korean chicken soup with homemade noodles - dak kalguksu 닭칼국수

Hand made noodles are so incredibly delicious. My husband and I will drive an hour out, to the other side of town (or get on a plane for 15 hours) to devour the perfect bowl of hot (or cold) chewy, springy noodles in all their amazing-ness. Whether in a spicy sauce, stir fried, or in a hot delicious broth, like in this recipe, hand made noodles possess a textural quality that machine made noodles just cannot achieve.

So OK, we'll all just drive or fly to get them because hand made noodle perfection isn't attainable at home home, right?


This recipe for Dak Kalguksu, a garlicky, aromatic Korean chicken soup with knife cut noodles,  is more than achievable at home. To be truthful, it's incredibly easy. 

Normally I would say that, if you had to, you could buy some fresh noodles at your local Asian grocer. But, in this case, I really feel like if you're not going to make the noodles yourself, the beauty of this dish is lost. Just try it and be amazed.

Dak Kalguksu recipe adapted from Maangchi



3 chicken legs with thighs attached - skin removed (I really recommend the best quality chicken you can find. organic is always best)

6 cloves garlic - crushed

1 yellow onion - washed and cut into quarters with the skin left on

1 green onion - cut into 3 large pieces

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp light soy sauce


salt to taste


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp canola oil (or any vegetable oil)

1 1/4 cups water

large zip top freezer bag


1 tsp Sesame oil

Black pepper


1. wash chicken thoroughly and pat dry with clean paper towl. place chicken in a bowl and pour over boiling water from the kettle. stir and let stand for 30 seconds. discard water and place chicken into a stock pot, along with garlic and onion. cover generously with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. once the stock is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and tender.

3. combine flour, cornstarch, salt, oil and water in a bowl. mix with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. knead until the mixture becomes a cohesive dough ball. 

4. place the dough ball in the freezer bag and leave it on the kitchen counter for 10 minutes.

5. after 10 minutes, remove the dough from the plastic bag and knead again for 2-3 minutes. place the dough back in the bag for 10 minutes. repeat this step three times. the dough should become smoother each time.

6. strain the stock and add fish sauce, soy sauce and salt to taste.

7. Remove the cooked chicken to a board and place the garlic in a small bowl. shred the chicken with your hands (or two forks) and place in a bowl. 

8. mash the garlic with a fork and season with sesame oil and black pepper. add this mixture to the shredded chicken and stir to combine.

8. knead the dough for 1 minute until smooth. divide the dough ball into 2 smaller balls.

9. lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll each dough ball into a large circle - approximately 18 inches. the dough should be the thickness of a standard noodle - around 1/16 of an inch. apply flour as required during rolling to prevent sticking.

10. dust the rolled out sheet of dough lightly with flour and fold up from the bottom 3 or 4 times until your dough is folded over itself into a long rectangle. slice noodles from one end to the other, approximately 1/8 inch thick. losen the noodles with your fingers to prevent them from sticking to one another.

11. bring the stock to a boil and add the fresh noodles. cook until the noodles are chewy but cooked through - 5-6 minutes.

12. place some noodles in each bowl and top with broth, shredded chicken mixture and garnish with green vegetables of your choice. the traditional Korean garnish is thinly sliced zucchini but you can use anything you like. In the photo above, I used some Chinese lettuce, cilantro and shredded banana flower. serve with kimchi.