Noodles can do wonders. Whether cold, stir fried, or dunked in fiery broth, a good bowl or plate of noodles can satisfy the heart. The types of noodles you can find in different cultures are so incredibly vast, from vermicelli to pasta to udon to somen.
Today, let’s explore 6 signature Korean noodle dishes you can find in Koreatown:
1. Jjajangmyeon – Black Bean Noodles/Korean Chinese Noodles
True, chajangmyun is thought to have originated from China and evolved in Korea within time. The Korean version of this Northern Chinese noodle dish tastes completely different from its original though, and was created by a Chinese immigrant back in 1905 who ran a restaurant in a small Chinatown tucked away in Incheon, Korea. Thick noodles mixed with thick sauce made of black bean sauce, chajangmyun rose to stardom sparking the onset of Korean delivery culture, claiming #1 comfort food status for decades in the motherland. Unfortunately, we don’t have many restaurants offering delivery services in LA, but here are a couple chajangmyun restaurants that you can quickly drop by when you’re in town.
2. Jjamppong – Korean Spicy Noodle Soup
Where there’s jjajangmyun, there’s also jjamppong. This Korean spicy noodle soup is flavored with seafood, garlic, and red pepper powder, and if you’re a seafood lover you’ll love finding mussels and squid hiding beneath the broth.
3. Mul Naengmyeon – Cold Noodle Soup
Summer is fast approaching in LA, and if you’re in town you’re in for a treat because naengmyeon is an incredible way to combat heat! Served in a large stainless-steel bowl with ice-cold, slushy broth, naengmyeon will cool you like no other.
Chung Ki Wa
4. Bibim Naengmyeon – Spicy Cold Noodles
Just like the jjajangmyeon-jjamppong duo, where mul naengmyeon goes, bibim naengmyeon also goes. Bibim naengmyeon uses the same types of noodles as mul naengmyeon, except it’s spicy and broth comes in a separate cup (sometimes you have to ask for it).
Dong Il Jang
O Jang Dong
5. Kong Guksu – Noodles in Cold Soybean Soup
This seasonal noodle dish is served in a cold soy milk broth—sounds scary to some people, I know. The broth, like naengmyeon, is supposed to be icy cold, and for many it’s an acquired taste. Once you fall into it, though, you’ll crave it more than you’ve ever craved pho.
Ma Dang Gook Soo
6. Kalguksu – Korean Knife Cut Noodle Soup
Kalguksu is a combination of the words kal, which means knife, and guksu, which means noodles, and this staple Korean noodle dish was given that name because of its handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles. Nowadays most places use machines to produce the noodles, but the best kalguksu, like any other kind of Korean noodles, is best when the noodles are handmade. Kalgukso is most popular with bajirak (short-necked clam), or chicken, although anything can replace this main ingredient.
Myung Dong Kyoja
By Hyeyoung Jung · Contributor