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 kosher 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, kosher 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

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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124 Comments:

  1. Nice to meet you Maangchi, and your fantastic blog too! I´m writing from Venezuela (South America). Unfortunately there is only one Korean restaurant here. We LOVE korean food, specially Naengmyeon (Mr. Kim, from the restaurant, told me he adds peanut sauce ¿?). With your wonderful recipes, tomorrow I´ll surprise my son, who will be visiting from another town. Hope I find all the ingredients… Thank you very much for being there! =)

  2. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Dale,
    Welcome to my blog. If you have any questions about the recipe, ask me please.

  3. Hi Maangchi..
    I came across your website today..I think I watched more than half..I was in Busan..Last year and I had this soup and it was sooo good..but I forgot the name..thank you for posting this video now I can make at home..I’m half Japanese..but I just love Korean food..
    Dale

  4. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    UK guy,
    Thank you very much for your compliment!

  5. 우연하게 방문하였습니다.
    정말 맛있게 보이는 냉면만드는법 잘 보고 갑니다.(프로의 손길이 마구마구 느껴집니다 ^^)

    앞으로 종종 들려서 요리좀 배우고 가겠습니다.

    즐거운 하루 되세요~

  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Hello, koona 7 and anonymous,

    koona7,
    I go to the korean grocery store in downtown called PAT near christie subway.

    Anonymous,
    Yes, I know the Hmart. I will check the link

    thank you!

  7. Hello Maangchi,

    There is a Korean market that is opening up call Hmart. Will you be going to it? The websit is http://www.Hmart.com We have one here that just open a couple of days ago. I can’t wait to check it out in a couple of days!

  8. Welcome back! I cannot believe you had the enrgy to shoot the video right after you came back from your trip! No jet lag? I love naengmyeon but I’ve never tried making it. I’ll try your recipe. Looks so good! By the way, where do you get your Korean groceries? I live in toronto and looking for a good Korean supermarket. Thanks:)

  9. Looks so yummy!

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    CUB,
    I have never had quince in my life so far, so I can’t give you any recipe. Thank you for asking me anyway.

  11. Welcome back Maangchi! My Dad just came home after a trip and brought back a lot of quince. Do you have any suggestions for using them up? Thanks.

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Hi, Anonymous,

    For 6 servings, double or triple ingredients.

    I still have some leftover red sauce in the refrigerator. The leftover sauce can be used for a long time.

    Don’t forget to use a lot of water when you boil the noodles.

    Good luck with your making naengmyeon!

  13. hello, i have a question. If you want to make 6 servings. can we just triple the ingredients and water? im planning to make food for 6 ppl. or should i make 2 at a time? =] thank you very much.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    marisa,
    yes, if you don’t have a food processor, chop all ingredients as finely as you can. No problem.
    And also if you don’t have corn syrup or don’t like corn syrup, you can use sugar or more pear.

  15. Hi Maangchi!
    I just watched your video and the bibimnaengmyeon looks soooo tasty!
    Now I’m asking myself a stupid question: can you do the red sauce without a grinder? Because I don’t have one!
    also, can you skip the corn syrup?

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