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Cold Kimchi Soup

10foot5 May 13, 2008 03:54 PM

At Jong Ga House in Oakland they serve a delectable cold Kim chi Soup as an appetizer but do not offer it on the menu. It is a simple tangy Kim chi broth over buckwheat noodles and sometimes has ice cubes floating around in it.

Does anyone know of a restaurant that has such a dish on the menu? With the hot weather coming up I'm thinking that this soup would make a great meal on its own.

  1. DezzerSF Aug 16, 2008 08:03 PM

    I just had another version of this kimchi broth at SGD Tofu House in Santa Clara. The broth is an odd pink color but the server assured it was the natural coloring. It came with slices of daikon, carrots, and the radish stems.

    As for the soondubu, I didn't care for it. The broth didn't have much complexity to it. Pyung Chang in Oakland is my standard.

    SGD Tofu House
    3450 El Camino Real # 105, Santa Clara, CA

    1. DezzerSF Aug 15, 2008 03:53 PM

      Ohgane has a form of it with their lunch buffet. It's not as full flavored nor quite as good as Jong Ga's though. They also have the noodles on the side.

      6 Replies
      1. re: DezzerSF
        Robert Lauriston Aug 16, 2008 11:03 AM

        When I tried Ohgane's lunch buffet they had two cooked soups, one sort of like a kimchi jigae and the other the usual seaweed.

        I've never had liquid kimchi there. Maybe I should ask, they've often brought out more esoteric kimchi when we've asked for refills.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          DezzerSF Aug 16, 2008 12:00 PM

          I thought I remember the kimchi "soup" being cold, but I could be wrong.

          1. re: DezzerSF
            Robert Lauriston Aug 16, 2008 02:46 PM

            What we had was kept warm in a crock pot.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston
            siulan_99 Aug 16, 2008 11:03 PM

            Where is Ohgane?

            1. re: siulan_99
              kc72 Aug 16, 2008 11:10 PM


              3915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

              1. re: siulan_99
                Robert Lauriston Aug 17, 2008 11:31 AM

                There's another branch in San Leandro but I haven't tried it.

                I wasn't thrilled with the lunch buffet, I'd stick with their regular lunch menu.

          3. Robert Lauriston Aug 15, 2008 02:20 PM

            I had this the other day at Jong Ga House. I checked with the server, it's not soup, rather it's what's sometimes called "water kimchi" or "liquid kimchi" served with noodles. Really good. The only other place I've had it went out of business.

            Jong Ga House
            372 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              hannaone Aug 16, 2008 12:55 PM

              It sounds like Yeolmu mul kimchi (young radish water kimchi) which is made from very young salted daikon radish (both root and stem greens), chili flakes, red and green chile peppers, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, flour, and water.
              The "broth" from this type of kimchi is often poured over buckwheat noodles with some of the radish stem greens.
              Edit: in Korean - 열무 물김치 ?

            2. DezzerSF May 14, 2008 03:24 PM

              We asked for the name today, and I think it was yul moo kim chi soup.

              2 Replies
              1. re: DezzerSF
                10foot5 May 16, 2008 12:28 PM

                Thanks for the info.

                1. re: 10foot5
                  DezzerSF May 16, 2008 01:03 PM

                  No problem. A caption on Yelp shows the name as "yeolmu kimchi guksu".

              2. h
                Humbucker May 14, 2008 02:27 PM

                Have you tried making this yourself? It should be as easy as buying a jar of white kimchi and adding noodles.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Humbucker
                  10foot5 May 16, 2008 12:26 PM

                  I think there's more to it than that. The soup has no Kim Chi leaves in it, just some (very flavorful) stems of some sort. They seem too crisp to be pickled. It is mostly a light tangy broth. I've never come across jarred Kim Chi that was remotely like it. Of course I'm no expert on Korean groceries.

                  1. re: 10foot5
                    Humbucker May 16, 2008 04:07 PM

                    Does the soup look anything like this?


                    1. re: Humbucker
                      twocents May 16, 2008 04:39 PM

                      The soup is red from chili powder and is quite vinegary, maybe with some of the lactic acid pickle taste. It contains rice noodles and some dark greens, but it is not the soup that you linked above.

                      1. re: Humbucker
                        DezzerSF May 16, 2008 04:45 PM

                        Here's a picture.

                      2. re: 10foot5
                        Robert Lauriston May 16, 2008 04:47 PM

                        Some kimchi is as crisp as the raw vegetables--at the moment I've got some cucumber kimchi made by First Korean Market in SF that's crisper than your average supermarket cucumber.

                        Could also be the vegetables are fresh and they use some of the liquid from the kimchi jar to season the broth, as in kimch jjigae.

                    2. r
                      ritaville May 14, 2008 10:41 AM

                      The Jong Ga house does offer something similar on their menu: I forget what it is called but it is the tangy kimchi broth of the appetizer with the Naeng Myun noodles...I think the name of the dish references young radish leaves?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ritaville
                        10foot5 May 14, 2008 11:28 AM

                        Thanks for the suggestion ritaville.

                        I did ask the server if the appetiser soup was on the menu and he said "no", he pointed me towards the Yul mu Naeng Mean (Cold Buickwheat Noodle with roung radish in soup) as being the most similar but it was very different from the appetizer soup. I love young radish and I love the cold Kim Chi soup but I didn't like that dish much at all.

                        1. re: 10foot5
                          ritaville May 14, 2008 12:11 PM

                          Was it the noodles? The noodles are different: the naeng myun has the buckwheat noodles and the appetizer has the somen noodles--You might ask for the Yul Mul Naeng Myun with the somen noodles instead of the buckwheat noodles...(I've done it before ...) (it's like bibim gook su vs bibim naeng myun--it's all about the noodles.)

                          1. re: ritaville
                            10foot5 May 14, 2008 12:23 PM

                            I'm thinking maybe the Chick Naeng Mean (Cold arrowroot noodles in soup) might be another one to try.

                            I forget exactly what the Yul Mul Maeng Myun was exactly but it wasn't just the noodles that were different, the broth was entirely different from the appetizer soup broth as well.

                            Are arrowroot noodles the same as, or similar to, somen noodles?

                            1. re: 10foot5
                              ritaville May 14, 2008 01:17 PM

                              arrowroot is more similar to the buckwheat noodles than the somen noodles...

                              you might try asking for an entree size version of the cold noodle soup (although I found it to be too much of a good thing...)

                      2. d
                        dignyou May 14, 2008 08:52 AM

                        Ive never had that at any other place, but it's great. Simple and refreshing!

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