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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112 Comments:

  1. MissChaaaa Philippines joined 2/17
    Posted February 13th, 2017 at 2:34 am | # |

    Dear Maangi,
    Is there another way or recipe to make Naengmyeon without beef? Maybe lamb broth or chicken? My sister cannot eat beef due to religious beliefs by our parents since birth. I hope theres another way because when she tried the noodles from my naengmyeon she really really REALLY loved it. hehe :)

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  2. lilmissteapot Asia 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.

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  3. Cocraze 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

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

    Can I use American chicken broth / beef broth?

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  5. mop Australia 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?

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  6. Cutemom Indonesia 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

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 14th, 2013 at 10:28 am | # |

      Ima, yes, you can use baekkimchi juice, too.

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  7. ordinaryeric United States 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?

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  8. WiseGirl NJ 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!

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    • Nablial Wisconsin 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 :)

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  9. Sylvia 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?

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    • Misooo Eating 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.

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  10. sakurazen Malaysia 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?

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  11. janicedale Australia 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.

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    • Maangchi New York City 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. : )

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  12. gizzybear2007 Fleming Island, FL 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?

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

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

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  13. Mere Marshall New Zealand 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

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  14. ellyn CA 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).

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    • tweewin USA 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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  15. smihilist Chicago joined 6/11
    Posted June 7th, 2011 at 11:47 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi, you have no idea how happy I was when I first found your site. I love Korean food, and by now I have made paejeon, four kinds of kimchi, dried pollack soup, and an adjusted dangjung chigae. I have also introduced several of my friends to your videos. You rock.

    So my question goes like this–I love the mul naengmyun, but the spring radishes are only around during spring. When I don’t have the juice from yeolmu mulkimchi, how do I continue my indulgence in this lovely recipe. It is only beginning to heat up! I saw that you recommended broccoli kimchi to someone who can’t get the spring radishes. I have some awesome Korean markets here, but I can’t change the season. And my yeolmu mulkimchi was by far the best one so far.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 8th, 2011 at 8:10 am | # |

      You can make mulkimchi with white radish, too.

      For those who don’t have yeolmu mulkimchi but want to have naengmyeon (cold noodle soup):

      1. Make chicken or beef broth and add kimchi juice, salt, a little bit of sugar : delicious naengmyeon broth!
      2. When you buy a package of naengmyeon, it usually comes with a small soup powder packet. Make broth with the powder. Mix the powder with about 1/2 cup water and add ice cold water.

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  16. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11
    Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi – I have all the ingredients for this but I can’t get (or make) the young summer radish kimchi because it is impossible to find them here. I really want to try a good bibim naengmyeon – can you recommend a substitute for the kimchi? I have kaktugi here but it doesn’t have much liquid – but I could add it for texture if necessary but would still be lacking liquid.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 4th, 2011 at 11:16 am | # |

      You can make mulkimchi with white radish for cold noodle soup. Are Chinese broccoli or mustard greens available there? http://www.flickr.com/photos/teenytinyturkey/2313021206/ If so, use the vegetables for this recipe. I’m sure it will turn out good.

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      • JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11
        Posted June 4th, 2011 at 3:12 pm | # |

        Thanks for the reply Maangchi – I have seen those in the weekend market here – I wondered what they were! I will definitely try the recipe with them – thanks :)

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  17. penguincontact joined 3/11
    Posted March 10th, 2011 at 6:09 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi. I’ve been told that the original stock is from what is now an obscure wild Korean bird (like chicken). Is there anyway you can post a simple stock recipe that is either chicken or beef? Is the beef usually sliced on top brisket?

    Also is there anyway you can post the recipes on the radish garnish that is usually put on top of the naengmyun? I believe the current recipe I have is 8oz radish, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp vinegar(is it supposed to be rice vinegar?), and pinch of red pepper powder. My trouble is actually cutting the radish thinly enough. Do I need a mandolin? Thanks in advance. Sorry if that was too much for a single comment.

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  18. Patti Tennessee, USA joined 9/10
    Posted October 13th, 2010 at 8:05 pm | # |

    Maangchi, can you please tell me where i can buy sha ho fen noodles or a recipe to make them? I’m having trouble finding them!

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    • Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13
      Posted December 13th, 2013 at 1:03 pm | # |

      Sorry, Maangchi I reply this one for you.
      Patty, sha ho fen is Chinese flat rice noodles. It’s not easy to cook but I have a few family recipe I don’t mind sharing. I’ll post it on Maangchi’s forum if you want

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  19. korean_grl808 Hawaii joined 9/10
    Posted September 11th, 2010 at 5:42 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Do you know how to make nokcha (green tea) naengmyeon by any chance? I can’t find an online recipe anywhere. I guess everyone prefers mul & bibim naengmyeon. Naengmyeon with the shave ice is DIVINE. You should try it if you haven’t yet. Texture reminds me of the local treat of shave ice dessert here in Hawaii!

    By the way, your videos are fantastic! Discovered them on youtube. I’m excited to try all the recipes. Thanks!

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    • korean_grl808 Hawaii joined 9/10
      Posted September 11th, 2010 at 4:21 pm | # |

      Nokcha mul naengmyeon (green tea soup). During my online search, my results kept on returning noodles made of green tea & that’s not what I want =(. I’m trying to find the chilled green tea soup recipe for naengmyeon. Hope this clarifies things. Thanks!

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  20. Bourgijie Belgium joined 8/10
    Posted August 12th, 2010 at 5:54 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    This is Jill from Belgium.

    Great recipes. Really appreciate your efforts putting so many terrific recipes here. Cold noodle is one of my favorite Korean dishes, but unfortunately i can’t find every ingredient in Belgium.

    Can I use any other ingredient to subsitute corn syrup, for instance?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jill

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 12th, 2010 at 12:32 pm | # |

      Jill, naengmyeon (cold noodles) is my favorite, too! Instead of corn syrup, you could use sugar or honey.

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    • BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10
      Posted April 24th, 2011 at 7:52 am | # |

      Hi Bourgijie, I’m eating my first bowl of naengmyun this year with ingredients bought yesterday from Shilla market in Overijse. They do sell Korean corn syrup there, sugar is a good substitute, or other sweet syrups sold in the mixed (alcoholic) drinks aisle at the general supermarkets Makro and Colruyt, for example. Hope this helps and you enjoy naengmyun! Katharine in Brussels

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  21. dreamingofyoo joined 6/10
    Posted June 22nd, 2010 at 9:09 pm | # |

    I just made some bibimnaengmyeon… i love it expect for the radish… is there another substitute for it?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 23rd, 2010 at 9:37 pm | # |

      Use more cucumber and pear strips.

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    • StageDreamer2590 joined 3/11
      Posted March 2nd, 2011 at 1:49 am | # |

      I’m a huge fan of pickled radish. Salt the radish, then let it soak in a mixture of sugar, vinegar, and salt. Sometimes I throw in a few pepper flakes.

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  22. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10
    Posted June 5th, 2010 at 12:20 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Hello other readers! Have you ever tried mul naengmyun with *broccoli*? Broccoli and mustard are in the same vegetable family so I tried it one day, and it’s delicious. It’s my signature Korean dish :) I’m lazy so I blanch the broccoli in the same water as the noodles just before straining in the colander. Hope you try it and maybe like it :)

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  23. Libelle Germany joined 10/09
    Posted June 5th, 2010 at 6:46 am | # |

    Thanks again for such a delicious recipe, Maangchi unnie. It’s finally summer and it’s HOT in the city, so Mul Naengmyun is on the menu for lunch today! ^^ I just wanted to share a little thing I do that fellow readers might be interested in as well: I make ice cubes out of your yummy stock recipe and use these in my Mul Naengmyun in place of regular ice cubes. Happy Summer, Maangchi unnie and everyone! ^^

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  24. ridiculousgirl California city joined 5/10
    Posted May 31st, 2010 at 2:19 pm | # |

    I am not Korean but I really like Korean food. I really like your video, you are so good lady. I hope you have more more video. We always love you!!!

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  25. Eva4 joined 2/10
    Posted February 13th, 2010 at 8:16 pm | # |

    I have some Korean mustard paste instead of mustard powder. Is it possible to substitute one for the other and if so, how much mustard paste would I approximately use for the 2tbsp of mustard powder?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 2nd, 2010 at 12:52 am | # |

      If you use mustard paste, start with 1 ts, but if it’s too bland, increase the amount.

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  26. Summa
    Posted December 23rd, 2009 at 3:05 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi~~ :]
    I was wondering if i can mix the 2 cups of kelp/mushroom/anchovy stock with 1 cup of powder stock from the noodle packet, do you think it will taste ok?
    Or should i just use the powder stock? I think it might be yummier
    with both of the stocks but i could be wrong~
    Please help me decide…
    Thank You :]]

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 2nd, 2010 at 12:57 am | # |

      Yeah, you can mix homemade stock and the powder-based stock. : ) It will be delicious! I feel like naengmyeon now! It’s almost 1:00 am!

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  27. 3hungrytummies
    Posted November 11th, 2009 at 9:33 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi
    I made some naengmyeon the other night, love your opinion :)

    http://3hungrytummies.blogspot.com/2009/11/hwedupbap-korean-raw-fish-on-rice.html

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  28. Nick Elwood
    Posted November 7th, 2009 at 9:13 pm | # |

    I’m no expert with Korean food but with naengmyon noodles I have learnt that if you lift some up with a fork as they are boiling, as soon as they start to slide down over each other they are about ready. Of course, dried naengmyon and fresh naengmyon need different boiling times.

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  29. Amy Kim
    Posted November 4th, 2009 at 3:25 am | # |

    Hi, Maangchi.
    Another awesome video! But I got a question.
    How long do you cook your noodles?
    Mine tends to get overcooked a lot =(

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 4th, 2009 at 7:29 am | # |

      How long did you boil the noodles? Next time you make your naengmyeon, don’t boil the noodles so long. The noodles should be chewy, but cooked.

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    • pia
      Posted November 11th, 2009 at 12:55 am | # |

      my friend advised me to put a table spoon of vinegar while cooking your noodles, so that it would be elastic..then, instead of stirring, try to lift the noodles while in the pan..this is to incorporate air..

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  30. Nick Elwood
    Posted October 4th, 2009 at 2:19 am | # |

    Thanks. I live in S Korea and just could not find a friend who knew how to make the sauce for bibim naengmyon. Now I am going to go out and buy a blender. Thanks.

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  31. Nana
    Posted August 26th, 2009 at 7:40 pm | # |

    Aaaaawesome! Thank you for the recipe. I’m so into cooking asian food, especially Korean food. I love spicy food very much and noodles…awww i can make this at hope, I can’t wait. Thanks again!

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  32. Gina Redondo Beach, California joined 8/09
    Posted August 3rd, 2009 at 7:03 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I discovered your recipes on Youtube and I can’t wait to make them. I have a couple of Korean cookbooks written in English but they don’t compare to seeing videos. And your recipes seem better.

    Anyway, here in Southern California, some Korean restaurants use a different white noodle instead of the chewy noodles, which I personally don’t like. Do you know what kind of noodle the white one is? (Thin white wheat noodle.)

    Thanks!

    Gina

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  33. sully
    Posted July 29th, 2009 at 9:53 pm | # |

    hi! i just watched your recipy vidio nanegmyeon looks so nicce.
    thank you for posting this vidio.now i will try to make at home.
    i am bangoli(bangladesh)woman.but i just love korean food.
    thank you .

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  34. sairo
    Posted July 25th, 2009 at 1:36 am | # |

    thanks for the recipe! i loved naengmyun when i was studying hangugo at kodae in 2006. before i found your website, i could only find beef-flavored naengmyun in restaurants and in instant naengmyun packs (not very good). i’m so glad to discover that i can make it healthier using anchovy & kelp stock. i’ve cooked several dishes from watching your videos. you’re doing wonderful wonderful work! :D

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 4th, 2009 at 8:34 am | # |

      Have you ever made it so far? If so, I hope you enjoyed your naengmyun!

      (0)
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