Naeng Myeon Ice-Cold Noodles

This dish is one of my dad's favorites. My mom used to make it for him in the summertime. I can still remember the slurping noises at the dinner table when naeng-myeon was served. These totally addictive cold noodles are from the North of Korea, where my dad is from, so this is a dish dear to his heart. Korean naeng-myeon noodles are the best, as they contain sweet potato and buckwheat, giving them a great springy texture. They are also thinner than regular buckwheat noodles, which make them perfect for slurping. The "salad" that I developed that goes on top is a total crowd-pleaser. Make more to serve on the side, if you like.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Ingredients

Noodles:

About 2 cups (500 milliliters) beef stock

1/4 teaspoon superfine or caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Pinch sea salt or kosher salt

7 ounces (200 grams) Korean buckwheat-sweet potato noodles

Salad:

3/4 cup (86 grams) julienned skin-on Nashi pear (or any hard pear)

2 tablespoons julienned skin-on cucumber

2 tablespoons julienned red onion, soaked in ice water for 10 minutes

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon English or Korean mustard

1/2 teaspoon superfine or caster sugar

Pinch sea salt or kosher salt

2 ounces (46 grams) sliced roast beef, cut into thin pieces

2 hard-boiled eggs, halved, for garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Julienned dried seaweed, for garnish

Directions

  1. For the noodles: In a medium saucepan, heat the beef stock with the sugar over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vinegar and salt. Remove from heat, pour into a freezer-proof bowl and place in the freezer until well chilled.
  2. While the soup is chilling, make the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Rinse well with cold water and massage to remove excess starch. Drain and set aside.
  3. For the salad: Mix together the pear, cucumber, red onion, rice vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
  4. To serve: Divide the noodles between 2 large bowls. Pour the cold broth over the noodles. Top each bowl with a handful of the salad. Divide the roast beef and eggs between the bowls. Grind pepper over each egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a bit of seaweed. Serve with the rest of the salad on the side.

Cook’s Note

Add crushed ice to each bowl of noodles to keep it well chilled.

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