Chicken noodle soup is tried-and-true comfort food for many, but a different soup comes to mind when I think of slurpable comfort: sujebi. My grandma would make this homey Korean hand-torn noodle soup as an easy dinner, and despite its rustic simplicity, it was always one of my favorite dishes. Even now, my grandma is surprised when I request the chunky, vegetable-laden noodle soup over something more “fancy.” But it’s filling, delicious, and uniquely soothing to the soul.
With my grandma’s help, I developed this sujebi recipe. The simple broth is made with a seafood packet containing dried anchovy and kelp (a game-changing product found at Korean grocery stores) and a touch of Korean soup soy sauce, which provides a lighter, cleaner flavor than standard soy sauce. The dough for the freeform noodles is easy to work with—and you can even make it a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. After sliced vegetables like onion, zucchini, and potato are boiled in the stock, the dough is torn into pieces and dropped in the bubbling brew. Sliced scallions thrown in toward the end add freshness. Topped with your spicy condiment of choice (chile oil or kimchi, perhaps), this is deeply satisfying comfort food.
Ingredients send grocery list
- 180 grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil, like vegetable or canola
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water, plus more as needed
- 2 scallions, ends trimmed
- 1/4 medium yellow onion
- 1/2 small russet potato
- 1/2 small zucchini
- 1 (16-gram) dried seafood pack
- 1 tablespoon Korean soup soy sauce
- Chile oil or kimchi, for topping (optional)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, egg, oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and water with a fork until a rough dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should be slightly sticky—add more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap to rest while you make the soup. (You can also make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight—just let it come to room temperature before proceeding.)
- Prepare the vegetables: Roughly slice the scallions and onion (both into about 1½-inch lengths). Peel the potato. Cut the potato and zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half lengthwise again. Now slice them crosswise into pieces just under ½ inch thick.
- In a large pot or saucepan, bring 5 cups of water and the seafood packet to a boil. Add the zucchini, onion, potato, soup soy sauce, and ½ teaspoon salt. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not completely tender.
- Give the dough a quick knead. Working quickly, use your fingers to smear a small section of the dough, then tear off a roughly 1-inch piece (just eyeball it) and drop it into the soup. (Flattening the dough as you tear makes for lighter noodles that cook more evenly.) Repeat this until you’ve added all the dough.
- Boil the soup for 4 minutes, then remove the seafood packet and add the scallions. Keep boiling for another 2 to 4 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through and look translucent. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as desired. Top with chile oil or kimchi, if you’d like.