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Kong Gooksoo (Soybean/Soy milk Soup Noodles)

August 1, 2011

I recently posted about Sanchae, a mountain food restaurant we visited while we were in Korea, and Lu said that the Deulkkae Gooksoo picture reminded her of Kong Gooksoo (soybean/soymilk soup noodles), and I had to make some for myself.

Kong Gooks00 can be considered a bit bland when you try it the first time, but it really grows on you. It is so yummy during the hot summer season. You will find that EVERY OTHER Korean restaurant in Seoul serves Kong Gooksoo during summer – I’m not exaggerating!! 🙂

Bill says that they are kind of like soba noodles – in the sense that they don’t have a particular wow factor, but it’s very yummy during the summer, and you do crave it once in a while. I however think it does have the wow factor :).  It’s soooo yummy with just the cucumbers and noodles. The cucumbers are a must! You also add tomatoes for some color, although I personally don’t think it adds too much. I hope you find this dish as yummy as I do!

Kong Gooksoo (Soybean/Soy milk Soup Noodles) Recipe 
Serves 4-6 people

If You Have a Soy milk Maker:

We have a soy milk maker which makes preparing Kong Gooksoo so easy!

You just use 2-4 times as much soybeans as you normally use to make soy milk, depending on how creamy you usually make it, and it turns out perfect. For example, we used 1 cup of soybeans when we made ours. You’ll get the creamy soy milk with enough soybean solids to make it yummy! You just add some boiled noodles and garnish with matchstick cucumbers (a lot!) & some tomato slices & sprinkle black/golden sesame seeds. Season with salt to taste (we use Korean roasted salt), and you’re done. So easy!

1.5 liters (50 ounces) of water
1 cup of soy beans
3 Tbs of nuts (optional), preferably soaked over night
8 ounces of thin buckwheat, whole grain, or Korean white wheat noodles (we used whole grain spaghetti)
4-6 small Korean cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
sliced tomatoes to garnish (optional)
3 Tbs black sesame seeds
roasted, kosher, or ground sea salt to taste (around 2 tsp)

1. Prepare soy milk using machine as normal, (if you’re using the optional nuts, add them to your soy milk maker with the soy beans and cook at the appropriate setting) but do not drain biji.
2. Cool soy milk until cold  and boil and cook noodles per package directions.
3. Divide cold soy milk amongst each bowl according to how many are served.
4. Run noodles under cold water to cool, and divide noodles amongst bowls.
5. Top with cucumbers, and black sesame seeds. Add salt to taste or serve in a bowl to allow each person to salt as desired.
6. Garnish with tomatoes, and you’re done! Optionally, you can add some ice to make the soy milk even colder; although it may make it watery and less creamy.

If You Don’t Have a Soy milk Maker:

Now if you don’t have a soy milk maker, here is a recipe that I tweaked, based on what Lu shared with me at this website – Korean Food (Manngchi also uses a very similar recipe as well:

1 cup dried soybeans
8 oz any kind of thin noodles – mostly buckwheat noodles or white wheat nooldes-somyun, you can get these at a Korean grocery store. (I used whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles, and they work just as well too.)
3 Tbs toasted black sesame seeds
3 Tbs crushed nuts or pine nuts
4-6 small Korean cucumbers (cut into matchsticks)
sliced tomatoes (optional garnish)
2 tsp salt

1. Soak soybeans overnight in cold water OR soak in hot water for 1-2 hours.
2. Drain soybeans, cover with water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil about 20 minutes over medium heat.
3. At the same time, boil noodles according to package directions and rinse in cold water to cool.
4. Drain soybeans and run them under cold water, rubbing them between your hands to remove their skins.
5. In a blender, puree soybeans, sesame seeds, salt, and pine nuts (optional) with about four cups of water. You will have to do this in a few batches.
6. When mixture starts to smooth, add about 3 or 4 ice cubes or ½ cup of crushed ice.
7. When puree is smooth and frothy, it is done. You can also run through a sieve and discard the solids if you want a smoother texture.
8. Makes 4-6 servings, depending on how large the portions are, so plate accordingly. Place mound of noodles in bowl, cover with soybean puree, and top with optional garnish (cucumbers, tomatoes, sesame seeds, pine nuts, or peanuts).
9. You can also add a couple of ice cubes into each bowl if you like it very cold (note that the ice cubes will make your soy milk broth watery).
10. You can also serve with a little bit of salt on the side instead of adding salt during the soymilk making process.

Soy milk is ready – thick, yummy broth!

Note that the soymilk broth is thick and grainy!

I used whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles, and they work just as buckwheat noodles or white somyun.

Matchsticked cucumbers and tomato slices or halved cherry tomatoes. I don’t like to add ice cubes as they make the broth watery, so I froze my cherry tomatoes to keep the broth nice and cold.

Just before adding soy milk broth!

Instead of adding salt during the soy milk making process, I add salt later on the side like this, as that’s what a lot of Korean restaurants do in Seoul! 😛

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2011 6:41 am

    Thank you for posting this recipe. So timely! I was at my favourite Korean restaurant here in Toronto the other day. It’s called Tofu House or Cho Dang Soon Tofu and they make fresh tofu using local, non GMO soybeans on the premises. There was a new poster on the wall proclaiming “NEW–Soymilk Noodles” with no English description so I was afraid to try it lest I not like it and insult the owners (as it is, my “no egg, no fish please” is met with grim acceptance!). The dish looks delicious and I will now order it!

    And I must have missed your January post re: soymilk making as I had no idea there was such a thing as a soymilk maker!


    • Sunnie permalink*
      August 2, 2011 9:11 am

      Hi, Alice! I hope all is well!! I am sooo jealous that you have a Soon Tofu house in Toronto that make fresh, local, non GMO soybean tofu!! That is so awesome. I love tofu – like all Koreans do! :p Yeah, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said every other Korean restaurant in Seoul offer “new- soymilk noodles” as a seasonal menu during the summer, evidently Korean restaurants all over the world do – like in Toronto! 🙂 Koreans seriously LOVE their soymilk noodles during the summer. I’m so glad that you will be able to try it. And really, I would recommend checking out the soymilk makers. It makes my life so much easier – and you can have so much variety too with making almond milk, rice milk etc… and those in combination too! So great to hear from you Alice, hope you’re enjoying the summer!

  2. August 2, 2011 11:14 am

    Yum yum yum! And I got name-checked in the post! 😀 Sunnie, since our previous exchange I have indeed made and eaten kong guksoo several times. But then my blender broke. I found a workaround—using store-bought soymilk and blending it with some pine nuts and sesame seeds in a mini-prep food processor–but it’s not quite the same without the bean solids.

    Coincidentally: my Korean friend (a colleague in our Seoul office) emailed me out of the blue the other day with a picture of kong guksoo to show me what he had for lunch and to ask, “do you know 콩국수? I think you would like it!” LOL. He was excited to learn of my love affair with the dish.

    Everything’s coming up kong guksoo lately, and how appropriate for this steamy season. 🙂

    • Sunnie permalink*
      August 2, 2011 11:57 am

      Oh no!! Your blender broke… you seriously need to consider a soymilk maker, Lu. 😛 But your workaround is genius – I know many restaurants in Korea add nuts into their soymilk broth to make it thick and rich. I think I’ll add some nuts into my soymilk broth next time! 😛 So you have friends in Seoul – how cool is that. A friend sending you pictures of Kong gooksoo saying that he ate it for lunch. Very neat! Hope you’re enduring the hot weather okay! 🙂

      • August 2, 2011 2:23 pm

        Y’know, I just re-read your post on the Soya Power Plus, and I’d never considered getting a soymilk maker because I don’t use that much. I don’t drink it, per se, although I do use store-bought soy or almond milk every single morning in my (homemade) caffe latte. I wonder if I could justify the purchase on the basis of that usage and my fast-growing kong gooksoo habit. It certainly would come in handy and make some nice, wholesome milks. BTW, Sunnie, the addition of nuts wasn’t my idea–it is in the recipe I use. 🙂 I was out of pine nuts at first, so I used an equal amount of blanched almonds, and it was just as good! 😀

      • Sunnie permalink*
        August 3, 2011 8:17 am

        Right, I saw that! Usually, people just grind them in together, I thought it was cool that you appreciated the soymilk solids so much that you made them separate and put them in! 🙂 Have a good day, Lu!

  3. August 3, 2011 10:32 am

    I made two new converts to kong gooksoo last night. We went to a Korean restaurant and I ordered it. 🙂 Everyone liked it.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      August 3, 2011 4:29 pm

      Haha.. that is great, Lu. How fun.

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