Wednesday, June 26, 2019

[Food] Kong-guksu (콩국수, Cold Bean Soup Noodle)


[Food] Kong-guksu (콩국수, Cold Bean Soup Noodle)

Kong-guksu (콩국수, Cold Bean Soup Noodle)

In previous articles, I introduced you to a few dishes that Koreans enjoy in the hot summer such as Naengmyun (Cold noodle), Makguksu (Cold buckwheat noodle) and Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup).

Today's dish (photo above) is Kong-guksu (콩국수, Cold Bean Soup Noodle), which is a typical Korean summer dish. 'Kong' means Bean in Korean and 'Guksu' means noodle. Its recipe is simple, grind and steam softened beans then mix with some water to prepare a cold bean soup.

Peeled, steamed and softened beans
Korean traditional millstones. Must-have-gear to cook Kong-guksu in the old days before invention of electric grinder.
Personally, I prefer using traditional millstones rather than electric grinders to grind beans into soup because you can taste the whole natural bean flavor. Moreover, you can enjoy the crunchy and nutty flavor from coarsely crushed beans. So some restaurants which use a traditional recipe and millstones put up a signboard that reads, 'Traditional millstone-grounded bean soup', to promote that they have better bean soup.

Cold bean soup from black beans
However, Koreans either love or hate the taste of cold bean soup noodles; fans love it because of its cool, nutty, plain and mild flavor. Those who really dislike it do so because of its fishy, cold bean flavor (some people sense it more than others). Me? I LOVE kong-guksu.

Our Korean ancestors traditionally cooked using beans more than 2000 years ago, passing down excellent tofu and bean-paste recipes from generation to generation. However, the kong-guksu recipe only appeared at the end of 19th century; more than 110 years since now. Its history is the part people get curious about, but no one knows why.

Anyway, people praise kong-guksu with its thick bean soup as the best kong-guksu because of the amount of bean paste put into the soup while some people prefer water-like bean soup. So, a thicker soup means a better cold bean soup noodle :)

This is 'thick' bean soup; it looks like cream-based pasta.

If you are vegetarian or want to taste something unique other than sweet-spicy cold noodle, how about cold bean soup noodle? :)

Bon Appétit!


  1. I'm so gonna make this for dinner tonight

  2. IT LOOKS SO GOOD! My friend invited me to an Asian resto today and she had a Korean dish called... Sujebi? I think? Not sure I got it right but it looked similar to this. When I tasted it, I felt like I was instantly transported to Korea. Or at least made me suddenly envision like visiting some traditional house in a province where my friend's grandpa just prepared a warm dish for us. Haha it was that good. I bet this one is too.

  3. It's a very soggy and delicious food.

    1. can be soggy or watery depend on the amount of bean you put into the soup :) I rather eat soggy one than watery one :) cuz it's more savoury

  4. 豆で作った麺理って初めてみますぜひ食べてみたいです

  5. ただの冷たい面とは何が違うか食べてみたいんです。