If you’re looking for something spicy and refreshing, I highly recommend giving this spicy seafood noodle soup a try! This recipe is a bit different from your regular noodle soup because it has a thicker brother compared to most noodle soups. The thickness of the soup adheres better to the noodles, which I love because it makes each bite more flavorful!
I used fresh mussels from my local fish market for this recipe, but if you don’t have any access to fresh mussels, frozen mussels would work really well too. I personally like using fresh mussels so that I can make a broth for the base of the soup. But if you decide to use frozen mussels, you can skip this extra step and go straight to making the noodle soup!
Why you’ll love this recipe
If you love mussels, this thick and hearty recipe will be the perfect soup to warm you right up! Don’t be fooled by the ingredient list because once you have them ready, it will only take you about 30 minutes to make this spicy noodle soup. If you like, you can even add more seafood, like shrimp, squid, clams, and scallops for more variety in the soup.
How do I prepare Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup?
Not only is this dish delicious, but I also promise it’ll have you coming back for more. I make this noodle soup at least once a week during the colder months because it warms me up. To make this delectable and comforting recipe, follow the steps below!
Step 1: Clean the mussels
Wash and debeard the mussels. Then, soak them in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes to get rid of any dirt and sand. Once they’re clean, drain the water well.
Step 2: Make the mussel broth
In a pot, bring 7 cups of water to a boil. Then, place the mussels in the pot and cook until they’re open. To prevent them from overcooking, pick out any open mussels and transfer them to a bowl until all of the mussels are cooked. Strain the broth, and set the mussels aside.
Once the mussels are cool, remove the meat from each shell and chop them into smaller chunks.
Step 3: Chop the vegetables
Prep the vegetables by chopping the onion, potatoes, and zucchini into julienne strips. Next, chop the scallions and long green pepper, but remember to reserve about 2 tablespoons of scallions for garnish. Mince the garlic and set all of the vegetables aside.
Step 4: Make the noodle soup base
In a pot or deep pan, preheat neutral oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the sliced scallions and saute for 30 seconds. Next, turn the heat to low and stir in gochujang and doenjang. Mix together until they’re well combined.
Once the mixture is fragrant, add the coarse and fine gochugaru and quickly mix them together to prevent them from burning. Cook the mixture for 30 more seconds.
Step 5: Cook the vegetables
Pour the mussel broth into the same pot and stir the seasonings at the bottom until they’re fully combined. Bring the soup to a boil, then add the potatoes and onions. Season the soup with soup soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and msg (optional).
Step 6: Prepare and add the noodles
When the potatoes are almost cooked (which will take about 3 to 5 minutes), place the fresh noodles in a strainer and run them under cold water to remove any excess starch. If you are using dried noodles, you can skip this step.
Next, add the noodles to the soup and let it cook. Refer to the cooking time on the package instructions for the noodles, but reduce it by 1 minute.
Step 7: Add the rest of the ingredients
When the noodles are almost done, add the garlic, zucchini, mussels meat, long green pepper, and mussels in the shell. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds or until the mussels are open.
Step 8: Garnish and serve
Once everything is cooked, transfer the noodles and soup to a bowl and garnish with scallions, crushed sesame seeds, and seaweed flakes. Enjoy!
Cooking tips for Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup
- To debeard mussels, grab the hair-like fiber that sticks out from their shell with your thumb and forefinger. Tug the beard until it’s completely out of the shell. You can also use a small knife to scrape them out.
- You can also substitute shelled mussels with frozen mussels. If you choose to use the frozen version, you can skip the step of cleaning the shells and making the mussel broth.
- Remember not to overcook the mussels or else they will turn rubbery!
- You can use a mortar and pestle to crush the sesame seeds. An alternative method is to place them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin or a bottle.
Mussels: fresh mussels help make this a very refreshing and delicious broth however, you can also use frozen mussels as well. If you wanted to substitute mussels completely, clams would be a great alternative.
Fresh wheat noodles: I love using fresh wheat noodles for this recipe because it has a soft and chewy texture. They can be substituted with any dried thick noodles.
Zucchini: zucchini adds a refreshing twist to a thick and hearty meal. If it’s unavailable you can also replace it with carrots or omit it completely.
Green pepper: green pepper builds the spiciness level in this noodle soup, but if you can’t find any you can also use jalapeno pepper instead.
Gochujang: gochujang is a Korean red pepper paste that adds a bit of spice, sweetness, and smokiness to the soup. It’s an essential ingredient that can’t be replicated so there are no substitutions.
Doenjang: doenjang is a Korean fermented soybean paste that’s very pungent and full of umami. The closest flavor that can replicate the fermented flavor that doenjang gives is red miso paste. If substituting with red miso paste, add a splash of soy sauce to get its umami taste just right.
Gochugaru: fine gochugaru and coarse gochugaru level up the spiciness in this noodle soup recipe. It has a distinct spicy flavor that cannot be substituted.
Soup soy sauce: soup soy sauce is saltier than regular soy sauce and is often used to season soups and stews in Korean cuisine. Soup soy sauce can be substituted with fish sauce.
Fish sauce: fish sauce adds a subtle flavor that goes well with the mussels. Fish sauce can be replaced with an extra splash of soup soy sauce or salt to taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is doenjang?
If you’ve never cooked with doenjang before, it’s a thick brown paste that’s made from fermented soybeans and salt. It has a consistency of chunky peanut butter and it has a salty and umami flavor that gives off a pungent smell. It’s a staple ingredient among Korean households because you can use it to flavor soups, stews, and condiments. The addition of doenjang in this recipe adds a depth of flavor that also complements the flavors of the mussels.
What is soup soy sauce?
Soup soy sauce is a byproduct of the process of making doenjang (fermented soybean paste). Aside from having a lighter color, it also tastes more umami and saltier compared to regular soy sauce. Soup soy sauce is often used for flavoring broths, soups, and side dishes in Korean cuisine, hence its name. Just be careful with how much you add since it’s really salty!
Can you reheat Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup?
While this spicy noodle soup dish is best enjoyed fresh, it can be reheated as long as you store the noodles separately. Noodles have the tendency to absorb all of the broth and turn soggy so you’d want to store them in a separate container. If you want to reheat it, place the soup in a pan over medium heat until it’s hot. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave.
What side dishes can you enjoy with Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup?
In Korean cuisine, side dishes are a must for your meal, especially noodle soups! If you’re looking for some inspiration for side dishes to enjoy with this recipe, I highly recommend checking out these recipes:
1. Kimchi – kimchi is a staple side dish and almost a necessity when eating this spicy noodle soup. Check out my homemade Geotjeori Kimchi recipe or my Cucumber Kimchi recipe to complete this meal!
2. Dumplings – noodles and dumplings are a classic pairing. My crispy Japchae Dumplings recipe is the PERFECT one for this recipe!
3. Chicken gizzards – my Crispy Chicken Gizzards or Dak Dong Jib recipes complement the flavors of the noodle soup really well. Give them a try and you’ll see what I mean!
4. Savory pancakes – if you’re looking for something that’s easy to prepare but is just as delicious, you need to try making my Kimchi Seafood Pancake or Oyster Pancake recipes!
5. Kimbap – for an extra filling meal, try my Spicy Tuna Kimbap recipe. It’s delicious and very easy to make!
Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup
- 7 cups water
- 400g fresh (200g dried) wheat noodles
- 2 lbs mussels washed and debearded, reserve 6-8 whole mussles to add into the soup later
- 1/2 onion sliced + julienned
- 1 potato sliced + julienned
- 1/2 zucchini sliced + julienned
- 2 scallion chopped, reserve 1 tbsp for garnish
- 1 long green pepper or jalapeno
- 1.5 tbsp garlic minced
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 tbsp gochujang Korean red pepper paste
- 1 tbsp doenjang Korean soy bean paste
- 1 tbsp coarse gochugaru Korean chili pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp fine gochugaru Korean chili pepper powder
- 1 tbsp soup soy sauce adjust to taste
- 1 tbsp fish sauce adjust to taste
- 1/2 tbsp salt adjust to taste
- 1/4 tsp msg optional
- 1/2 tbsp crushed sesame seeds optional
- crushed seaweed flakes optional
- Wash and debeard the mussels. Soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes to remove the dirt and sand. Drain well.
- In a pot, bring 7 cups of water to boil. Place the mussels in the pot and cook until the mussels open. To prevent them from overcooking and turning rubbery, pick out the mussels as they open and transfer to a bowl until all the mussels are cooked. Strain the broth and set aside.
- Once the mussels have cooled, remove the meat from the shell and chop into chunks.
- Prep the vegetables. Julienne the onion, potato, and zucchini. Chop the scallions and long green pepper. Reserve about 2 tbsp of scallions for garnish. Mince the garlic. Set all the vegetables aside.
- In a pot or deep pan, add cooking oil over medium heat. Add the sliced scallions and stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Turn the heat to low and stir in the gochujang and doenjang in with the scallions. Mix together until combined.
- Add the coarse and fine gochugaru and quick mix together to prevent them from burning. Cook for another 30 seconds.
- Pour the mussel broth into the pot and stir until the seasoning is fully combined.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then add the potatoes and onions. Season the soup with soup soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, msg (optional).
- When the potatoes are almost cooked (about 3-5 minutes), place the noodles in a strainer and run it under cold water. This willl remove any excess starch. If you are using dried noodles, you can skip this step.
- Reduce the cooking time of the noodles by 1 minute according to the package instructions.
- When the noodles are almost done, add the garlic, zucchini, mussels meat, long green pepper and mussels in the shell. Cook for about 30-45 seconds or until the mussels have opened.
- Transfer the noodles and soup into a bowl.
- Garnish with scallions, crushed sesame seeds, and seaweed flakes.
2. To crush the sesame seeds, use a mortar and pestle or place it in a Ziploc bag and crush it with a rolling pin or bottle.
3. You can substitute shelled mussels with frozen mussels. If you use frozen mussels, you can skip the first 3 steps.
Pin & save this recipe for later!