Photograph by Will Anderson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Gather Says Relax: Food as Retreat

Naengmyeon Soup

Mains from Issue 13 - Summer 2018 – The Getaway issue

In Korea, there’s no more reliable panacea for beating the drudgery of summertime heat than a hearty bowl of ice-cold naengmyeon, a chilled beef brisket-based broth with a knot of slender buckwheat noodles and slivered cucumber and Asian pear. It’s a remedy we’ve very happily adopted. The ease of our recipe, contributed by creative director Michele’s mother Chong Outland, makes it that much more seasonally appropriate.

serves 2

  • ½ lb beef brisket
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar

  • 1 Kirby cucumber, cut into short sticks
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dry mustard powder
  • 8 oz naengmyeon noodles (Korean wheat and buckwheat noodles, not soba)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, halved
  • 1 Asian pear, peeled and cut into thin half moons
  • ice, for serving (optional)

  • 1

    Place brisket in a saucepan with 8 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, skimming foam as needed, 1 hour. Remove brisket and chill, loosely covered. Let broth stand 5 minutes then strain into a bowl, discarding any sediment. Stir soy sauce, sugar, and salt into broth, then chill until very cold.

  • 2

    Toss cucumbers with vinegar, salt, and sugar and let sit 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.

  • 3

    In another bowl, mix the mustard powder with 1 Tbsp water, and let sit 10 minutes.

  • 4

    Cook noodles according to package directions, then rinse vigorously with cold water until chilled.

  • 5

    To serve, mound the noodles in two bowls and then top each with thin slices of brisket, pickled cucumbers, pear slices, and egg halves. Skim off any fat from the broth and stir in some ice (if it’s a really hot day). Stir in the remaining 2 tsp vinegar and season to taste with reserved cucumber pickling liquid. Ladle into the bowls. Stir in mustard paste until desired spiciness and serve.