Bibim naeng myun (Korean spicy cold noodles) #SundaySupper

Bibim Naeng Myun | www.kimchimom.comGrowing up in a typical Korean household, my mom ruled the kitchen and my dad sat at the head of the table. He never lifted a finger when it came to cooking. Oh wait, I shouldn’t say “never”, I remember two instances when he “cooked” a meal.

There was ONE time when my mom was away. I think it was an overnight woman’s church retreat. It was just dad, my brother, my sister, and me. When it came around to dinner (or was it lunch?), us kids sat around the table waiting for what was going to be placed on the table. We watched as my dad methodically pulled out every dish that was covered in plastic wrap or in a plastic container, placed it in the microwave with plastic intact, and “beep, beep, beep”, the warmed container was placed on the table. I’m sure some of those containers sat in the fridge much longer than allowed. In the end, there were several containers of rice, some other stuff, a couple of soups, and a bowl of kimchi. This is all I remember. I don’t remember actually eating, but it must’ve been okay since we are all here, alive and well.

The second time my dad “cooked” something was when, again, he took leftover cold bulgogi and kimchi and spooned it into a hot dog roll. He thought he created THE million dollar sandwich and of course, I rolled my know-it-all-too-cool-for-school teenager eyes when my dad proudly presented his creation. However, it made an impact on me for two reasons:

1 – It was one of those rare moments when he made something to eat for himself.

2 – I thought the idea of a bulgogi sandwich was crazy and at the same time brilliant.

Now about 30 years later, I see these Asian inspired sandwiches all over the place. I could recreate a version of a sandwich, but in honor of Father’s Day, I’ve made one of his favorite dishes (and mine!) – bibim naeng myun (literally “mixed cold noodles”). Naeng myun is a popular Korean chilled noodle dish using buckwheat noodles and is the dish de rigeur for summer. It is often served alongside barbeque kalbi (marinated short ribs). Mul naeng myun may be a more popular alternative for naeng myun which is cold noodles in a chilled broth with various toppings. Bibim naeng myun is also served chilled, but without the broth and relying on the sauce for the flavor and spice!

Dad, Happy Father’s Day!

Note: The beef listed in the recipe below is a standard addition to the dish, but it can be omitted. And that is how my dad would prefer it since he no longer eats red meat!

Bibim Naeng Myun |

Bibim Naeng Myun

Yields bout 4 large servings

1 16 oz. package of dried naeng myun (the Korean buckwheat noodles can be found at your local Asian market)
1/2 lb. beef brisket

Bibim sauce (yields about 1 cup):
1/4 of a medium-sized onion, roughly chopped (about 2 ounces)
2 Tablespoons kochujang (red pepper paste)
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1-2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup red pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
About 1/2 cup of water or reserved beef broth

4 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup grated daikon (about half of a medium daikon)
2 hardboiled eggs
1/2 Bosc pear, thinly sliced in 2-inch lengths
1/2 medium English cucumber, peeled, cut in 2-inch sections, halved, and thinly sliced lengthwise

1 – Soak beef in cold water for about 20-30 minutes to draw out the blood.

2 – In a medium pot, add enough water to cover the beef. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer covered for about 2 hours.

3 – Remove beef from water and let cool. Set aside in the refrigerator and save reserved broth in a separate container. The beef will be easier to slice thinly once chilled.

4 – In a blender, purée the ingredients for the bibim sauce until smooth. (I used my Magic Bullet!) Set aside the mixture, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. This will also allow the flavors of the ingredients to meld together. If you can, it’s ideal if you can prepare this the day before, but a couple of hours in the refrigerator before serving is totally okay.

Preparing the noodles (make this right before serving)

1 – In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Cook the noodles for about 2-3 minutes.

2 – Drain and rinse with cold water about 3 times. I rinse the noodles by submerging them in cold water in the large pot and draining them in a finely mesh colander. Repeat this about 3 times.

7 – Loosely separate the noodles into 4 portions in the colander.

Preparing the bowls:

1 – Cut beef crosswise with the grain in very thin slices.

2 – Cut hardboiled egg in half lengthwise.

3 – Place mound of noodles in the center of the bowl.

4 – Spoon about 1/8 – 1/4 cup of bibim sauce in the center.

5 – Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.

6 – 1st option as shown in the 1st picture above: Fan the sliced pear on one side. Fan the sliced beef on the other side. Place half of a hardboiled egg in the center.

6a – 2nd option as shown in 2nd picture above: Fan cucumber slices on one side. Next to the cucumbers, place a spoonful of the grated daikon, and fan the sliced beef next to that. Place half of a hardboiled egg in the center.

7 – Serve and admire the presentation.

4 – Mix everything together until all the noodles are coated in the sauce. Add additional vinegar or sesame oil to taste.

This post is part of the #SundaySupper menu for Father’s Day. Please join the fun starting at 3 p.m. EST this Sunday. All you have to do is follow the hashtag #sundaysupper on twitter or follow along on TweetChat. Check out other amazing recipes from other #SundaySupper participants.

Father’s Day Brunch:

Dad’s Favorite Soup, Salads and Bread:

Father’s Day Favorite Main Dishes:

Dad’s Sweet Tooth:

Wine Pairings for Father’s Day ENOFYLZ



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  • Renee Dobbs

    Now I craving Korean food. I want a big bowl of these noodles right now!

    • AMY

      I just had a bowl for you!! :-)

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  • Soni/Soni’s Food for Thought

    Oooh I love Korean food and cannot wait to try your recipe.Luckily there’s a Korean store not far from our home!Thanks for sharing :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Awesome! Give it a try!

  • Juanita’s Cocina

    This looks amazing!  I adore Korean food!  This is something I’d definitely love to try at home!

  • Tora Estep

    I’m only just starting to learn about Korean food, but cool noodles in hot summer sounds delicious. 

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes, it’s pretty satisfying and perfect for summer!

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  • katyabroad

    This looks so good! And your post made me laugh because my grandad was exactly the same in the kitchen – the best he could do was a sandwich! My dad is slightly better, but he makes one hell of a mess just to cook something very simple :)

    • kimchi_mom

      My husband is the same…makes a huge mess for a simple dish. He also manages to use every pot and pan in the house!

  • jane

    this is my FAVORITE korean dish. i ask my mom to make it every time i go home, even in the dead of winter. and she almost always does! thanks for the recipe!

    • kimchi_mom

      I prefer this naeng myun over the mul naeng myun! And I agree, it’s perfect anytime of the year. As a side note, I add a couple of ladles of broth if the noodles are a little “sticky”.

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    This is definitely a favorite of mine! And I never have it without kalbi. It’s been a long time since I had this though, and I’ve never made a homemade version so I’m super excited to give your recipe a try! Plus I’ve been meaning to make more korean food at home.

    • kimchi_mom

      Yes you do! It’s so easy!

  • Isabel Foodie

    I love this recipe and love hearing about your parents! Thank you for sharing during #Sundaysupper!

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks! and thank you so much for #SundaySupper.

  • Alaiyo Kiasi-Barnes

    This dish looks delectable–and it’s going in my recipe files. I’ll make it without the beef. 

    • kimchi_mom

      Oh yeah, the beef can be omitted. There is also a version of naeng myun called hwae naeng myun. Hwae roughly meaning “raw fish”. I think skate is typically used, but my mom always served it with raw flounder. The same bibim sauce is used. It’s quite delicious and I love the coolness and texture of the raw fish!

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  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    Sometimes a great sandwich idea comes from the person you least expect it! Lovely presentation!

    • kimchi_mom

      You are right! :-) And thanks for the compliment!

  • Sofie Dittmann

    I LOVE Korean food! This looks perfect, w/ or w/o the beef.

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks! And yes, the noodles are the star of the show in this dish.

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  • Kris Adair

    I love the idea of a cold noodle salad. There is nothing like a simple dish that packs a lot of flavor.

    • kimchi_mom

      There are a lot of flavors and textures going on, but not too overwhelming. The buckwheat noodles are very chewy. Sometimes restaurant servers will cut it for you with shears to make it easier to eat.

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  • Supper for a Steal

    I know nothing about korean food, but this looks delicious! I definitely want to try it.

  • Kim Bee

    This is so unique and different. What a lovely recipe for Sunday Supper.

    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks! I look forward to participating in more Sunday Suppers!

  • Sunithi Selvaraj

    Yumm ! and lovely pics too :) Will make sometime :)

    • kimchi_mom

      Thank you! Let me know how it turns out!

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  • Kerry

    This is my FAVORITE summer dish but the sauce is never spicy enough in the packaged versions! I’m definitely going to try making your version as the weather has been unseasonably warm lately :)

    • Kerry

      I just made the sauce and sampled it and it tastes amazing! I added a little chili sesame oil to the sauce itself instead of adding regular sesame oil later ^^ Sauce is chilling in the fridge and I’m counting down the seconds until dinnertime!

      • kimchi_mom

        Awesome. The sauce lasts “forever” in the fridge! Okay, not forever, but for a while. Yeah, the store-bought sauces are always too mild for my taste…homemade is always better! Glad the sauce turned out well for you!

  • Samir

    Just wondering, any good store bought Gojujang recommendations? Everything that I’ve seen in my local stores is chock full of high fructose corn syrup.

    • kimchi_mom

      So I’ve read online that corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is produced by treating corn syrup, making it sweeter.

      Anyway, there aren’t any brands of gochujang that I know of that do not include corn syrup. I would try to look for brands that do not have it listed as the first ingredient. Choripdong lists it as the 3rd ingredient and has the least number of ingredients overall. Haioreum, however, lists corn syrup as the FIRST ingredient!! Hope this helps and thanks so much for visiting!

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  • Laura T

    I just ate this dish for the first time at a local Korean restaurant. I really liked it, except there was just too much sauce for me. So I am really excited to find your recipe and try making it myself. Looks delicious, pinning now!

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  • tevra

    with it I will likely have oksusu cha, and I also like bibim guksu

    • kimchi_mom


  • tevra

    your recipes all sound mouth watering delish.

    • kimchi_mom


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  • SententiaeDeo

    I love buckwheat noodles.