NAENGMYEON (COLD NOODLES)

INGREDIENTS

SERVES

2

METHOD

250 g dried Naengmyeon noodles
2 packets broth from naengmyeon noodles
2 packets mustard oil from naengmyeon noodles.

Toppings:
½ English cucumber
2 bosc pears
2,5 ml salt
7,5 ml sugar
15 ml white or apple cider vinegar
150 g beef strips (bulgogi recipe on page XX)

Radish salad (musaengchae)
500 ml daikon matchsticks
15 ml kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed vinegar
15 ml vinegar
5 ml sugar

15 ml gochujang chilli paste
1 hard-boiled egg, halved
10 ml toasted sesame seeds, ground
ice cubes

Eating noodles in an icy broth may seem in appealing to some, but they are truly delicious and satisfying. The dish requires a noodle made with buckwheat and sweet potato starch and has a selection of toppings that range from sweet and hot, sour and salty. Brought together with the rich broth, all these elements are food for the soul.

Make broth
Each package of naengmyeon noodles contains a sachet each of either dried or concentrated broth, and a sachet of mustard oil. The quality is generally excellent, and cuts preparation time for this dish considerably. You need the sachets from two packs of Naengmyeon noodles for this recipe. Open the packets of the concentrated broth and put them into a bowl. Mix them with a litre of water and put the bowl in the freezer for a few hours until the liquid gets slushy. Take it out just when you’re ready to serve, or move it to the fridge while you prepare.

Prepare the garnishes
Make a quick cucumber pickle by seeding and cutting the cucumber into chunky sticks about 8 cm long. Put them in a bowl with by combining the sliced cucumber, salt, 2,5 ml sugar, and the vinegar in a bowl. Mix it well and set aside.

Make sugar water by mixing the remaining 5 ml of sugar with 250 ml water. Peel and halve one of the pears. Slice it into thin little wedges and soak the pieces in the sugar water to stop them going brown.
Peel and grate the other pear and squeeze out the juice using a clean dish towel or cheesecloth. You should get about 100 ml of pear juice.

Take the bowl of broth out of the freezer. Tip some cucumber brine into the broth and add the pear juice. Mix well and put the broth back in the fridge or freezer until the noodles are ready.

For the radish salad, put the daikon in a large mixing bowl and scatter the salt over it. Leave it to sweat for 10 minutes. Squeeze out any excess water and add the garlic, vinegar and sugar. Mix by hand and allow to infuse. You can store it covered in the fridge until needed. (This make far more than you need for the dish, but can be used to perk up any dish and will keep in the fridge for a week.)

Prepare the noodles
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and set aside. Add the noodles to the boiling pot and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and let them cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Test them by selecting a noodle to chew. They should not have a hard core like al dente spaghetti. You should be able to bite through easily, but they should still be firm, not soggy.

When they are done, strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water until they aren’t slippery any longer. Now plunge them into the iced water and drain them completely.

Divide the noodles into two big shallow bowls and pour half the icy broth over each portion.

Decorate with cucumber, pear, daikon, bulgogi and gochujang. Add a packet of mustard oil to each bowl and scatter crushed sesame seeds over everything. Add a boiled egg and serve.

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