My sister and I would come home from school with bellies growling. She would drop her backpack and quickly whip up Bibim Naengmyeon in the kitchen. I was surprised that a dish made so fast could taste so good. The only noise heard at our dinner table was the ssslurp of our noodles as we quietly sat eating until our bowls were empty
Naengmyeon (pronounced nang-myun) is a traditional Korean cold noodle dish that is usually served and eaten during the hot summer months. It comes in two versions – one served in ice cold broth, and the other mixed in a spicy Gochujang sauce. The latter version is referred to as Bibim (translated to mean mixed) Naengmyeon because the noodles are mixed with vegetables, fruit, and a spicy red sauce. Personally, I love this dish anytime of year. It’s light and refreshing while at the same time spicy and smokey!
The unique flavor of this sauce is in the savory and bright Gochujang paste. Gochujang is a thick burgundy paste made from red chili peppers, sticky rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. The aging process creates a spicy and perfectly complex and funky paste that makes this dish so special. Gochujang comes packaged in a bright red container and can be found in most asian markets in the condiment aisle. If you can’t find it near you, this Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang) can always be purchased online. It’s a definite must for this noodle dish!
Naengmyeon noodles are a Korean style noodle made from buckwheat, sweet potato, and arrowroot. This noodle is brownish in color and delivers a springy bite, slightly chewier than soba noodles. If you can’t find these noodles in the asian market, it is perfectly fine to substitute with soba noodles. Regardless, It’s important to rinse out all of the starch in buckwheat noodles before serving. Make sure to rinse and wash the cooked noodles under cold running water until the starchiness is all removed and leaves no cloudy cast.
The toppings can vary from cucumbers, carrots, radishes, asian pears or apples, hard boiled eggs, and even thinly sliced brisket. The Bibim Naengmyeon world is your oyster! The ease of this dish is that you can add any topping you like. I like mine light and simple so I top my noodles with refreshing cucumbers, carrots, sweet asian pears, kimchi, and a hard boiled egg. As always, if you try this recipe leave me a comment below and share your pics with me on Instagram at thekimchichick.
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1½ Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 garlic, chopped
- 1 asian pear, peeled, cored
- ½ tsp roasted sesame seed
- ¼ cup kimchi
- ¼ cup carrots, sliced thin
- ¼ cup cucumber, seeds removed, sliced thin
- 1 egg boiled
- Naengmyeon noodles or soba noodles
- Marinate kimchi with ½ Tbsp sesame oil, ½ Tbsp sugar, sesame seeds. Mix well and let sit
- Make sauce by mixing Gochujang, soy sauce, white vinegar, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, ½ Tbsp sugar, garlic, ½ asian pear processed in blender or food processor
- Peel the carrot and slice matchstick thin
- Cut cucumber in half, use spoon to remove seeds, and slice matchstick thin
- Cut remaining asian pear into thin slices
- Place water into pot and place over heat. Once boiling, drop in noodles and cook until softened according to package instructions. Drain noodles in colander and wash under cold water several times until all starch is removed and water appears clear.
- Boil egg and cut in half
- Serve noodles in bowl topped with carrots, asian pear, cucumbers, and egg. Mix in sauce to coat noodles.
I sprinkle a little gochugaru and sesame seeds over the dish before serving