This quick & easy naengmyeon recipe features soft and chewy noodles served in an icy cold broth, topped with pickled radish and a boiled egg to finish. These Korean cold noodles come together in minutes using pre-made stock to instantly cool you down on a hot summer day.
What is naengmyeon?
There’s nothing that I crave more on a hot sunny day than a refreshing bowl of Naengmyeon, which is one of Korea’s most beloved dishes in the summertime.
Recently with the hot humid weather, I have been making these noodles on a daily basis as it’s a low effort meal that’s light, refreshing, and so quick to make if you have the right ingredients at hand.
Naengmyeon (냉면), which translates to cold noodles in Korean, is a popular cold noodle dish featuring thin buckwheat noodles that are soft and chewy in texture.
There are two types of Nengmyeon depending on how the noodles are served – Mul Naengmyeon (뮬냉면) which is served in a clear, refreshing broth, and Bibim Naengmyeon (비빔냉면) which is served with a sweet, spicy, and tangy sauce, similar to Bibim Guksu.
Mul Naengmeyon, which is often referred to as Pyongyang naengmyeon with respect to its origins, is the most classic form of cold noodles that are incredibly satisfying and refreshing to have in the summertime.
It is personally my favorite kind of cold noodles, and easily one of my most treasured Korean dishes ever since I was a child.
There is something so alluring about Mul Naengmyeon – the soft & chewy texture of the noodles, the icy cold broth with the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors, and how they both come together with various toppings to finish.
These noodles can be served on their own, or alongside a K-BBQ spread or a side of dumplings if you prefer a heartier meal.
As displayed in many k-dramas, Naengmyeon makes for an incredibly refreshing dish to have after a hot and smoky Korean BBQ session, which is one of my favorite way to eat these noodles!
Today I’ll be sharing with you my easy recipe to prepare your own bowl of Nengmyeon in the comfort of your home, which is super convenient and quick to make thanks to the pre-made stock that we will be using.
Although you can make the stock from scratch, it can get incredibly time-consuming and expensive, which are the reasons why I highly recommend using pre-made stock (pictured below) for this recipe.
Despite its seamless preparation, this easy nengmyeon recipe is so incredibly and tastes a lot better than your restaurant options, and I highly recommend giving it a try!
What do I need to make Nengmyeon?
As this Nengmyeon recipe uses pre-made stock, you’ll only need a handful of ingredients and minimal effort to prepare a fresh bowl of Korean cold noodles.
Here is everything you’ll need for this recipe:
- Cold noodle soup stock: these packets can be found in the freezer aisle of Korean grocery stores in two different flavors – Dongchimi (radish water kimchi) which are pictured above, or beef.
- These stock packets are often sold in a pack of 5 with a long expiry date which makes them super convenient and easy to store.
- To prepare, simply grab a pack and add it to a bowl of cold water, then break up the remaining ice pieces with a mallet or a rolling pin before serving.
- You can also purchase them online in case you can’t find them in stores.
- Naengmyeon noodles: the fresh version of these noodles should be located in the same place as the stock, but they also come in dried noodle form, which is the type I use most often.
- These Choung Soo noodles are my personal favorite, which are ready in just 4 minutes. These pack of noodles also come with a soup base which you can try, but the frozen soup stocks are a lot better in quality.
- Cucumber and pickled radish: for the vegetables. The sweet and sour pickled radish are a staple for Nengmyeon, and can be prepared easily using 5 simple ingredients, in which I’ll be sharing in the section below.
- If you don’t prefer to make them at home, you can also use store-bought yellow pickled radish which has a similar flavor profile, or skip it altogether.
- Boiled eggs and crushed sesame seeds: for the toppings. The perfect boil time for the eggs are 9 minutes for Nengmyeon, which will yield a hard-boiled yolk with a softer texture.
- For the crushed sesame seeds, I recommend using toasted sesame seeds and crushing them with a mortar or pestle or a spoon, to maximize its aromas and flavor.
- The nutty aromas pair wonderfully with the tangy broth, so I highly recommend adding them to finish!
And that’s it! All the ingredients you’ll need for this easy naengmyeon recipe. Some people also like to season the broth with yellow mustard and vinegar, but that is totally upto personal preference.
How do you make Korean pickled radish?
The thin slices of pickled radish is a staple for Naengmeyon, to be used as a topping as well as served on the side in place of your traditional Kimchi.
Its sweet and tangy flavors make it to be a perfect side dish and garnish for your cold noodles, and can also be served alongside your grilled meats in K-BBQ.
All you need to prepare your own batch are daikon radish, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and gochugaru powder, in which thye can be stored up-to 2 weeks in the fridge for you to enjoy.
To prepare, peel off the skin of the radish and slice them as thinly as you can (the consistency will be almost paper thin, so that you can see through the daikon), then cut them into strips.
Prepare the marinade by mixing together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and gochugaru (for optional spice), then massage the daikon pieces into the mixture until they are well coated.
Transfer to a jar and let them marinate on the counter for at least 30 minutes, in which they are ready to be served afterwards. The thinner the strips are, it’ll take less time for them to marinate.
If there are any leftovers, Korean pickled radish can be stored for up-to 2-3 weeks in the fridge in a mason jar or any other airtight container.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious cold noodle recipe, and and as usual, please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Instagram with any questions you may have. Happy cooking everyone! 💛
Other easy cold noodle recipes you may like:
- Garlic Chili Oil Noodles
- Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)
- Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles)
- Sesame Noodles
- Soy Sauce Noodles (Ganjang Bibim Guksu)
Easy Naengmyeon (Korean Cold Noodles)
Korean Pickled Radish
- 200 g daikon radish peeled
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
For the pickled radish:
- Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, and gochugaru in a bowl. Slice the daikon as thinly as you can, then cut them into small strips (pictured above).
- Massage the daikon pieces into the mixture until they are well coated. Transfer to an airtight container and marinate on the counter for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers for upto 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
For the naengmyeon:
- Defrost the cold noodle stock in cold water for about 10 minutes. While the stock is defrosting, prepare the noodles according to package instructions, rinse well under cold water, and drain.
- Add the noodles to a bowl and garnish with cucumber, pickled radish, crushed sesame seeds, and boiled egg. Break up the remaining ice in the stock by using a mallet or a rolling pin, and pour over the noodles to serve.
- Season with mustard and/or vinegar if needed, and enjoy!
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