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Pyongyang Naengmyon

Pyongyang Naengymeon originates from North Korea and has been referred to as the "Peace Noodle". It would be timely to mention it as the noodle dish offered by the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, as a peace gesture. In North Korea, they call it "Raengmyon". Although it was considered one of the great noodle dishes during the late Chosun Dynasty (1392-1897), it was something invented and enjoyed in the northern part of the peninsula. South Koreans did not really know much about it (nor liked it) until after the Korean War. For a long time, they believed that they invented it and that the North Koreans appropriated it. It is now one of the most popular summer cold noodle dishes on the peninsula and diaspora.


Beef Broth

  • 1/2 pound beef brisket
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 thin ginger slices (about 1 inch round)
  • 2 large scallion white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • <2 tablespoons soup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt, to taste

Buckwheat Noodles

  • 2 servings of naengmyeon noodles
  • 1 boiled egg, cut into strips
  • 1/2 Korean cucumber, cut into strips
  • 2 thin half-moon shape slices of a Korean pear
  • Vinegar
  • Hot mustard paste


  1. In a large pot, bring the meat, onion, scallions, garlic, ginger and peppercorns to a boil, uncovered, in 14 cups of water. Reduce the heat to medium low to keep it at a simmer, skimming the scum constantly. Continue to boil, covered, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Stir in soup soy sauce with 10 minutes remaining. Remove the meat and cool. Discard the vegetables. Cool the broth.
  2. Pour 5 cups of the broth to a bowl (about 2-1/2 cups per serving). Stir in one teaspoon of sugar and salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon). You can add 1 cup of dongchimi broth, if available, and reduce the beef broth by the same amount. Also use less salt. Keep it in the freezer for an hour or two until the broth becomes slushy. Keep the remaining broth in the fridge or freezer for later use.
  3. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Thinly slice crosswise, lightly sprinkle with salt, and let it sit until the cucumber slices are wilted. Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Thinly slice the pear into a half-moon shape if using.
  4. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath while water is boiling. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain quickly and shock in the ice water to stop cooking. Drain and rinse again in icy cold water until the noodles are very cold.
  5. Make two one-serving size mounds, placing in a colander to drain.
  6. Place one serving of noodles in the middle of the serving bowl and top with the pickled radish, slices of beef, cucumber, and pear if using, and the egg half. Pour one half of the icy broth around the noodles. Repeat for another serving. Serve with vinegar and hot mustard paste on the side.

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