Cold noodles in chilled broth

Mul-naengmyeon 물냉면

Korean icy cold noodles (naengmyeon: 냉면) are one of my favorite things to make all year ‘round, even in the cold winter. I can’t resist the texture of the chewy and thin noodles, no matter if they are served with cold broth (mul-naengmyeon: 물냉면) or in a spicy sauce (bibim-naengmyeon: 비빔냉면). Especially on hot summer days like these, I really feel my body cools right down after I slurp the cold noodles and drink the leftover cold icy broth. The cold broth is tangy, savory, and a little sweet and the noodles are soft but chewy at the same time.

Today I’m going to show you how to make mul-naengmyeon, icy cold noodles in a chilled broth. Traditionally the broth is made from the brine of fermented radish water kimchi (dongchimi: 동치미) and beef stock, and if you’ve been following me for a long time, you know that I made a naengmyeon video years ago, and also included traditional mul-naengmyeon in my cookbook. They both have different recipes for the broth and I’ll include them below, at the end, if you want to see them.

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Today’s mul-naengmyeon recipe is a more user-friendly version. I don’t make my own broth from scratch, but instead use the concentrated broth powder or liquid that comes with the naengmyeon noodles package (Amazon link) as a base. Then I add some pear juice and some sweet and sour cucumber pickle brine to enhance the taste.

I often make this easy mul-naengmyeon these days. It’s so simple and in my opinion it tastes much better than mul-naengmyeon in a restaurant. You can try it out and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 10 ounces (280 grams) dried naengmyeon noodles
  • 2 packets of liquid or powdered concentrated broth that comes with the package of naengmyeon noodles
  • 2 packets of mustard oil that comes with the package of naengmyeon noodles.
  • ½ English cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 1 Korean pear (or 2 bosc pears)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, cut in halves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ground
  • ice cubes

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Make broth

  1. Open the packets of the concentrated broth and put them into a bowl. Mix with 4 cups of water.
  2. Keep in the freezer for 4 to 5 hours so it gets slushy. brothIf you can’t make the broth in advance, make the broth with only 2 cups of water and add 2½ cups of ice cubes. Keep it in the fridge while you prepare everything else, and take it out just when you’re ready to serve.

Prepare cucumber and pear garnishes

  1. Make quick pickled cucumbers by combining the sliced cucumber, salt, ½ teaspoon sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Mix it well and set aside.
  2. Make sugar water by mixing 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  3. Peel the pear and slice into halves. Slice one half into thin strips and soak them in the sugar water to keep them from going brown.
  4. Grate the other half of the pear and squeeze out the juice using a cotton cloth or cheesecloth. You should get about ½ cup of pear juice. If you use small bosc pears, use one for garnish and the other for pear juice.
  5. Take the bowl of broth out of the freezer. Squeeze some cucumber brine into the broth and add the pear juice. pear juice
  6. Mix well and put the broth back in the fridge or freezer until the noodles are ready.

Prepare 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.
  2. Take a sample to taste. When you chew the noodles, there shouldn’t be any hard stuff inside. Be sure not to overcook them or they’ll go soggy.
  3. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water until they aren’t slippery any more and are well cooled.naengmyeon noodles
  4. Fill a large bowl with cold water and some ice cubes. Add the noodles and rinse them a final time.
  5. Drain the noodles and divide them into 2 large shallow bowls.

Put it together

  1. Pour the icy broth into each bowl.cold broth
  2. Place the cucumber and pear on top.
  3. Add a packet of mustard oil to each bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds powder. Add a half egg on top of each bowl.
  5. Serve right away.

mul-naengmyeon

Variation: Anchovy, mushroom, & kelp stock broth

If you have more time, anchovy stock broth is a more delicious and savory option than using the packets that come with the noodles. This is the kind of broth I made in my original naengmyeon video, years ago. I didn’t show the exact process in the video, but it’s pretty easy:

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Boil 8 cups of water with all ingredients for 20 minutes over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat and cook another 20 minutes. Strain, cool it down and put it in the freezer.

Mustard paste
In the video I also make a homemade mustard paste by mixing 1 tbs of mustard powder and ½ tbs water, and then setting it in a warm place for 5 minutes for it to ferment (in the video, it’s on the top of the pot!).

Traditional broth: dongchimi & beef stock

This is the most delicious, tangy, beefy, unique tasting broth you will ever have, but it also takes the longest to make, because dongchimi itself needs at least 4 to 5 days to ferment.

Even though it takes a lot of effort, the taste is unbeatable and much better than you can get any other way. This recipe is from my book, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces beef brisket
  • 7 cups water
  • 4 cups brine from dongchimi
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup sugar

Directions

  1. Rinse the brisket under cold running water, then soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to remove any blood, so you get a nice, clear broth.
  2. Bring the 7 cups water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Drain the brisket and add to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 50 minutes.
  4. Take out the brisket and set the broth aside to cool.
  5. Thinly slice the beef. Cover and refrigerate.
  6. Combine the beef broth and kimchi brine in a freezer safe bowl. Add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Cover and put into the freezer.

Serving

  1. Later, when you serve your mul-naengmyeon, use the slices of beef as a garnish, along with the cucumber, pear, and egg. You can also add some thin slices of dongchimi if you have it.

traditional mul-naengmyeon

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111 Comments:

  1. lilmissteapot Asia My profile page joined 4/16
    Posted April 6th, 2016 at 9:58 pm | # |

    I’ve seen this dish on episode 13 Descendant of the Sun. After that I come to your site, knowing that you must have the recipe.

  2. Cocraze My profile page joined 10/15
    Posted October 26th, 2015 at 10:39 am | # |

    Hi maangchi, can I use this pack of frozen broth? I got this from the Lotte Mart in Singapore where I live. Also can you advise what this broth can also be used for, other than for naengmyeon?
    I only managed to find out (through Google Translate) that this is indeed the broth for cold noodles, but I could not get through ALL the small sized Korean wording.

    Thank you very much!


    See full size image

  3. theandaayman California My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted January 9th, 2014 at 10:20 pm | # |

    Can I use American chicken broth / beef broth?

  4. mop Australia My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted December 15th, 2013 at 4:04 pm | # |

    It’s ben a while since i ate this! It’s summer again now so i must try make some myself :D
    The place i got them used starch noodles, can i use it as a substitute for the buckwheat noodles?

  5. Cutemom Indonesia My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted December 13th, 2013 at 1:09 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi !

    Can I use baek kimchi juice in place of the spring radish kimchi juice?

    Thanks,

    Ima

  6. ordinaryeric United States My profile page joined 8/13
    Posted August 9th, 2013 at 12:00 am | # |

    Hey Maangchi! If I wanted to use the mushroom for the mool naengmyeon, how big should it be? And I’m making 4 cups of stock. So is it okay if I use half the amount of ingredients necessary?

  7. WiseGirl NJ My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted March 10th, 2013 at 2:54 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi,

    What I put instead of anchovies? With my noodles they did not come with the stock, so what can I use? I have everything else but that. Please respond fast, thank you!

    • Nablial Wisconsin My profile page joined 4/13
      Posted June 26th, 2013 at 9:37 am | # |

      Hello, I think I can answer your question. The stock seems like a basic dashi stock which is just 1 tsp of hon-dashi per 2 cups of water :)

  8. Sylvia My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/08
    Posted January 5th, 2013 at 1:10 pm | # |

    We are a host family to two Chinese students and one of them told me her “nanny” makes her nang meon using sprite, of course this girl doesn’t know one thing about cooking. Anyway, have you ever heard of this?

    • Misooo Eating My profile page joined 10/14
      Posted October 19th, 2014 at 12:29 am | # |

      Hi I know this question is over a year old but just wanted to answer it for future reference :) the spicy version (bibim naengmyeon) has a sauce that can be made with sprite. My mother does it sometimes instead of adding corn syrup or sugar. It changes the end result taste a little bit it can be done.

  9. sakurazen Malaysia My profile page joined 10/12
    Posted October 30th, 2012 at 12:04 pm | # |

    Hi maangchi, I would like to make the bibim naengmyeon but i don’t have a blender. :( Is it compulsory to blend the ingredients to make the sauce?

  10. janicedale Australia My profile page joined 2/12
    Posted July 13th, 2012 at 2:16 am | # |

    This is a great recipes for noodles. I really appreciate that you shared here and put so many terrific recipes here. Cold noodle is one of my favorite Korean dishes because this is very delicious basically I love noodles.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 13th, 2012 at 12:52 pm | # |

      yes, when I eat naengmyeon, I temporally stop my diet plan of “eating less.” It’s my favorite, too. : )

  11. gizzybear2007 Fleming Island, FL My profile page joined 1/12
    Posted January 12th, 2012 at 9:27 pm | # |

    If you wanted to eat this hot instead of cold could you or are the noodles not appropriate for warm broth?

    • Mickee My profile page joined 5/11
      Posted May 27th, 2012 at 12:38 pm | # |

      Yes you can. It’s called ‘Soba’ in Japanese. You can google recepies =)

  12. Mere Marshall New Zealand My profile page I'm a fan! joined 5/11
    Posted July 7th, 2011 at 1:09 am | # |

    Hi ellyn. Is your husband allergic or does he seriously dislike anchovies? I know they are a strong flavour. There are other salted fish that provide good flavour not quite the same but close. Perhaps try some of the Danish salt fish sold as dried stock fish. Delis often sell it here in NZ so I’m hopeful that it should be available where you live. If he doesn’t like the saltiness mmmmmmmmm not sure what you do? Pity Korean food is so delicious isn’t it?! Kia ora

  13. ellyn CA My profile page joined 6/11
    Posted June 28th, 2011 at 3:19 pm | # |

    what can i use in place of the anchovies? my husband is allergic (makes cooking korean foods very difficult).

    • tweewin USA My profile page joined 8/11
      Posted August 7th, 2011 at 12:14 am | # |

      Maybe you should use the stock base that comes with the buckwheat noodles? I’m sure (but you should check the package anyways) that it doesn’t have real anchovies in it. Good luck! =)

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