K-FOOD REVIEW: PINE NUT KAL-GUKSU (JAT-GUKSU)

Nandhini Lakshmi. M, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Most Korean foods gets introduced to us through K-Dramas and Movies. My interest and love for them are mostly inspired by K-Dramas. By watching them eating passionately and their expressions make me curious. As there were no Korean cuisine or restaurant in my area, I have tried making simple dishes at home. As a result of it, I would break my kitchen into two and get scolding from my mother. In lockdown 2020, I watched a lot of good dramas, in which Tvn’s Start-Up got my attention over the foodstuffs where there were grandma’s corn dogs, dumplings and especially Han Ji Pyeong’s (Kim Seon-ho) pine-nut noodles. To be specific, in episode 8 he receives a Pine-nut kalguksu meal from Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) as a token of gratitude. His expression when tried it made me wonder, was that delicious!?? So, to find out how it tastes I tried it in my home with the help of my mom and the internet. First, let us see about pine-nut kalguksu.

Picture Credits: Korea Tourism Organization

Kal-guksu is a very famous Korean noodle dish that has many varieties. In Korean ‘Kal’ refers to knife and ‘Guksu’ refers to noodle i.e., knife-cut noodle. So basically Kal-guksu is a handmade wheat flour noodles that are available easily in Korea. They are served with broth (both veg and non-veg) and other required ingredients based on the variety cooked. The amount of water added to the dough can be reduced as possible by replacing it with egg and oil. Before adding the broth, the knife-cut noodle should be boiled in hot water and rinsed with cold water. It can also be eaten as cold noodles which depends on the type of broth you prefer. Usually, they are served in large bowls for the easy way to mix the noodles and the broth.

Ingredients and Recipe

Pine-nut noodles or Pine-nut Kalguksu is one of the varieties of Kal-guksu in which noodles is served in pine nut broth. It is also known as Jat-guksu where ‘Jat’ in Korean means pine nuts, as the name says. It is different from other Kal-guksu dishes because it not as heavy as other types of Kal-guksu. It is like a creamy noodle type preferred mostly during the summer season. In South Korea, Pine nuts are usually harvested in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province hence this place became famous for its pine nut noodles. The harvested pine nuts are sold commercially either as unroasted nuts in packets or powdered in packets.

The noodle dough for Jat-guksu is made of wheat flour, egg, oil, salt and water. The texture of the wheat flour dough is very important as it is the main reason for the shape of the noodle. The dough should be kneaded till they stick together tightly. It should be covered and refrigerated for a minimum of three hours. The dough is rolled and spread as a sheet with enough amount of flour and cut into pieces. The dough and noodle-making process for the Jat-guksu are as same as the Kal-guksu. The knife-cut noodle can be either boiled in hot water and rinsed with cold water or boiled together with pine nut broth.

The pine nut broth or soup is made with roasted pine nuts. It should be roasted until it tends to a golden-brown colour. Then the roasted pine nuts are to be soaked in rice water or rice milk for the creamy consistency and to be blended in a mixer smoothly. Jat-guksu can be served as both hot and cold noodle. In hot noodles, the broth should be boiled separately or together with the noodle whereas in cold noodles the blended broth should be refrigerated then severed with the noodle. The noodles are kept in large bowls and the pine nut broth can be poured sufficiently as required. It can be seasoned or topped with chilli flakes, tomatoes, cucumber, boiled eggs and served with kimchi as a side dish.

Experience

Let me share my experience in making Jat-guksu. The toughest part in the process was making the knife-cut noodle. As an initial step, I kneaded the dough to my strength but got failed when tried to roll and cut them as they became stickier and more got attached. Then with the help of my mom, it came to shape to look like noodles. Finally, it came because she flawlessly added corn flour while rolling. I got a pine nut powder packet from my nearby supermarket as there was no availability of raw pine nuts in my locality. So, I just mixed the powder with the rice water and lightly blended it and boiled them with the noodle as I preferred hot. To make some flavour I added peas and some potatoes. I topped it with cucumber, eggs, chilli flakes, pepper, and added carrot, raw-mango pickle as a side dish. Ready to serve!! This was my time tasting a pine nut dish, as expected it tasted good hot-sweet and creamy soupy noodle as I generously poured the pine nut broth (soup) in my bowl and I enjoyed it to the last scoop in my bowl.

Video Credits: Lisa’s Lemony Kitchen

Hope you can check out and try this recipe in your home too!!…but be careful while making the noodles and please do it under the guidance of elders.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Deepshikha Sinha says:

    Wow~ This is interesting I want to try but making noodles looks difficult ~ 🥲Thank you for the review.. This makes me hungry 😋

  2. Sonali Singh says:

    Really wanna try one day

    1. Anonymous says:

      I want to try this too 😍

  3. mondalmoumita031 says:

    I wanna try this one at home and yes I have to careful while making it .Thanks for this great recipe❤

  4. Sunanda ghosh says:

    I love korean foods…. Same fr me… I got inspired from kdramas… Nd one day I thought I should make bt it was a disaster…. So I don’t do experiments anymore I just go out nd eat in a restaurant…. I never tried thz dish so i will try it fr sure….

  5. Tirna says:

    There are so many varities of noodles in Korea, this sounds interesting. I am sure it will be delicious as well. ❤️

  6. DJ says:

    I want to try this 😋😋,thankyou for the recipe

  7. Mamoni says:

    Thanks for sharing 😍✨ I’ll try this out✨

  8. Drishti Belkhede says:

    Thanks for the article!!

  9. Woww this looks so good! To actually make the noodles from scratch is such a task👏

  10. anishanath says:

    Jat Guksu looks so delicious and also I would love to make it at home but before that I will try it from an expert because I don’t wanna mess up my first experience. Thank you for letting us know about such an awesome dish.

  11. Hoimonti Handique says:

    🍜😋

  12. AYUSHI VERMA says:

    Thanks for such lovely article ✨♥️

  13. Jat Guksu seems so delicious.

  14. unnati bilwal says:

    I have never tried this before but I will try it for sure one day. I looks and sounds so appetizing🥲🥲❤️❤️

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