Today’s recipe is a 1 bowl meal made with basically 2 ingredients! It’s pat-kalguksu, knife-cut noodle soup with red beans. It’s a very warming and comforting noodle soup: soft, creamy and a little nutty.
Pat-kalguksu is very popular in Korea. it’s comfort food served in every department store basement food court. Because the beans can take so long to cook, it’s convenient to buy it there, but when it comes to preparing a large amount, homemade is best and easiest, just double or triple my recipe as needed.
Did you ever make my patjuk (red bean porridge) recipe? It’s very similar to this recipe, the main difference being that one is made with rice cake balls and one with noodles. Koreans have long discussions over which one is better! It’s traditional to make patjuk for Dongjitnal (동짓날), the Korean holiday celebrating the winter solstice (December 21st or 22nd), but some people prefer pat-kalguksu.
Winter solstice is coming up, so let’s make pat-kalguksu this year, share with friends and family, and celebrate Korean style!
1 cup red beans (aka azuki beans)
2¼ cup plus ¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup potato starch (or all purpose flour)
2½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¾ cup water
Prepare the beans:
Put the red beans in a mesh strainer and pick out any broken or brownish ones. Wash them in cold running water. Strain and put them into a large pot (I used my 4½ quart pot).
Add 3 quarts of water (12 cups) and cover. Cook over medium high heat for 30 minutes. If the beans boil over, crack the lid.
Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours until the beans are very tender. You will end up with about 10 cups of beans and water.
Remove from the heat. Strain the beans through a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Put the strained beans into a blender and add about 3 cups of the bean water. Blend until smooth and creamy. Put them back into the pot and add the rest of the bean water. Stir with a wooden spoon and set aside.
Using a food processor:
Put the dough blade into the food processor, add 2¼ cup flour, potato starch, ½ teaspoon salt, and the vegetable oil. Run the processor on the dough speed and add the water a little by little for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough sticks together in one lump.
Transfer the dough to a large cutting board. Knead it for 1 minute and put it into a plastic bag.
Kneading by hand:
Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough sticks together. Then knead it by hand for about 7 to 10 minutes until smooth. Put the dough into a plastic bag.
Place the ¼ cup of flour on the corner of the cutting board and use it to dust the dough and board while you make the noodles.
Take the ball of dough out of the plastic bag. Knead it for a couple of minutes on the cutting board until it’s very smooth. Roll it out with a rolling pin to a large thin circle about 12 x 15 inches wide, flipping over occasionally to make it even, round, and flat. Sprinkle some flour on it when you flip, to keep it from sticking to the board.
Fold the dough over on itself 3 or 4 times and cut it into thin noodles. Sprinkle the rest of flour on the noodles, and then gently toss to separate.
Stir the beans and water with a wooden spoon. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat.
Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and then gently add the noodles. Stir them with long chopsticks or tongs so that they don’t stick to each other. Cook for about 5 minutes until they are fully cooked. Test a sample to see if they are chewy and fully cooked. Remove from the heat.
Ladle the pat-kalguksu into individual bowls and serve right away with kimchi. You can make ¼ cup white or brown sugar available in a small bowl on the table, and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of it to the soup to make it sweeter, if you like. Stir the sugar in gently.