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.

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

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. Nick Elwood& has 1 comment

    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.

  2. 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!

  3. Gina Redondo Beach, California joined 8/09 & has 20 comments

    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

  4. 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 .

  5. 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

  6. What if I want to just make plain mool naengmyun without yeolmu kimchi juice? How do I do that, or will it taste too plain just using the soup made from kelp, mushrooms, and anchovies? Thanks for your help!

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

      When you buy a package of naengmyun (dried noodles for cold noodles), you will see a small package stock powder inside. You can use the powder. Mix it with water and some ice cubes, and add some kimchi juice. The stock powder is kinda too salty for me, so be careful.

      If you want to use homemade stock, after making it, cool it down thoroughly and put some kimchi juice and ice cubes, and a few drops of vinegar.. it will be delicious!

      Good luck with making delicious naengmyun!

  7. Peter Gallo& has 1 comment

    Ice Ice, Baby! My favorite naengmyeong restaurant in downtown Gwangju uses shaved ice. I guess one could use a snow-cone machine for the spicy bibim naengmyeong, if you dare to try the texture of crunchy ice in the cold noodles. Your video is very exciting and professional. I was surprised about the pear… OMG Mashiseoyo!

  8. I have to make Yeolmu Kimchi inorder to get the juice for the Naengmyeon. I’m from Singapore. There is no young radish vegetables available. Is there anything that can replace this?

  9. I dont wish to waste the balance mustard powder if I can only eat with Naengmyeon. As I dont eat Naengmyeon everyday. Is there any thing that can replace mustard powder? Is it a necessary ingredient in this noodle dish? What can I do with the balance mustard powder.

  10. Can I leave out the mustard part? since I am not a fan of mustard. Thank you,

  11. Hi maangchi,
    cos of not easy to get young radish for making the
    yeolmu kimchi. Can show more ingredientd details to subsitute this For bibimnaengmyeon?
    Thanks in advance!!!!

    rgds,
    evelyn

  12. I just went to Atlanta today and ordered this. Now that I know the recipe is here, I can make this all I want? What god did I please?

  13. Christina& has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi – Can I use the instant dashi in place of the anchovies for making the soup stock?

    Thanks!

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

    gautam,

    Thank you very much for your informative comments and suggestion. Wonderful!

  15. Dear M,

    You are just incredible! Great personality, I admire people with excellent technique, plus your neatness & cleanliness. No chance of your cloning yourself in the near future, is there?!! Be well.

    Your #1 Admirer.

    P.S.:

    1)What is the origin of corn syrup in Korean cooking? Was amazake-type NATURAL rice syrup or SORGHUM syrup used before that? Given the high glycemic index of High Fructose Corn Syrup & its less-healthful reputation compared to honey, amazake, agave nectar, sugarcane golden syrup like Tate & Lyle brand or Steens of Louisiana, unsulfured molasses, sorghum syrup, B& C grade maple syrup,

    would you please consider experimenting with some of the above, and where possible, reducing part of the white sugar & corn sugar in your recipes? Sometimes, a more complex, even better, taste might result!

    2) Korean/Asian pear is very expensive or not available in many areas. For marinades, could you please experiment with BOSC & other Western pears, +/-apples, to suggest if they work almost as well or not at all, according to your judgment?

    Thank You.

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