How To Eat Janchi Guksu - The Korean Banquet Noodles
Korean food has this unique ability of catching you off-guard; just when I had thought, I had tasted everything that this cuisine had on offer; I was invited to eat Janchi Guksu, and what an experience it was! Eating Janchi Guksu made me realize that you can never have enough of Korean food and exploring this cuisine to the fullest may take more than a life time (at least for a foodie like me). Wondering what Janchi Guksu is and what’s so special about it…read on and find out.
In Korean, Janchi = banquet and Guksu = noodles, thus, Janchi Guksu literally translates to a banquet noodle. Janchi Guksu is called so because, it is not an everyday meal dish, rather prepared only during special festive occasions like birthday party or wedding feasts. The Koreans consider the long and smooth wheat noodles as a blessing for longevity and a long happy married life. Hence, you will rarely find a Korean weeding feast that does not feature Janchi Guksu on its menu. In fact, “When will you serve us Janchi Guksu?” is considered as a covert way of asking, “When are you getting married?”
Janchi Guksu is a type of noodle soup quite popular in Korea. To make this dish, wheat noodles are boiled and cooked in a fresh anchovy (Kombu) broth along with seasonings. However, beef broth or chicken broth may also be used (in case seafood is not available). The soup is then served along with a variety of condiments like sliced eggs, bean sprouts, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, Kimchi, etc.
Getting back to how to eat Janchi Guksu, well – it’s an art that you will love to learn. To serve Janchi Guksu, the cooked noodles are first placed in the soup bowl and then the clear broth is poured over it and the bowl is presented to the diner along with a communal tray filled with a variety of accoutrements like sauces, pepper paste, sesame oil, veggies sticks, sprouts, sliced eggs, beef, seafood, etc. The diner is supposed to build his own soup using these garnishments according to his taste preference – believe me that’s the fun part.
Now, when eating Janchi Guksu, cordially accept your bowl of soup using both your hand (using left hand to accept things is considered rude). Then using a pair of chopsticks top your soup with all the ingredients that have been served in the table; however, practice caution and don’t go overboard – pick only a few garnishes that you feel will complement the soup. Once you have added all the ingredients to your soup bowl, mix the ingredients with the long spoon then with your chopsticks pick the noodles and garnishments, place it on your spoon, and relish the wholesome goodness of the dish.
So, that’s how you relish a bowlful of richly flavored Janchi Guksu. If you can’t wait to try this amazing Korean noodle soup, then do refer to this recipe and try making some Guksu soup at home.