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. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Xinube
    I hope your cold noodles turned out good, sorry about late reply. I am just reading your message now.

    Anonymous,
    You will be able to make delicious naengmyun if you follow my recipe! Of course I couldn’t compete your mom’s naengmyun! Mom’s food is always the best in the world, right?

  2. Hi Maangchi,
    I just wanted to say my mom used to make mul naengmyun for my brother and I as children. Last time she made it was when my husband and I were dating 2 years ago and he absolutly loved it. I was afraid to try to make it for him. Knowing the fact my mother made it for us I was afraid I was going to mess up somehow. Anyways your video on how to make is helpful. Now I will try to make it for him and his 2 brothers and his mom. Thank you Maangchi.

  3. hii im korean teenager living in london!
    I LOVE BIBIMNAENGMYUN AHHH!
    i always tell my mum to buy naengmyun(noodles) but wee can’t find any.. ohwell.
    i went to korea last year to visit family and we also visited jeju island(sashimi is great) and nampodong last summer. In nampodong i ate SO MUCH bibimnaengmyun and then mandoo and then i asked my parents if we can go and eat some more bibimnaengmyun because we never eat it in england. hehe
    thanks for recipe i am going to nag my mum to make some.. :)
    yummy
    ^^ x

  4. Wow! How is it possible that I haven’t found your website earlier? ^_~ You are doing a great job, thank you!
    Greetings from Poland.

  5. ok ok, maybe i overreacted but can i change the broth? or make it differently? with other ingredients?

  6. Hey maangchi remember me? the brazilian teenager from youtube?
    Well, i was seriously thinking about making bibim naeng myun, i already bought the buckwheat noodles(altought it is VERY short compared to yours) but i’m a little concerned… i dont have all the ingredients but looking the commentaries i saw that its possible to change some of them, could you tell me if it is possible to make bibim naeng myun with these “settings”:
    – Short buckwheat noodles (yeah, i know, thats not a big deal)
    – use radish instead of mustard powder
    – more pear/sugar instead of corn syrup
    – can i make it without the icy broth?
    You see, i think its strange because all the korean restaurants i went they put radish and i dont know if they use this broth, but the sauce looks watery, altought its 100% red…
    help! :)
    thx

  7. i just made the cold noodles lolz it was sooo goooddd i kinda cheated tho lolz i bought already made radish kimchee lolz

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Nancy,
    oh, yeah? Here in New York is getting cold! I feel like having hot noodle soup instead of cold noodles. : )

  9. Hey Maangchi!!! lolz its a hot day here in San Francisco CA so i thought y not make some cold noodle : ) ill tell u how it turns out ; )

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    jenny,
    If you don’t have yeolmu kimchi. I suggest making pickled radish. Slice it thinly by following the same direction for cucumber in this recipe. Don’t discard the liquid coming out from radish and cucumber and use it.

  11. Hi Maangchi,can skip yeolmu kimchi for this recipe ? i hv all ingredients now except yeolmu kimchi.thx

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Ling,
    If you are not accustomed to hot spicy food, it will be spicy. I recommend putting just a little bit of the sauce in your bibimnaengmyun and see if you can handle the spiciness or not. Careful! : )

  13. hi maangchi,

    I have one question about the bibimnaengmyeon, how spicy is the sauce? Because I want to try it but I just don’t know how spicy the sauce is……

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    kEiGh
    yes, kongguksu (콩국수): cold noodle soup made with soybeans!

    I was going to post the recipe before summer finishes this year, but I can’t promise to post it soon. Let’s see. I have so many korean dishes requested by other people. : )

    potbingsu ingredients depend on your taste.
    I use redbeans, ice (ice shaver needed), sugar, milk, small sweet rice cake cubes, fruits (strawberry, pineapple…) and cherry on top.

  15. hi Maangchi,

    Can I ask you a favor? Can you make the dish called Kong guk su (if I’m not mistaken), because the last time that i went to Korea I totally fell deeply in love with that dish, and I really hope you can help me with this..

    And another one, do you know what kind(names) of ingredients are usually used in making pat bing soo??

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