North Korea’s Traditional “Naengmyeon” Recipe

To cope with the hot summer days, why not try one of North Korea’s renowned cold noodles, Mul Naengmyeon? A warm-season delicacy, Naengmyeon is a cold noodle dish of thin, chewy noodles made with buckwheat. It is common to serve the meal in a chilled broth made from beef or Korean radish kimchi. Here is how you can make this famous dish at home (for 2 people).



Noodles and Toppings

200 g. of dried naengmyeon noodles (Korean buckwheat noodles)

50 g. of Korean or nashi pear (peeled, cored, & thinly sliced)

40 g. of pickled radish/dongchimi radish (thinly sliced)

40 g. of cucumber (cut into thin strips)

1 hard-boiled egg (cut in half)

Toasted sesame seeds (to garnish)

*Optional yellow mustard paste

*Optional white or apple cider vinegar


Naengmyeon Broth

1 liter of water

150 g. of beef brisket

20 g. of onion (peeled)

5 g. of green onion (white part)

10 whole black peppers

2 cups of dongchimi brine (radish water kimchi brine)

2 tbsp. of white or apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. of Korean or nashi pear juice 

1 ½ tbsp. of sugar (fine)

½ tsp. of sea salt

¼ tsp. of yellow mustard powder



1. Soak the brisket in a bowl of water and set aside for 10 minutes, then drain the water. Add the water (1 liter), brisket, onion, green onion and black pepper into a pot. Then, cover it with the lid and boil it over high heat. 

2. Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer it until the brisket is tender and cooked. Strain the broth and cool it down for 30 minutes. 

3. Take out the meat onto a plate and cool it down until it is safe to touch. Cut any stringy fat off the meat and thinly slice it.

4. Combine the beef stock and the dongchimi brine into a bowl. Add the vinegar, pear juice, sugar, salt and mustard powder to season the naengmyeon broth. Stir to mix. Then, cover the bowl and put it into the freezer and lightly freeze it (3-4 hours). 

5. Boil the noodles following the package instruction. Then, drain the water away and rinse the noodles under cold running water a couple of times to cool them down. 

6. Drain the water quickly, and cut the noodles into portions to serve and place the noodles in a bowl to serve (1 bowl per person).

7. Pour the chilled naengmyeon broth over the noodles. Top it up with sliced beef, pickled radish, cucumber, pear and egg. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds. Then, serve immediately. 


*Optional: For an extra taste, add a little bit of mustard paste and vinegar into the soup.

Enjoy your meal!