Busan Milmyeon (부산 밀면)
Updated: Aug 16, 2020
My stomach is bottomless when it comes to cold noodles. Especially spicy cold noodles.
The most popular and common is cold noodle dish is naengmyeon, made with buckwheat noodles. But, during wartime, when everyone fled south and resources were scarce, people in the beautiful southern city of Busan came up with their own version, using what they had available (So much of Korean food comes from just using what's around). Since they didn't have buckwheat, they used wheat noodles (밀면 - milmyeon), and the rest is history.
Finding a recipe for this was near impossible. It took a lot of reading through recipes in Korean and some help from the @subtleasiancooking FB group to come up with this, and it's still far from perfect. Apparently, it's not that common to find this outside of southern cities like Busan. I even asked my mother-in-law, who's from Busan, about it and she just shrugged her shoulders. I knew that it was a naengmyeon broth, but I couldn't remember what made it special (I need to take a notebook on our next Korea trip to write stuff like this down).
It's debatable whether we can really even call this version Milmyeon, but it's delicious regardless. My version of Busan Milmyeon used store bought naengmyeon broth, pickled Korean radish, hard boiled egg, shredded flank steak, somyoen noodles, and a special spicy sauce called dadaegi (다대기). The result was a spicy, yet refreshing cold noodle broth that I drank after all the noodles were gone.
The store bought naengmyeon broth was surprisingly really good. We now keep it on hand always.
The dadaegi sauce was AMAZING and can be used in another cold noodle dish, bibim naengmyeon.
Note: For the dadaegi sauce, I took a recipe from a Korean recipe site - It's in Korean, so I'm going to translate it here for you.
For dadaegi sauce:
3/4 cup of Korean red pepper flakes
1 Asian pear
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup of rice wine
3 tablespoons of gochujang
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 can of Sprite (optional)
-frozen naengmyeon broth from Asian grocery store
-pickled radish (recipe below)
-shredded flank steak
-hard boiled egg
-cucumber (thinly sliced)
For pickled radish:
Slice half a Korean radish into slightly wider than a matchstick strips about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide, and 1/16 inch thick.
Put strips in a bowl and mix with 3 tablespoons of salt. Ensure that salt is well distributed, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes or more, taste one. It should taste slightly salty. If it does, drain a bit of the water out, leaving most of it.
Add 1/4 vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, a 1/4 cup of cider or Sprite if you have it. If you don't have cider or Sprite, add more vinegar and sugar.
Mix and let sit for another half an hour.
Add/adjust vinegar, sugar, or sprite to taste.
For dadaegi sauce:
Mince/finely dice pears and onions
Add garlic, pear and onions together in a large bowl
Add gochujang first, and then other liquid and dry ingredients. Mix. Your final product should have a pasty consistency.
Taste - some like it more sweet. If this is you, try adding a little Sprite.
Note: Freeze naengmyeon broth packet if it isn't frozen already.
Remove naengmyeon packet from freeze. Let it defrost for about 1/2 an hour while you prepare everything else (one packet is required for each serving).
Boil water for noodles. Add about 1" diameter of somyeon noodles per serving (depending on how many noodles you want!)
Cook noodles for 7 minutes
While they cook, fill a bowl with ice and set near sink
Strain noodles in colander and rinse with cold water. Add bowl of ice to cool noodles down quickly
Remove a serving of noodles from colander, squeeze extra moisture out, and place in bowl for serving.
Take semi-defrosted broth packet and squeeze it. You should be able to break it up with your hands and make it slushy. If not, run it under some warm water to speed up the process. You want a soupy slush.
Add broth contents to bowl with noodles
Add your flank steak or your preferred meat
Add some pickled radish, egg, cucumber and a huge scoop of dadaegi
Top with green onions
Boom. Delicious, refreshing, spicy cold noodle soup.