31 July 2013

A Summertime Snack: Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면)

Mul Naengmyeon Portrait

Mul naengmyeon is so refreshing during the summertime heat.  An icy cold, vinegary, sweet and savory broth.  Chewy buckwheat noodles (for boba fans, think "Q"!) and crunchy fresh vegetables.  A bit of salty, crispy dried seaweed.  Some protein on top.

It's thirst-quenching and nourishing, and it's just the right amount for a light meal or snack.  I've been eating a lot of this stuff the past few weeks, sometimes with more veggies, sometimes with a dab of gochujang (Korean red pepper paste).  Any which way, it's so so good!  Make some today if you need relief from the summer heat!

Mul Naengmyeon Bowl

Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면)
Recipe adapted from Maangchi
1 serving

1 1/2 cups very cold broth (recipe below)
75 g buckwheat noodles (memil mulnaengmyeon/메밀물냉면)
1/4 cup julienned cucumber
1/4 cup julienned Asian pear (배)
hard-boiled egg
julienned kim (sesame and salt-seasoned seaweed laver), to taste
about 1/2 cup crushed ice

Bring a saucepan of water to boil, then add the buckwheat noodles and cook according to package directions (3-4 minutes).  Drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water until thoroughly cooled (this helps to improve the chewy texture).  During rinsing, use the running water to help untangle the noodles, and then wrap the serving of noodles into a tight spool.  Place the noodles into an individual serving bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to chill.

Prepare the julienned cucumber and Asian pear, along with the hard-boiled egg and kim.

To assemble, pour the prepared cold broth over the noodles, add the crushed ice around the noodles, and arrange the cucumber, pear, egg, and kim on top.  Serve with extra vinegar and salt (and kim!), as desired.

For the Mul Naengmyeon Broth
8 cups water
4 dried shiitake mushrooms (표고버섯)
4 1-inch pieces dried kelp (dashima/다시마)
8 dried anchovies, heads and guts removed (마른멸치)
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. salt
2 1/2 Tbs. vinegar

Place water, mushrooms, kelp, and anchovies in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain out and discard the solids, then whisk in the sugar and salt until dissolved.  Let broth cool to room temperature, then add the vinegar.  Transfer broth to a non-reactive container and refrigerate until very cold.  (Keeps for one week, refrigerated.)


Ginza said...

Hi Erica

Thoma here. Long time.. It's so good to see you've kept up this space against the odds of your new job and place.

Huz it all going? You really describe your food well!

Anonymous said...

Looks so good! My mom used to make this for us in the summer. I eat the prepackaged stuff b/c I'm to lazy to make my own broth. It's funny (and sad) how I'll make other dishes from scratch, but I tend to take the easy way for Korean food.

Susan Lindquist said...

It's been ages since I've visited Apricosa ... and now that I'm here, I'm catching up and of course, I have a question. Are the buckwheat(soba) noodles that you use completely buckwheat or do they have wheat in them ... yes, I have developed a gluten intolerance and am looking for noodles that are GF. The noodles I find here in the States have a wheat content ... ugh. I do love soba and really want to keep knoshing slurpy noodles!

erica said...

Hi Susan!

Actually, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all, and according to a couple sources I checked (e.g. http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/theglutenfreediet/qt/BuckwheatQT.htm), buckwheat does not seem to contain gluten. However, as with any prepared foods, it'd be good to confirm that the buckwheat noodles you purchase do not have any other gluten-containing additives. Sorry to hear you developed a gluten intolerance, and hope you can find and enjoy the noodles soon! :)

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