all viable options.
🔪 Step by Step Instructions
Prepare the chicken – Start by gathering the ingredients. Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces, removing the excess fat.
Sauté the aromatics – Mince the garlic, ginger, and onion finely. Sauté along with the gochugaru until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces – Add the chicken pieces into the pot and brown the sides.
Make the stock – Add in the stock powder, water, seasonings, and other vegetables and bring to a simmer.
Cook the noodles – While the stock and chicken are cooking, cook a portion of the noodles according to the package instructions.
Whisk the egg – Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk well.
Finish the stock – When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, pour the whisked egg into the stock and lower the heat, ensuring the egg is mixed in thoroughly. The stock will thicken in texture and have a slightly, creamy consistency.
Make the bowl and serve – Add the noodles into the stock and pour into a noodle soup bowl. Garnish with seaweed, sesame seeds, and scallions, and enjoy your delicious Jang kalguksu.
💡 Expert Tips
Mix egg thoroughly – Whisk the egg thoroughly before adding it to the soup and lower the heat. Not doing so will result in chunky egg pieces in the soup. It will still be delicious, but whisking it thoroughly will give the entire soup a delicious creamy texture.
Don’t burn the aromatics and gochugaru – Burnt garlic and gochugaru do not have the most pleasant taste. Be sure to stir the aromatics consistently to prevent burning.
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Kalgukusu’s direct translation in English means “knife-cut noodle”. It typically refers to noodles made from wheat flour. Jang kalguksu refers to the gochujang paste mixed in the soup base.
Yes, kalguksu is very chewy given their dough-based consistency and their irregular shape from hand-making and cutting the noodles.
If you do make ahead and store, I would recommend only making the stock ahead and cooking the noodles only when you’re ready to serve. The soup will last in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
🍽 Related Recipes
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Gochujang Noodle Soup (Jang Kalguksu)
- 1 teaspoon Gochugaru
- 1 clove Garlic
- ¼ Onion
- 1 teaspoon Anchovy Stock Powder (Optional)
- 1.5 cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Gochujang
- 1 teaspoon Fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Egg (Whisked)
Noodle Soup and Mix-Ins
- 4 oz Chicken thigh (Boneless, skinless)
- 1 serving Kalguksu
- 1 piece Napa cabbage
- 1 piece Roasted Seaweed (Torn into small pieces)
- ½ teaspoon Sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon Scallions
- Prepare the chicken – Start by gathering the ingredients. Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces, removing the excess fat.
- Sauté the aromatics – Mince the garlic, ginger, and onion finely. Sauté along with the gochugaru until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces – Add the chicken pieces into the pot and brown the sides.
- Make the stock – Add in the stock powder, water, seasonings, and other vegetables and bring to a simmer.
- Cook the noodles – While the stock and chicken are cooking, cook a portion of the noodles according to the package instructions.
- Whisk the egg – Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk well
- Finish the stock – When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, pour the whisked egg into the stock and lower the heat, ensuring the egg is mixed in thoroughly. The stock will thicken in texture and have a slightly, creamy consistency.
- Make the bowl and serve – Add the noodles into the stock and pour into a noodle soup bowl. Garnish with seaweed, sesame seeds, and scallions, and enjoy your delicious Jang kalguksu.
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