Cold, spicy, chewy noodles

Bibim-naengmyeon 비빔냉면

Today I’m going to show you how to make a spicy Korean icy cold noodle dish called bibim-naengmyeon. Unlike mul-naengmyeon (물냉면) it’s not very brothy, but it’s still ice cold and made with a slightly sweet, vinegary, spicy sauce as well as some cucumber and pear. When you eat it, the first thing you need to do is mix it up in the bowl, which is why it’s called bibim, which means “mixed up” in Korean (like bibimbap – mixed rice).

I love all kinds of cold Korean noodles, but bibim-naengmyeon is probably my favorite. I love the cold, chewy noodles and I love the spicy sauce. Many Korean families and restaurants have their own version of this dish and I’ve refined my recipe over the years, making it better and better and always improving it. I hope you enjoy it!

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Even though the noodles are pre-made from a package (you can buy them on Amazon if you don’t live near a Korean grocery store), you need to take care to prepare them properly. You really need to scrub and wash them well to remove all the excess starch, so the noodles get nice and chewy. And the final ice bath at the end shouldn’t be skipped! They need to be really icy and chewy, they are not like spaghetti noodles at all.

When I was writing my cookbook, my editor was always asking me for descriptive details about what Korean food tastes like. I’ve been eating and making it all my life, so I never thought about describing it! But when my co-writer had naengmyeon she described the texture of the noodles as “a bit like thin red licorice laces.” I never thought of it that way! We put it in the book.

Summertime is the perfect weather for these cool noodles, but I actually eat them year ’round! You can vary the amount of sauce used according to your taste, and you can refrigerate any extra for a few weeks, maybe even a month.

I hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know if you try it!

Ingredients

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Korean cold noodles packages

Directions

Prepare the broth

  1. Mix the broth base with 2 cups of water in a bowl. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours until it turns slushy. If you can’t make the broth in advance, mix the broth base with 1 cup of cold water and 10 to 12 ice cubes and keep it in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the garnishes

  1. Mix 1 cup of cold water with 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl, to make sugar water.
  2. Peel the pear and cut it into halves. Remove the cores. Reserve one half of the pear for the spicy sauce, and cut the other half into thin matchsticks for a garnish. Soak the matchsticks in the sugar water so they won’t go brown.
  3. Cut the cucumber into thin matchsticks.cucumber shredded

Make the spicy sauce

  1. Put the half pear, garlic, ginger, onion, green onions, hot pepper flakes, hot pepper paste, soy sauce, salt, sugar, rice syrup, vinegar, and sesame oil in a food processor and grind until creamy.mix spicy sauce
  2. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the noodles

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and let them cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Take a sample to taste. When you chew the noodles, there shouldn’t be any hard stuff at all. If there is, cook them 1 minute longer.
  2. Strain the noodles and rinse in cold running water. Rub the noodles with both hands and scrub them to remove any excess starch. The noodles should get chewy and cold.rinsing-naengmyeon
  3. For your last rinse, fill a large bowl with cold water and some ice cubes. Rinse the noodles well in the icy water. Drain and divide them into 2 large shallow serving bowls.naengmyeon noodles

Make bibim-naengmyeon

  1. Take the icy broth out of the freezer and pour some into each serving bowl.
  2. Put some spicy sauce over the noodles.spicy sauce
  3. Place the pear, and cucumber on top of the noodles.
  4. Sprinkle a heap of sesame seeds powder over top.sesame seeds
  5. Add a half egg to the top of each bowl.bibim-naengmyeon
  6. Serve right away. Mix it up before you dig in!

비빔냉면 mixing

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6 Comments:

  1. Justin Pennsylvania, USA My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted August 7th, 2016 at 3:57 am | # |

    Looks great. A bit confused as to what “two servings” means but I’ll figure it out.

    Thank you!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 10th, 2016 at 12:19 am | # |

      oh, this recipe is for 2 people (2 servings). If you make bibim naengmyeon for 4 people, you will have to double the recipe. Good luck!

  2. wangxx Singapore My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted June 23rd, 2015 at 8:19 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I made my first bibim-naengmyeon using cubed radish water kimchi, shitake mushroom and soba noodles! It tastes awesome! It is perfect for the all year round hot weather in Singapore! I have uploaded a photo of my bibim-naengmyeon in your food photos. Thanks!

  3. SuzyCreamCheese Florida My profile page joined 1/15
    Posted January 27th, 2015 at 10:04 pm | # |

    Delicious!

  4. jaylivg Houston My profile page I'm a fan! joined 7/10
    Posted August 10th, 2014 at 11:54 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi !!

    With how hot the temperature here down south , i think i am going to try to make this later . It looks yummy !! Can’t wait !

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 13th, 2014 at 10:47 am | # |

      I saw the photo you uploaded. It looks mouthwatering and very pretty! It will be featured soon.

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