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Cold noodles in chilled broth

Mul-naengmyeon 물냉면

Naengmyeon means “cold noodles” in English, and refers to a Korean dish made of long, thin noodles and served cold. It’s very popular in Korea all year ’round but especially in summertime, because it’s so cold and refreshing. The noodles often have some buckwheat in them, but can also be made with the flour or starch of potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot, kudzu, seaweed or green tea.

There are 2 main varieties: mul-naengmyeon, which is served in an icy cold broth made from beef, chicken or dongchimi, and bibim-naengmyeon, which is served in a spicy sauce instead of a broth. This recipe is for mul-naengmyeon, and here’s the recipe for bibim-naengmyeon, the other dish in the video. Due to the background music in the video, the sound has been removed, but I will remake the video soon, I promise!

Naengmyeon is my favorite food. I love the texture of the chewy noodles. After eating icy cold noodles on a hot summer day, you will feel your body temperature cool right down.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

Directions

A package of Korean buckwheat noodles usually comes with soup powder packet. If you want to make a quick broth, you can simply mix the soup powder with cold water. If you want to make homemade stock, this is how I do it.

Make stock for mul-naengmyeon:

  1. Boil 8 cups of water with 3-4 shiitake mushrooms, a 4 inch piece of dried kelp, and 8-10 dried anchovies with the heads and the intestines removed for 20 minutes over hight heat.
  2. Lower the heat to low and cook another 20 minutes. Cool it down and keep it in the refrigerator.

Prepare toppings:

  1. Mustard paste (optional):
    Mix 1 tbs of mustard powder and ½ tbs water. Put it in a warm place to ferment it for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Cucumber:
    Slice ½ cup’s worth of cucumber into thin strips. Add a ½ pinch of salt, ½ ts of sugar, and ½ ts of vinegar. Mix it up and and set it aside.
  3. Pear:
    Slice ½ cup’s worth into thin strips. You can use either Korean pear or bosc pear. Soak it in water and add ½ ts sugar so it doesn’t change color. Set it aside.
  4. Egg:
    Hardboil an egg, cut it in half, and set it aside.

Make the noodles:

  1. Put a half package of buckwheat noodles into a big pot of boiling water. Stir them with a wooden spoon so that the noodles don’t stick to each other. Keep boiling for about 3-5 minutes until cooked.
  2. When the noodles are cooked, move the pot to the sink and pour cold water over them. Drain some of the water out and pour more cold water over them again. This will help the noodles get chewier.
  3. Rinse and drain the noodles a couple of times until not slippery. Put the noodles into a basket or colander.naengmyeon noodles

Put it all together:

  1. For each serving you need to make, mix 2 cups of stock in a bowl with 2 ts vinegar, 1 ts salt, and 2 ts sugar. Add more vinegar to taste. Add 5-7 ice cubes to make it even colder.
  2. Place noodles in a bowl and add the cold broth, cucumber, pear, mustard paste, and egg on top. Serve cold. If you have kimchi juice or young summer radish kimchi, add some to the noodle soup. It will taste even better!

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109 Comments:

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

    Can I use American chicken broth / beef broth?

  2. 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?

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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 :)

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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. : )

  9. 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 =)

  10. 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

  11. 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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