Korean Food  : Kalguksu, Hand-Style Noodle Soup (Knife noodle)


A Noodle Lover

Yesterday, I went to mom’s work place to have a chat with her. Since mom works until late, we hardly had time to talk to each other recently. Also I had some documents to print for my grad-school there.

Again, there was a mission to choose dinner menu, bearing great hunger. I asked mom to suggest dinner options. Pondering, she offered me ‘rice with sauteed small octopus’. Mission accomplished. We were fully content with our decision.

Mom briskly dialed the number. But no one answered and mom slowly hung up the phone with a glum look. “They don’t seem to open today.” said mom.

“Why don’t we have Kalguksu instead?”

I thought mom's eyes twinkled a second.

I dazed for a moment in disappointment. I didn’t want to waste more time on sellecting menu anymore. Moreover, Kalguksu is my least favorite resort for dinner because mom persisted it nearly for 8 years and I became fed of it.
I stared at mom a moment, and nodded to her in a little reluctant way. Seeming regardless of my responding way, mom beamed with amusement and ordered Kalguksu in a singsong voice.

kalguksuKalguksu was delivered after 10 minutes. Mom ordered two sorts of dishes of noodle soup(kal guksu) and pepper paste mixed noodle(bibim guksu). Mom hurried to upwrap them and began to mix one.

kalguksuMixing it with chopsticks blithely, mom said, “Do you know the price of them? They just cost us 5,500 won in total. How cheap!” She bragged about this old fashioned restaurant as if she have been the owner of it. But I think she deserved to say that because she is a loyal patron there.

kalguksuMom’s face lightened up with delight, chewing few strips of noodle in her mouth. Glancing at her, I wondered what made her fond of this food so much.

Kalguksu’s noodle is swallowed in its transluscent soup. It crouches, unrevealing itselfs. I wondered what sort of charm inside of this bowl attracted people.

kalguksuI asked in a calm voice, “Mom, why do you like Kalguksu so very much?” She looked at me, without any hesitation, said, “I love all sorts of noodle.”

I gently stirred inside the bowl, and noodle was shown on the surface. I grabbed chubby noodle sturdily with chopsticks. Chubby noodle.

kalguksuI gaped upon a great discovery from mom. She liked ramen, udon, naeng-myeon, guksu, japchae, naeng-chae, and Kalguksu. I just realized that all of those fell into one category. Noodle.  

The nature of Kalguksu taste is its humanly feeing. It features itself with distinctive noodle that is made by hand and knife, contrary to guksu by machine. Its wavy noodle is uneven and that implies human's touch. 

Eating Kalguksu with Mom, I percieved new features of mom and Kalguksu.

Mom is a pure noodle lover.
Kalguksu is a humanly noodle.

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Posted by Food Storyist

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