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. smihilist Chicago joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    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.

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

      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.

  2. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Patti Tennessee, USA joined 9/10 & has 2 comments

    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!

  5. korean_grl808 Hawaii joined 9/10 & has 3 comments

    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!

  6. Bourgijie Belgium joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    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

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

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

    • BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

      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

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

  8. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

    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 :)

  9. Libelle Germany joined 10/09 & has 30 comments

    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! ^^

  10. ridiculousgirl California city joined 5/10 & has 1 comment

    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!!!

  11. Eva4 joined 2/10 & has 3 comments

    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?

  12. 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 :]]

  13. 3hungrytummies& has 2 comments

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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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