Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mool Naeng Myun

Naeng myun (or naengmyoen) is a Korean cold noodle dish made of thin, slightly chewy buckwheat noodles topped with egg, meat, vegetables, and a savory, vinegary ice-cold broth.

To prepare Cold broth:

Traditionally, the broth for mool naeng myun is made with about 1/3 beef broth, 1/3 chicken broth, and 1/3 kim chi brine (dong-chi-mi gukmul). But because few people have easy access to all three components, most Koreans use just beef broth, chicken broth and vinegar and sugar, salt.   Give the broth a swirl, taste, and add more vinegar if you prefer more tang - this is where having had a taste of mool naeng myung will come in handy as you add just the right amount of vinegar.   Keep the broth in the refrigerator, or if you're pressed for time, add a few ice cubes a few minutes before serving.

 If you want to make homemade stock, this is how I do it:
  • 1 lb of beef brisket
  • 1 young chicken  (Cornish hen), or 1/2 of regular chicken
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • 2 Korean Green Onions (대파)
  • 1/2 cup Sake
  • 3 Tbsp Sea Salt, more or less to taste
  • 6 Tbsp Guk-ganjang (korean soy sauce for soup base)
  • 4 qt water
  • 10 Tbsp Vinegar (brown rice vinegar is best, white vinegar will do) , more or less to taste
  • 6 Tbsp Sugar, more or less to taste
  1. Soak the meat in cold water to drain blood out about 2 hours.
  2. In a large pot, boil 4 qt water and meat and vegetables together. Cover the pot; once boiling, add Sake, then reduce heat to medium about 1 hour.
  3. When the soup base has a light milky color, turn the heat off. Let it cool, then remove the stuffs from the soup base using the colander. Take the meat out from the pot and let the soup base cool.
  4. Add 3 T salt, 6T Guk Ganjang, transfer to the airtight container and keep the soup base into the freezer about 3 hours. 
  5. Mean time,  remove beef brisket and set aside on a cutting board to dry wrapped in paper towels and press it with a heavy pan.  When it has cooled, quarter the brisket. Slice one quarter of the brisket into 1/8-inch slices. Reserve the chicken in the sandwich bag for another use.
  6. Remove the soup base from the freezer, and strain into a big bowl. 
  7. Season with Vinegar, sugar to taste. 
  8. Transfer to the airtight container and keep the meat & soup base into the freezer. ( I used 2 - 2qt containers for the soup, 2 sandwich bags for the sliced beef.)
serve 10 

To Prepare toppings:

  1. 2 Tbsp Korean Mustard Paste (optional)Mix 2 Tbsp of mustard powder and 1 Tbsp warm water. ready in 5 minutes. 
  2. 1 Cucumber: peeled, seeded with a spoon, then sliced into thin strips about 2 inches long
  3. 1 Asian Pearpeeled and thinly sliced (soak it in water and add 1 ts sugar so it doesn’t change color)
  4. 1 Korean radish:  to make picked radish - peel and thinly slice. Sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp. salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water toss to combine. Let sit at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Egg: hard boil an egg, cut it in half,1/2 egg for person
  6. Thinly sliced beef brisket: 2 or 3 slice for person

To prepare the noodles:

One package of buckwheat noodles from a Korean grocery store - ask for naeng myun - the list of ingredients may read "buckwheat noodles" 
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, about 3-5 minutes in boiling water.
  2. Drain noodles and rinse well in cold water to stop cooking and eliminate some excess starch.

To make mulnaengmyeon:

  1. Place noodles in a bowl and add the cold broth, cucumber, pear, mustard paste, and egg, beef on top. Serve cold. If you have kimchi juice or young summer radish kimchi, add some to the noodle soup. It will taste even better!