I remember in the first season of David Chang's Mind of a Chef, he talked about eating mul-naengmyeon with his father at golf courses during the summer heat. There was something about how he evoked his childhood memories when talking about this dish that really piqued my interest.
I have to confess that the original noodles made with buckwheat, sweet potato starch, and wheat flour mixed are essential for this dish. Unfortunately, I didn't have any on hand, so I went with mung bean noodles, which are a bit chewier than normal rice noodles. It was ok for a quick improvisation, but I did miss the chewiness of the original noodles. I ended up making a bit extra broth and stored it in the freezer so that hopefully I can track some of the naengmyeon noodles down to enjoy on another hot day.
A note on the seitan - This recipe is the same from the previous day's dinner. It's a bit smokier than I would have liked for this dish, but it's still really tasty.
1 cup wheat gluten
2 tbsp chickpea flour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
8 cups vegetable broth
2" fresh ginger, sliced
2 green onions, cut into 2" lengths
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 small cucumbers, julienned
1/2 lb daikon radish, julienned
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 lb mung bean noodles
For the broth, place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes and then strain into freezer safe containers. Let soup cool and place into freezer.
For the seitan, Combine and mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together and pour into wheat gluten mixture. Stir until combined. Knead 3-4 minutes to develop gluten.
Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes. Knead a few more times and shape into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap with a layer of parchment paper followed by a layer of tinfoil. Bake at 325F for 45-50 minutes. Slice, cube, chop seitan and use in any recipe as a meat substitute.
For the toppings, combine the cucumbers with half the salt and half the vinegar in one bowl. Do the same with the radishes. Let both stand for around 10 minutes to create a quick pickle.
For the noodles, follow the package instructions.
To assemble, place the noodles in the bottom of a bowl. Pour in the soup base - you'll want it to be a bit like a slushy mixture. Top the noodles with the cucumber, radish, and the seitan slices.
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- Julia Feld