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With the weather warming up, I am excited to introduce you to one of my favorite types of food: Korean cold noodles.
I am the first to admit that, when my husband first introduced me to cold noodles, the concept seemed quite strange and foreign. While the southerner in me enjoyed cold summer foods like chicken, potato salad, and the occasional gazpacho, I had never heard of a cold noodle dish beyond macaroni salad.
But, as someone who doesn’t handle the hot weather well, I soon welcomed the refreshing ice-cold broths and flavors associated with Korean cold noodles. Now, when the weather is hot and humid, I can’t help but crave different styles of cold noodles!
Below, we listed our top 10 favorite Korean cold noodle dishes for you to try this summer! So, let’s get started!
Top 10 Korean Cold Noodles
We hope you enjoy this list of Korean cold noodles. If you do, let us know which is your favorite in the comment section below!
1. Kimchimari Guksu (김치말이국수): Cold Kimchi Noodle Soup
To start, let’s make kimchimari guksu! To make this dish, you need to prepare an ice-cold and spicy broth from kimchi. You then place the broth into the freezer for a few hours until it turns slushy.
You then prepare the noodles which you will then place into the icy broth. Typically, people in Korea top this dish with ingredients such as cucumbers, sesame seeds, boiled eggs, and Asian pears.
2. Bibimmyeon (비빔면): Spicy Korean Cold Noodles
Bibimmyeon is a style of spicy Korean cold noodle that uses a gochujang (Korean fermented red pepper paste)-based sauce. Unlike the recipe above, this cold noodle dish does not sit in an icy broth. Instead, the noodles are rinsed in cold water until they are chilled. Then, you mix the noodles with the spicy sauce before serving them in a bowl topped with cucumbers, sesame seeds, and boiled eggs.
You may have tried the instant ramen version of this dish. But, if you want to make this at home, try using our recipe you can find at Carving A Journey!
3. Kimchi Bibim Guksu (김치 비빔 국수): Kimchi Spicy Cold Noodles
Kimchi bibim guksu is a variation of the spicy cold mixed noodles mentioned above. While our recipe is based on the instant ramen version without kimchi, this variation includes kimchi in the mixed noodles.
Typically, for this dish, you want to use fully fermented kimchi instead of freshly made kimchi. By the time the summer comes around, your fall kimchi should be perfectly ripe for this dish!
We recommend using Hyosun’s recipe from her blog Korean Bapsang!
4. Japchae (잡채): Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry
On this list, japchae is probably the most famous cold noodle dish outside of South Korea. Many people find japchae to be an easy gateway into enjoying Korean food!
You make this noodle dish using Korean sweet potato noodles. You then mix different sautéed vegetables with the noodles using a sesame- and soy-based sauce. Japchae can be served hot, room temperature, or chilled. No matter what, you will enjoy this mild, filling, and veggie-filled Korean noodle dish!
5. Jaengban Guksu (쟁반 국수): Cold Noodles With Fresh Vegetables
Jaengban guksu is a dish meant to share with the entire table. People in Korea serve this dish on a large platter. When translated, ‘jaengban’ means ‘a large platter/tray’ and ‘guksu’ means ‘noodles.’
On the platter, the noodles sit in the center. Then, different fresh vegetable options surround the noodles. Each person takes their desired portion of noodles and vegetables from the platter! Then, they top the dish with a deliciously spicy and tangy sauce.
For this recipe, we recommend checking out Hyosun’s blog Korean Bapsang!
6. Jjolmyeon (쫄면): Korean Spicy Chewy Noodles
Jjolmyeon refers to a spicy and chewy type of Korean cold noodles. The word ‘jjol’ refers to the Korea word ‘Jjolgit-jjolgit (쫄깃쫄깃).’ People in Korea use this word to describe a particular type of chewiness in certain foods–ㅑn this case, the noodles are extremely chewy.
People then add a spicy sauce to the chilled chewy noodles. In many ways, the flavor is similar to the bibimmyeon noodles mentioned above!
For this recipe, we recommend checking out Sue’s recipe from her blog My Korean Kitchen.
7. Dongchimi Guksu (동치미국수): Cold Noodle Soup With Radish Kimchi
Dongchimi Guksu refers to a style of Korean cold noodles that use radish-water kimchi as the base. In Korea, you can find two different variations of this dish. The first variation tastes spicy. You will notice that the broth is red. The second variation does not include any spice. For this version, you will notice the broth is clear.
8. Kongguksu (콩국수): Cold Soy Milk Noodle Soup
Once again, this is another recipe in which the noodles sit in a cold broth. Kongguksu refers to noodles sitting in a broth made of soy milk.
If you choose to make this dish, note that it can take a while to complete. The style of soy milk used is nothing like the western variation you can buy in the store. For this reason, we recommend checking out JinJoo’s recipe on her blog Kimchimari! She gives an in-depth explanation of how to make the soy milk you need for this recipe!
9. Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면): Korean Cold Noodles in Broth
Naengmyeon is a famous cold noodle dish common in both North and South Korea. People make this dish by first making long and thin noodles by hand. The noodles can be made from buckwheat flour or a combination of different types of flour such as wheat, sweet potatoes, and arrowroot starch.
While this dish was historically served during winter, the Mul Naengmyeon variation became popular as a summer dish. ‘Mul’ refers to ‘water.’
Depending on where a person is from, their preference for naengmyeon will differ. For example, vinegar, mustard oil, and sugar are common additives in North Korea. In South Korea, people rarely add sugar. Below we listed a variation of naengmyeon.
For this recipe, we recommend checking out Cynthia’s blog Two Red Bowls!
10. Bibim Naengmyeon (비빔냉면): Korean Spicy Cold Noodles
Using the same style of handmade noodles, bibim naengmyeon uses a spicy and tangy gochujang-based sauce that you mix into the noodles. These noodles do not always sit in a chilled watery soup like the mul naengmyeon.
This sauce is sweet from the Asian pears and spicy from the gochujang! People often top this dish with boiled eggs, beef brisket, more pear, and radish!
For this, we recommend Sue’s recipe from her blog My Korean Kitchen!
Do You Enjoy Korean Cold Noodles?
In the end, do you enjoy eating Korean cold noodles? If so, let us know which is your favorite! Also, we would love to hear of any recommendations in the comment section!
If you would like to read more articles listing different types of Korean food, check out the ones below. Also, we listed some of our other Korean recipes you may enjoy!
Korean Food Articles:
- 10 Korean Drink Recipes to Make at Home
- 15 Korean Street Foods I Love
- 10 Best Korean Snacks; and
- 10 Triangle Kimbap and Onigiri Fillings
Korean Food and Drink Recipes:
- Andong Jjimdak
- Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs)
- Maneul Jangajji (Korean Pickled Garlic)
- Romaine Sangchu Geotjeori (Korean Romaine Lettuce Salad)
- Soju and Tonic (A Korean Soju Cocktail)
- Soju Caipirinha (A Korean Take on Brazil’s National Drink); and
- Cheese Kimbap
If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at [email protected].
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