Mokbar's Chilled Soybean Noodles

June 18, 2018
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

From Esther Choi: "We serve this at mŏkbar in the summer. It’s a dish I grew up eating with my grandma, kongguksu. The beauty of it is that it’s so simple: just a few ingredients, completely vegan. I use special noodles at the restaurant: They’re a mix of wheat and buckwheat, which gives it more of a bite than the traditional white noodles you’d ordinarily find in kongguksu. Then I make a soybean broth from soybeans imported from Korea, blend that together with regular toasted sesame seeds and wild sesame seeds—you know, deul ggae—plus really good water. When you’re using so few ingredients, and the broth is so simple (it’s literally fresh soy milk), the kind of water you use makes a big difference."

Want to hear more about Korean-American food? On our new podcast Counterjam—a show that explores culture through food and music—host Peter J. Kim talks instant ramyeun hacks, kimchi-jjigae, cheonggukjang, and more with chef Roy Choi and comedian Margaret Cho—check out the episode here. Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The Vegan Cold Korean Noodles We Can’t Stop Slurping. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the ramen and broth
  • 4 portions noodles, such as somen, soba, or fresh straight ramen works really well, too
  • 1 pint cooked soybeans (about 1 cup soaked and boiled for 1 hour in salt water)
  • 1 quart filtered water (better water, better broth)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons wild sesame seeds (can substitute with black sesame or regular sesame), plus more for garnish
  • For the garnish
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes or baby heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons garlic oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  1. Prepare the noodles according to package instructions and set aside to cool, then chill.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the broth in a blender at full blast until very smooth and broth-like.
  3. In boiling water, blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds and place in an ice bath. Peel each tomato and discard their skins. Mix them with the garlic oil and salt, and place evenly on a sheet tray. Roast at 250° F for 1 hour and chill thoroughly.
  4. To assemble, place the chilled noodles into bowls, add a pint of broth to each portion, and top with the cucumbers, roasted tomatoes (plus some oil), and the wild sesame seeds. Taste and add more salt if you feel it needs it.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • W J Freeman
    W J Freeman
  • Ttrockwood

2 Reviews

W J. August 31, 2018
I love these recipes which include a list of ingredients that a non Korean is unlikely to have. As it turns out, while I have an unusually well stocked pantry, of the ingredients listed here, I am smack out of both raw soybeans and wild sesame seeds.

In any case, we are not told exactly what wild sesame seeds are. Do you mean the seeds of the Perilla plant, which is not sesame at all?

I grow perilla (aka green shiso) as a herb, but I would be hard pressed to harvest two tablespoons of seed.

You give alternates such as black sesame or just regular sesame seeds, which is doable for I roast my own (regular) sesame seeds, and I have them a plenty. On the off chance I ever run into wild sesame (Perilla), do you use then as is or toasted as well? They are said to be rather pituitous and an acquired taste (minty, licorice, nutty). Is this the case?
Ttrockwood June 26, 2018
Is the salt amount correct? Two TB for four servings?? That sounds kind of insane... even two tsp is still going be be pretty salty