Have you ever been to Korean in the Summer? It’s hot. Really hot! Sticky, miserable hot! So cold noodles are very popular during the Summer. I’ve been posting many different types of cold noodle recipes with cold sauces and this recipe that I’m sharing today is one of the most well-known and popular Korean soba noodle dish called “Nenmyon”. I’m not a huge fan of Mulnengmyon which is soba noodles in cold broth but I do love bibim nengmyon which is broth-less soba noodles with spicy sauce.
I’d never made my own nengmyon sauce before but when I was looking for something to eat for lunch one afternoon, I was intrigued to learn that it is possible to make this sauce at home! So easily!
Unlike many other spicy sauces for noodles that I’ve posted about, this sauce recipe doesn’t ask for Gochujang (Korean pepper paste). It does, however, require a few ingredients.
One recipe makes a big jarful of the sauce and let me tell you, I’ve been eating this sauce everyday with everything. I love this sauce and it is seriously one of the best sauces I’ve ever made that is not gochujang based! It’s spicy! I love how spicy it is because a lot of times, I make something spicy and I often feel like it’s just not spicy enough! But this sauce, spicy enough, delicious spicy! Oftentimes when something is too spicy, you can’t really taste anything else but the heat, but this sauce is spicy and flavorful at the same time. I just fell in love with it immediately after I tried it.
You will need some fruits to grind for this recipe. I used Korean melon and green apples but you can use pineapple chunks and red apples if you prefer. Or Asian pears will work great, too. You will need about one Korean melon (or about 1 cup of pineapple chunks or Asian pears) and 1/2 of a green apple (or red apple). In a blender, place the fruits, water, soy sauce, 1 green onion (or 1/4 onion), garlic, ginger, Korean cider (or use Sprite or Seven Up) and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, cook Nengmyon (Korean soba) noodles according to package instructions. (To make it a quick recipe, I added soy sauce directly to the blender. But you can heat soy sauce in a saucepan over low heat until heated thoroughly and add the soy sauce after the fruits have been blended)
Add gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), then brown sugar to the blended mixture.
When the noodles are cooked, rinse the noodles with cold water and set aside. Add honey to the blended mixture, then sesame oil, and stir until smooth.
The sauce is spicy and sweet. Add however much sauce you need for your noodles. I add about 3-4 big tablespoonfuls to my noodles.
- Korean Soba noodles (for Nengmyon), cooked according to package instructions
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup Korean cider (or Sprite or 7Up)
- 1 Korean melon (chamway), peeled and cut into quarters (or use 1 cup pineapple chunks or 1 Asian pear)
- ½ green apple, peeled and cut in half (or use red apple)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- ginger, about 1-inch piece, peeled
- 1 cup Korean red pepper flakes
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons Korean toasted sesame oil
- Sesame seeds, optional
- Rinse the cooked noodles with cold water until the noodles are cooled.
- In a blender or food processor, add the water, soy sauce, Korean cider (or Sprite or 7Up), the fruits, green onions, garlic, and ginger and blend or process until the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the gochugaru and stir gently with spoon, until smooth.
- Add the brown sugar and stir gently until smooth. Add the honey, pinch of salt and stir gently until smooth.
- Add the sesame oil and stir again until smooth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
- Add about 3-4 tablespoonfuls of the sauce over one serving of noodles. Stir well with chopsticks and serve with cucumbers that are sliced in strips if desired.
- *Note: I added the soy sauce directly to the blender to make it a quick recipe for me. But you can heat soy sauce with chopped ginger in a saucepan over low heat until it’s lukewarm, then add it to the blender with or without the ginger.*
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