Korean icy cold noodles (naengmyeon: 냉면) are one of my favorite things to make all year ‘round, even in the cold winter. I can’t resist the texture of the chewy and thin noodles, no matter if they are served with cold broth (mul-naengmyeon: 물냉면) or in a spicy sauce (bibim-naengmyeon: 비빔냉면). Especially on hot summer days like these, I really feel my body cools right down after I slurp the cold noodles and drink the leftover cold icy broth. The cold broth is tangy, savory, and a little sweet and the noodles are soft but chewy at the same time.

Today I’m going to show you how to make mul-naengmyeon, icy cold noodles in a chilled broth. Traditionally the broth is made from the brine of fermented radish water kimchi (dongchimi: 동치미) and beef stock, and if you’ve been following me for a long time, you know that I made it that way in a naengmyeon video years ago, and also included that traditional mul-naengmyeon in my first cookbook. They both have a different recipe for the broth and I’ll include them below, if you want to see them.

But today’s mul-naengmyeon recipe is a more user-friendly version. I don’t make my own broth from scratch, but instead use the concentrated broth powder or liquid that comes with the naengmyeon noodles package (Amazon link) as a base. Then I add some pear juice and some sweet and sour cucumber pickle brine to enhance the taste.

I often make this easy mul-naengmyeon these days. It’s so simple and in my opinion it tastes much better than mul-naengmyeon in a restaurant. You can try it out and let me know what you think!


Serves 2

  • 10 ounces (280 grams) dried naengmyeon noodles
  • 2 packets of liquid or powdered concentrated broth that comes with the package of naengmyeon noodles
  • 2 packets of mustard oil that comes with the package of naengmyeon noodles.
  • ½ English cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 1 Korean pear (or 2 bosc pears)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, cut in halves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ground
  • ice cubes

Make broth

  1. Open the packets of the concentrated broth and put them into a bowl. Mix with 4 cups of water.
  2. Keep in the freezer for 4 to 5 hours so it gets slushy. brothIf you can’t make the broth in advance, make the broth with only 2 cups of water and add 2½ cups of ice cubes. Keep it in the fridge while you prepare everything else, and take it out just when you’re ready to serve.

Prepare cucumber and pear garnishes

  1. Make quick pickled cucumbers by combining the sliced cucumber, kosher salt, ½ teaspoon sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Mix it well and set aside.
  2. Make sugar water by mixing 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  3. Peel the pear and slice into halves. Slice one half into thin strips and soak them in the sugar water to keep them from going brown.
  4. Grate the other half of the pear and squeeze out the juice using a cotton cloth or cheesecloth. You should get about ½ cup of pear juice. If you use small bosc pears, use one for garnish and the other for pear juice.
  5. Take the bowl of broth out of the freezer. Squeeze some cucumber brine into the broth and add the pear juice. pear juice
  6. Mix well and put the broth back in the fridge or freezer until the noodles are ready.

Prepare noodles

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and let them cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Take a sample to taste. When you chew the noodles, there shouldn’t be any hard stuff inside. Be sure not to overcook them or they’ll go soggy.
  3. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water until they aren’t slippery any more and are well cooled.naengmyeon noodles
  4. Fill a large bowl with cold water and some ice cubes. Add the noodles and rinse them a final time.
  5. Drain the noodles and divide them into 2 large shallow bowls.

Put it together

  1. Pour the icy broth into each bowl.cold broth
  2. Place the cucumber and pear on top.
  3. Add a packet of mustard oil to each bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds powder. Add a half egg on top of each bowl.
  5. Serve right away.


Variation 1: Anchovy, mushroom, & kelp stock broth

If you have more time, anchovy stock broth is a more delicious and savory option than using the packets that come with the noodles. This is the kind of broth I made in my original naengmyeon video, years ago. I didn’t show the exact process in the video, but it’s pretty easy:



  1. Boil 8 cups of water with all ingredients for 20 minutes over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat and cook another 20 minutes. Strain, cool it down and put it in the freezer.

Mustard paste

In the video I also make a homemade mustard paste by mixing 1 tbs of mustard powder and ½ tbs water, and then setting it in a warm place for 5 minutes for it to ferment (in the video, it’s on the top of the pot!).

naengmyeon cold noodles

Variation 2: Traditional broth using dongchimi & beef stock

This is the most delicious, tangy, beefy, unique tasting broth you will ever have, but it also takes the longest to make, because dongchimi (water radish kimchi) itself needs at least 4 to 5 days to ferment, and then we use that brine in our naengmyeon.

Even though it takes a lot of effort, the taste is unbeatable and much better than you can get any other way. This recipe is from my first book, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking.



  1. Rinse the brisket under cold running water, then soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to remove any blood, so you get a nice, clear broth.
  2. Bring the 7 cups water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Drain the brisket and add to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 50 minutes.
  4. Take out the brisket and set the broth aside to cool.
  5. Thinly slice the beef. Cover and refrigerate.
  6. Combine the beef broth and kimchi brine in a freezer safe bowl. Add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Cover and put into the freezer.


  1. Later, when you serve your mul-naengmyeon, use the slices of beef as a garnish, along with the cucumber, pear, and egg. You can also add some thin slices of dongchimi if you have it.

traditional mul-naengmyeon

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  1. Jang-geum Charlotte, NC joined 9/20 & has 26 comments

    Made mul-naengmyeon at home today…Yum!

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  2. Unn0tic3d United States joined 1/23 & has 1 comment

    Really good! I made mine very broth and didn’t have cucumber nor egg but even without it, I enjoyed it.

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  3. Seattle Doc Saeattle joined 7/21 & has 1 comment

    Traditional broth: dongchimi & beef stock

    My grandmother used to make this traditional version when I was growing up in Korea many decades ago. I was so young then I could not add the hot mustard and still be able to eat the soup.

    I made a packaged version today and I was very disappointed. It was not the version that my grandmother made.

    I turned to Google to see how I can replicate my grandmother’s version. My grandmother and my mother are both deceased and I cannot ask them. This is going to be my summer project; make dongchimi first then naengmyen.

    Thanks for your blog. I spent so much time becoming and being a doc, learning to make Korean dishes got sidelined when I was younger. I use your blog to “successfully fumble” my way in the kitchen to my family’s approval.

  4. hawaiihoney Honolulu, Hawaii joined 3/20 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi! You’ve inspired me to start cooking dishes of my Korean roots. I used apple instead of pear but no major issue there. Excited to try more of your recipes!

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  5. strawberrycheeks Sri Lanka joined 6/18 & has 9 comments

    I’m sorry I think I posted the wrong comment, does anyone know how to delete this?

  6. strawberrycheeks Sri Lanka joined 6/18 & has 9 comments

    Hello Maangchi and anyone else who’s reading this!

    I found a substitute for the noodles if you can’t find it where you live: white rice noodles! Soak it in boiling water for a minute or two and don’t cook it, just keep checking until you feel like the texture is right. Then rinse with cold water and add ice. That’s it!

    I also have a broth substitute: water, salt, sugar, black vinegar, fish sauce, beef/chicken stock and kimchi juice! Of course it doesn’t taste as good but it’s an easy replacement. Hope it helps!

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  7. Sio lover Ksa joined 12/16 & has 46 comments

    I got weird noodles today and I really need a good recipe and I want to know if it’s good brand or not؟

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    • Faetourdie Paris joined 12/11 & has 2 comments

      Hi, I’m answering late but sadly these noodles are “dangmyeon”, which you can use to make japchae or jjimdak but they’re not the right noodles for mul-naengmyeon. You can try it though, maybe it will turn out fine :)

  8. TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16 & has 26 comments

    Found your recipe for soy milk noodle soup (2009) and there are loads of requests for you to make a new video!! Could you consider it, please, Maangchi…?

  9. WildRose85 Oregon joined 10/13 & has 6 comments

    The most popular brand has great noodles but the broth is terrible. My favorite way of making an easy broth is to make dongchimi and mix it with canned beef broth and dilute it with water. I also mix mustard powder with rice vinegar as a seasoning.

  10. JohaK Argentina joined 12/17 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi:
    Where iam from i dont have Korean Pear or Bosc Pear, we just have the regular green pear, is there something i can use instead??
    I have the same question for making the Dongchimi

    • pink1e San Francisco joined 7/14 & has 3 comments

      Not sure where you live but you can always buy Korean pears online at hmart.com. Buy the box and prepare a bunch of recipes for the freezer. I’d make a bunch of bulgogi marinade to freeze. I’m too lazy to make dongchimi so I buy it too.. Lol.

  11. pink1e San Francisco joined 7/14 & has 3 comments

    Hi! I just came back from Korea and I’ve been craving this because we don’t really have a good restaurant that has this with the perfect texture or taste. Do you have a video making the beef broth (yuksu) that usually comes with the mul naengmyun in restaurants? Is it the same as the beef broth base in the traditional style minus the dongchimi?

  12. MissChaaaa Philippines joined 2/17 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangi,
    Is there another way or recipe to make Naengmyeon without beef? Maybe lamb broth or chicken? My sister cannot eat beef due to religious beliefs by our parents since birth. I hope theres another way because when she tried the noodles from my naengmyeon she really really REALLY loved it. hehe :)

  13. lilmissteapot Asia joined 4/16 & has 1 comment

    I’ve seen this dish on episode 13 Descendant of the Sun. After that I come to your site, knowing that you must have the recipe.

  14. Hi maangchi, can I use this pack of frozen broth? I got this from the Lotte Mart in Singapore where I live. Also can you advise what this broth can also be used for, other than for naengmyeon?
    I only managed to find out (through Google Translate) that this is indeed the broth for cold noodles, but I could not get through ALL the small sized Korean wording.

    Thank you very much!

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  15. theandaayman California joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    Can I use American chicken broth / beef broth?

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