Recipe: Cold noodles in beef broth (Mul naeng myun)
Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes plus chilling time
Note: Adapted from “Korean Cooking for Everyone” by Ji Sook Choe and Yukiko Moriyama. Dongchimi kimchi and Korean buckwheat or arrowroot noodles are available at Korean markets (the noodles often come with soup-base seasoning packets, which can be discarded). Asian hot mustard and rice wine vinegar are available at Asian markets and well-stocked supermarkets.
1 pound beef brisket (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1( 1/2 -inch) knob (about ½ ounce) ginger root, peeled and sliced into discs
2 green onions, cut into thirds
1 serrano chile
5 tablespoons distilled vinegar, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups dongchimi liquid (from a large container of dongchimi kimchi)
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, plus additional for garnish
1 (22-ounce) package of Korean buckwheat or arrowroot noodles
1 Asian pear, peeled, cored and cut into quarters, then thinly sliced lengthwise
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
Rice wine vinegar, for garnish
Asian hot mustard or mustard oil, for garnish
1. In a large stock pot, bring 10 cups of water, the beef brisket, garlic, ginger, green onions, serrano chile, 3 tablespoons of the distilled vinegar and the soy sauce to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes uncovered.
2. Remove the meat using tongs and set it aside on a cutting board to dry, wrapped in paper towels. Place something heavy, such as a cast-iron skillet, on top of the meat to keep it flat. When it’s cool enough to handle, quarter the brisket. Slice a quarter of the brisket into one-eighth-inch-thick slices and reserve the rest for another use.
3. Skim any scum off the top of the broth. Remove the broth from the heat and strain into a large bowl. To the broth, add the dongchimi liquid, the remaining 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Stir to thoroughly combine and chill in an ice water bath, or refrigerated for about 2 hours, until very cold.
4. Prepare a large pot of boiling water and cook the noodles according to the package directions (about 2 minutes) until the noodles are just al dente, flexible but springy in texture and chewy. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
5. Divide the noodles into four large soup bowls. Pour the chilled broth over each pile of noodles. Top each bowl evenly to taste with the beef, pear, daikon, cucumber and half a hard-boiled egg. Serve accompanied by bowls of vinegar, hot Asian mustard and sugar to garnish.
Each serving: 824 calories; 30 grams protein; 151 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 118 mg. cholesterol; 1,527 mg. sodium.
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