Naengmyeon (Korean Cold Noodle Soup)

물냉면

REFRESHING ICE COLD NOODLES

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 (similar to Japanese soba) are the best, as they contain buckwheat and sweet potato, which gives them a great chewy texture. They’re also thinner than regular buckwheat noodles, which make them perfect for slurping. The noodles are typically served within an ice cold, savoury, slightly sweet-tangy broth made from beef stock and the brine from fermented radish kimchi (dongchimi).

Ice cold Korean noodles (Mul-naengmyeon)

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I make a simple version of this classic naengmyeon, using vinegar to mock the sour taste of the dongchimimul, which can be quite time consuming to make. The vinegar does the trick, and the broth tastes just as refreshing. A crisp pear, cucumber, and red onion salad tossed in a strong Korean mustard dressing complement the broth, bringing a bit of welcome texture and kick. I toss in ice cubes to keep everything cold, and serve it alongside a frosty beer.

Read my article on the origins and history of Korean cold noodles.

INGREDIENTS

Find out more about each ingredient and where to buy it by clicking on the ingredient links below!

Ingredients

Serves 2

Noodles

 

  • 475ml (16 fl oz) beef stock
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 200g (7 oz) Korean sweet potato noodles (naengmyun)

Salad

  • 180g (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
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp prepared Korean mustard (gyeoja) or English mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt

To Serve

  • 55g (2 oz) sliced cooked roast beef, cut into 4cm (1 ½ 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

Prepare an iced water bath.

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.

While the soup is chilling, make the noodles according to the pack instructions. Rinse well with cold water, massaging to remove excess starch. Drain and set aside.

FOR THE SALAD

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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Social media

@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageIn my latest Q&A, I share how I choose what to order at new restaurants and my top tip for finding the best places to eat in a new city. 

When trying a new place, I aim to try something I’ve never had before, often asking for the house specialty or signature dish. Being a big fan of seafood, I usually lean towards pescatarian dishes.

To discover great dining spots in a new city, my advice is to ask the locals, such as your taxi driver, where they would go to eat. When in Rome, do as Romans do! Be a local! (Do not eat at McDonalds in Paris!)
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#JudyJoo #FoodTips #Seafood #LocalDining #ChefLife #Foodie #EatLikeALocal #CulinaryTips #FoodLovers #RestaurantTips5 days ago via Instagram
@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageThank you @brokenpalate and @lainedoss for the feature! From a career in finance to following my passion in the culinary world, it’s been a transformative journey. I never thought it would lead to where I am now, but here I am!

This piece dives into my adventures with Seoul Bird, exploring how Korean fried chicken became a fan favorite, and my aspirations to bring Korean flavors around the world.

It’s a story of change, creativity, and the love of food that has shaped my life. Check out the full article to learn more about my slightly random path into the culinary world. Link in bio!

#JudyJoo #CulinaryJourney #SeoulBird #KoreanFriedChicken #FoodCulture #NYCEats #ChefLife #FromFinanceToFood1 week ago via Instagram
@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageFamily meals are a cornerstone of Korean culture, where the table is adorned with an array of small dishes (banchan), showcasing a main course often barbecued meat cooked on a grill built into the table. 

One of the favourites is kalbi (marinated beef short-rib), which is not just a meal, but a convivial experience, bringing everyone together. It’s served with lettuce or perilla leaves (ssam), allowing everyone to wrap their meat with rice, kimchi, ssamjang hot sauce, or their preferred sides.

Thanks for the feature @goodfoodeveryday !  Check out their website (or mine) for the full recipe. •
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#JudyJoo #Kalbi #FamilyMeals #BBCGoodFood #BBC #KoreanCuisine #SharedDining #CulinaryHeritage #FoodieFeature #ChefLife #InstaFood #CommunalEating #FoodForThought #GastronomicAdventures #CelebrityChefs #FoodWorld #ChefLife #CookingPassion #CulinaryArt #FoodLovers #CulinaryExcellence #ChefsOfInstagram #Korea #Korean #Koreanfood #KoreanCooking #koreanbbq #koreanfoodmadesimple1 week ago via Instagram
@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageHailing from the great state of New Jersey– I grew up eating buffalo wings. 

There was even a buffalo wings site on campus at my college in NYC called Pluck U. (who else remembers this chain? It was started by Columbia and NYU grads). It was open late, and our go to place for midnight munchies!

And, yes they do come from Buffalo, NY, a city upstate known for their bitterly cold winters and their nuclear hot wings. 

Here, I have twisted up the traditional Buffalo wings with a fusion of East meets West. Believe me, I am a mega fan of the original wing slathered in Frank’s hot sauce. But, these Korean-esque wings are drenched in a delectably spicy gochujang based hot sauce, offering a more earthy and umami flavor. 

With the perfect balance of heat, tang, and a hint of sweetness, each bite is an adventure in itself.

Elevate your Korean Buffalo Wings experience with these tips:

Ensure your wings are well-coated in potato starch for that irresistible crunch.

Fry to golden perfection and toss well in the sauce for a glossy spicy finish.

Serve hot and garnish with sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions for an added burst of freshness. 

And, a side of your fave blue cheese dressing! 

Discover the full recipe and embark on your culinary exploration of Korean flavours at Judyjoo.com - link in bio!
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