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Pumpkin Lover

Bibim Naengmyeon (Nang Mein) vs. Bibim Guksu

8 posts in this topic

The topic name says it all: I'm wondering what are the key differences between these two noodle preparations.

I ask because last night, I went to a Japanese/Korean restaurant and had a ridiculously delicious dish of squid, veggies, and pasta (the menu stated that they use angel-hair pasta -- it definitely wasn't buckwheat noodles). I want to recreate the dish somehow, especially the sauce -- it reminded me of a less-industrial, better-tasting version of that thick, just sugary, sweet-and-spicy Maggi sauce that you can find at Asian supermarkets. The sauce that was on the noodle dish from last night, though, had just a little bit of sweetness -- it was a great, balanced, spicy sauce and I wanted to snarf it all.

Any help, definitions, and/or recipes are welcome -- thanks!

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Naeng Myun may very well be my favorite Korean dish of all time, so I couldn't resist!!!

Naeng Myun is made from buckwheat (usually), kudzu, or other combinations of starchy flours. As I understand it, the starch content in the flour used is what makes the noodles so chewy and elastic. Guksu is usally made from wheat flour, resulting in a texture much more in line with Western style pastas. My Korean friend's mother told me that Naeng Myun come from the Northern portion of Korea originally, but it is now really popular all over N and S Korea.

The sauce for Bibim Naengmyun is based on Gochu Jang, Korean fermented red pepper paste. There are some pre-mixed versions of the sauce available at Korean markets, but it is easy to mix up yourself. I usually use a store bought Gochu Jang and just mix in some simple syrup (some people use Sprite or Coca Cola for this!), sesame oil, a little soy sauce, and some garlic (I always use roasted garlic, but some like raw garlic in it). Just add the extra ingredients to taste. It's easy to make, and I try to keep some mixed up Gochujang around all the time.

Hope this helps!


Greg

www.norbutea.com

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I forgot to add an explanation of the "Bibim" part of the name of the dishes in question!

Bibim means "mixed," from the verb Bibeo, "to mix." In my experience, the term Bibim is used in the Korean food setting when the diners mix the Gochu Jang (literally means Pepper Sauce) into the dish themselves. Most of the time Bibim Naengmyun or Guksoo is served with the pepper sauce mixed in with the noodles, but dishes like Bibim Bap (lit: mixed rice) are served with the gochu jang on the side so you can add it to your taste. If you haven't had Dolsot Bibimbap on a cold day, you don't know what you are missing!


Greg

www.norbutea.com

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I had heard Naeng myeon originally (?) might have included acorn flour as well. Would that be correct, and would there be types of NM commonly available that still have acorns as part of the flours used to create the noodle? Thanks.

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I had heard Naeng myeon originally (?) might have included acorn flour as well. Would that be correct, and would there be types of NM commonly available that still have acorns as part of the flours used to create the noodle? Thanks.

I have had a starchy jello type thing as a side dish with a Korean meal that was made from acorn starch, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone had used acorns in making noodles. I have had naengmyun that range in color from white to brown to dark black in color, and my lack of Korean vocabulary got in the way of figuring out exactly what all the different ones actually were made of. Maybe I have had acorn naengmyun.

I don't know of a commonly available naengmyun brand off the top of my head that uses acorn, but I only buy naengmyun frozen since the dried ones don't ever have the right texture in my experience. The frozen ones are almost always the brown buckwheat variety, by the way. There are generally more varieties of naengmyun dried at the Korean grocery that I go to than frozen. My curiosity has been awakened, so I will check next time I go for sure.


Greg

www.norbutea.com

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I suppose I would have a preference for guksu noodles, but more importantly:

Does anyone have a recipe for the sauce that accompanies bibim naengmyeon/guksu? Also, what are traditional toppings? I did enjoy the squid and vegetables very much.

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