Summer is finally here and this is the one season I look forward to eating Naengmyeon, (Nang-me-yen) a Korean cold noodle soup. This dish takes me back to the hot days complaining about how un-cool it was to walk home from school but how lucky I was to have Naengmyeon ready to enjoy on our front porch. It will quench any need for that summer salad you were thinking about eating for dinner. You would be hard pressed to find this dish at many restaurants but I’ll show you an easy and inexpensive way to make it at home! Let's talk briefly about its components. The noodles are generally made of buckwheat or various other types of starches like sweet potatoes or arrowroot. They are served with a light and refreshing clear broth that is typically made with a beef or radish broth. Garnished with julienne cucumbers, hard-boiled egg, Korean red pepper flakes and white vinegar to taste.
Get ready for a most satisfying and refreshing bowl of summer ramen!
- Package of Naengmyeon ( 4 servings per package )
- A pinch of Korean red pepper flakes per bowl
- White distilled vinegar to taste
- Cucumbers, sliced julienne
- 1 Hard-boiled egg, sliced per bowl
- 1 1/2 Cups cold water per bowl
- 3-4 ice cubes per bowl
- Green onions for garnish
- Any kimchi you have hiding in the fridge
NOTE: Most Asian markets stock packages of Naengmyeon, among many other packaged noodles. So if you are having trouble locating what you need, don't be afraid to ask for help.
Now, the package gives you instructions on what to do in case you don’t have this blog by your side. However, I do have a couple tips to share.
Start by boiling a medium size sauce pan filled with water for the noodles. If you haven’t already boiled eggs ahead of time, I suggest you get those started right away, so they have time to cool.
While you wait for the water to boil, start peeling and deseeding the cucumbers and finish them off by julienne slicing them. One cucumber is just right for two servings.
Next, take a packet of broth seasoning and dilute it with just a tablespoon of hot water from the pot of boiling water. Remember it’s a cold soup, so a tablespoon is all you need. This tip helps with dissolving the seasoning packet.
Measure out 1 ½ cups of super cold water in a separate container…I like to add a couple ice cubes to help keep the water nice and cold.
When your water is at full boil, put a handful of the noodles into the pot, you will cook the noodles for 3 minutes, no more or less. At the 3 minute mark, immediately toss the noodles into a strainer and run cold water over, until cooled.
Once your noodles are cooled, take the ice cubes out of the container and pour the 1 ½ cups of water into your bowl with seasoning. This is where I’ll take that little clear packet and add that to the broth. Be careful, it’s a spicy mustard oil, so don’t be rubbing your eyes after handling this little guy.
Add vinegar to taste, ( I prefer 2 tablespoons per bowl ) noodles, cucumbers, kimchi, onions and sliced boiled egg. Throw a pinch of Korean red pepper flakes on top and you're ready to eat Naengmyeon.