Ice-Cold Noodles

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This totally addictive dish is from North Korea, where my dad is from, so it’s dear to his heart. My mum used to make it for him in the summertime, and I can still remember the slurping noises at the dinner table when it was served. Naengmyun noodles are the best, as they contain buckwheat and sweet potato, which gives them a great springy texture. They’re also thinner than regular buckwheat noodles, which make them perfect for slurping. The ‘salad’ that I created to go on top is a real crowd- pleaser. Make more to serve on the side, if you like.


Ingredients

Serves: 2

Noodles

  • 475 ml (16 fl oz) beef stock
  • 1⁄4 tsp caster sugar
  • 1–2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 200 g (7 oz) Korean buckwheat–sweet potato noodles (naengmyun)

Salad

  • 180 g (6 oz) julienned unpeeled Asian pear or other firm but ripe pear
  • 2 tbsp julienned unpeeled cucumber
  • 2 tbsp julienned red onion, soaked in iced water for 10 minutes and then drained
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp prepared Korean mustard (gyeoja) or English mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt

To Serve

  • 55 g (2 oz) sliced cooked roast beef, cut into 4 cm (11⁄2 in) wide pieces
  • 2 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved or quartered lengthways
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Roasted seaweed (kim), julienned

Method

FOR THE NOODLES

  1. Prepare an iced water bath.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the stock with the sugar over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and the salt, adding more vinegar to taste. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof container and chill over the iced water bath.
  3. While the soup is chilling, make the noodles according to the pack instructions. Rinse well with cold water, massag- ing to remove excess starch. Drain and set aside.

FOR THE SALAD

  1. In a small bowl, toss together all the salad ingredients. Divide the noodles between two bowls. (Add some crushed ice to the base of the bowls to keep the noodles well chilled, if you like). Pour the cold broth over the noodles. Top the noodles with the salad. Divide the roast beef and eggs between the bowls. Grind pepper over each egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds and seaweed.

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