Mul naengmyeon (물냉면) is a refreshing soup to eat in the summer that is very popular in the Republic of Korea. One of the most popular pastimes in Korea is hiking–over 70% of the peninsula is mountains, so there’s plenty to explore! People typically pack large picnics to eat at the top of the mountain with different kimbap, pajeon, soups, and lots of side dishes, fruits, and maekgoli. Mul naengmyeon is very popular for summer hiking because not only can the ingredients be assembled beforehand and then mixed with cold broth once ready to eat but also the cold icy broth helps to refresh you from hiking in hot and humid weather.
- One medium onion
- Several stalks green onion
- 1/2 lb beef, ideally brisket or similarly fatty cut
- Several cloves garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- One medium Korean pear or 2-3 tablespoons Korean pear juice
- 2 cups water kimchi brine
- This is a good recipe for making water kimchi at home if you can’t find it in stores: https://mykoreankitchen.com/dongchimi/
- You could substitute this by adding one medium Korean radish (daikon), 1″ long piece of ginger, black pepper, two tablespoons vinegar, one tablespoon soy sauce, and a bit of sugar to the broth
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil uncovered, then cover the pot and cook at a low boil for about one hour until the meat is cooked. Take the meat out and let cool; once cooled, thinly slice it to top the soup. Meanwhile, discard the vegetables and let the broth cool to room temperature before freezing or refrigerating.
Serving the Soup
- ~2 ounces per serving buckwheat noodles or sweet potato noodles, to preference
- Cucumber, thinly sliced and peeled if necessary
- Korean pear, washed and thinly sliced
- Daikon, peeled and thinly sliced, and/or water kimchi
- Sesame oil
- Hard boiled egg
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Place the cooked noodles in a bowl and fill the bowl with the icy broth (NOTE: if you chose to refrigerate the broth instead of freezing it, add several ice cubes to the bowl to serve). Add however many different toppings you want and enjoy!