A few weeks ago, I made kalguksu or knife-cut noodles from scratch. Surprisingly not hard! I do have a revisionist memory, though. I’m blocking out the memory of the first batch of noodles completely sticking together and having to roll them out and slice them again an hour before my guests were to arrive. Still, if you’re making noodles for just 3 or 4 people, I think it’s worth doing at home as it’s so much tastier than the packaged versions in grocery stores, with that thick unevenness I really miss from my favorite kalguksu restaurant in Seoul. I’m hopeful to have it finessed for the cookbook.
Also, I’m getting better at killing crabs. There’s no way to get around it if you want to make gaejang and gae-muchim, what I like to call Korean crab ceviche. (Though really, it’s just raw crabs chopped up and marinated in soy sauce and/or spicy red pepper paste.) The first time was awful. But when you pull the shell off your sixth crab in a row, you get numb to the killing. Especially when the payoff is so high.