Have you tried cold noodles before? Doesn't sound very appetising, does it? Chinese people love their soups boiling hot so I'm usually not a big fan of cold dishes (except for ice-cream!) but, after trying Korean cold noodles for the 1st time in London, I was hooked.
If you're wondering where to go for Korean food in London, you definitely have to check out New Malden, London's Korean town- there was a Samsung factory there ages ago so lots of Koreans moved there- so much so that they even have Korean signs! There are tons of Korean eateries on the high street, but my favourite is a little further away (maybe a 10 minutes walk from the tube?). It's called Jin Go Gae and was recommended by a Korean friend!
Another (Singaporean) friend who married a Korean guy gave me a recipe for home made instant noodles, but I don't often have Asian pears in the house, so I resort to instant versions when I have a craving. Some are awful and some delicious, so I thought I'd help you not waste calories by compiling my Korean instant cold noodles reviews. Will update it every time I try a new brand!
Other easy ways to eat more Korean food at home is to use box mixes. I prefer to make things from scratch but box mixes are good for when I'm out of the ingredients. Some Korean box mixes I've tried include:
- how to make makgeolli at home kit: super easy and good too!
- Easy Hotteok home kit: to be honest, I don't find the kit that much easier than making them from scratch- and the homemade ones taste better too, so won't be getting this again. If you don't feel confident making them from scratch and wanna go with the box mix, I've included some tips in the post to make the hotteoks tastier and healthier
- (Korean plum syrup) Maesil Chung fermentation kit: I bought this as a set but really you can get the ingredients individually- you only need the maesil (which is seasonal), sugar and a jar to store it in!
- Jeju tangerine syrup fermentation kit: even easier than the plum syrup and again you only need the 3 ingredients! (tangerines, sugar and a jar)
Chung Soo Bibim Naeng Myeon review - TOSS
SGD$9 for a packet of 6 from harinmart.com
I had really, really high expectations for this instant naeng myeon (it was the 1st I'd ever tried) as I'd bought it from a specialist Korean grocer in Singapore (harinmart). Unfortunately, it really sucked. It tasted so bad that I only cooked with it once and could never make myself use it again- in fact, I was going to give up on instant cold noodles forever (which my health would have probably thanked me for) but alas I caved when I saw a promo for another brand on Redmart, which turned out to be really good!
Why didn't I like Chung Soo Naeng Myeon? Well, it just tasted like I was eating chemicals! We all know instant noodles aren't healthy, so they should at least taste good! Weirdly enough, the reviews for this seem to be very polarised- some people say it's awesome and others, like me, find it plastic-y and inedible!
Will definitely not be buying this again!
CJ Foods Cold Noodle with Watery Radish Kimchi - STOCK
So I'd sworn off ever eating instant Korean cold noodles again till a prolonged lockdown which resulted in my not having been to a Korean restaurant in ages. Added to the fact that Redmart (a Singaporean online grocer) was running a promotion on this product, which also had a 4-5 star review, I soon succumbed to temptation and bought it.
I'm glad I did, as it tasted awesome 🙂 In fact, it tastes so good that
- we ate it twice in a week
- it's been out of stock ever since I first bought it so I've not been able to get it again!
Note: this is a different type of cold noodle from the above (bibim naeng myeon is spicy) whilst this one is more refreshing and delightfully tangy. If you've not tried it before, you may think it bland, but it's really not (and I'm someone who NEEDS strong flavours in my food). There's a little packet of mustard inside, but the broth doesn't need it to taste good.
OK these are the only 2 brands of instant Korean cold noodles that I've tried so far, but I'll be doing a similar review post for instant Korean jjigaes soon, as I love, love, love soondubu jjigae. (What's your fave Korean dish?) Check back regularly as I add more Korean instant cold noodles reviews to this list!
If you actually want to MAKE your own Korean food from scratch , you can check out some of my other Korean recipe posts, such as:
- idiot-proof guide to making your own Korean plum syrup
- how to ferment Korean tangerine syrup
- Korean maesil-cha
- boricha (Korean barley tea)
Alternatively, those who want to make their own noodle soups can try this vegan wonton rice noodle soup that tastes as good as the real thing, and is done in 20 minutes without using store bought stock/ bouillon cubes or stock powder!