Naengmyeon, or cold noodles, is a very classic Korean dish that one can easily find when one goes to Korea; a dish that one repeatedly sees being featured on Korean dramas and variety shows too. It supposedly originated from Pyongyang, North Korea, and became popular and common in the southern part as well. This dish is prepared with freshly pickled ingredients, buckwheat noodles and a light-tasting, icy cold broth cooked over time with beef and basic stock ingredients. It’s lovely to have this dish in summer to cool the body down, though interestingly, it may be best to eat this dish during winter because buckwheat, being harvested in autumn, is supposed to taste its best during the winter season.
I can’t recall if I had the opportunity to try this dish when I was in Korea for my honeymoon many moon years ago (fifteen years is a long time ago). So what I did was cook based on how it is supposed to like on all those Korean dramas. I think my broth is slightly on the darker side, and could afford a little less colour, but the rest of the dish was great, and it was fun to slurp up the noodles just like the Koreans do. Lovely.
Hope everyone had a great first week of 2022. I’m looking forward to a great year ahead with many more food adventures to come!
- White radish: 200g, cut cross-wise, then sliced thinly
- Vinegar: 1.5 tbsp
- Sugar: 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Salt: 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Cucumber: 1/2, sliced lengthwise, then sliced thinly
- Water: 14 cups
- Beef brisket: 200g
- Onion: 1/2
- Garlic: 6 cloves
- Ginger: 3 thin slices
- Scallion: 2, white parts only
- White peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
- Light soy sauce: 2 tbsp
- Naengmyeon: 4 servings
- Egg: 2, hardboiled, halved
- Combine radish with vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar & 1/2 tsp salt. Leave to chill in fridge.
- Combine cucumber with 1/2 tsp salt and let sit till wilted. Leave to chill in fridge.
- Boil water with beef brisket, onion, garlic, ginger, scallion & peppercorns. Leave uncovered.
- Bring to medium heat and skim off scum. Boil, covered, for 1hr.
- Stir in soy sauce with 1omin remaining. Remove beef and discard vegetables.
- Leave stock and beef to cool.
- Pour 5 cups broth into a bowl. Add 1 tsp sugar & 1 tsp salt to it. Keep in freezer 1.5 hrs till slushy. Store the rest in the freezer in containers for use next time.
- Slice beef thinly against grains.
- Boil naengmyeon. Drain and place in ice water. Drain and rinse again in ice water.
- Make 4 serving mounds with hands and place in 4 serving bowls.
- Top noodles with radish, cucumber, beef and egg one on top of each other.
- Pour in cold broth to serve.