Icy cold and refreshing… beef noodle soup at Korean BBQ Plus in Concord

by foodhoe on September 22, 2011

1450 Monument Blvd., Concord, CA | 925.680.9090  | website| twitter

Summer finally arrived here in Norcal, late as usual. With balmy temperatures in the high 90’s out here in Coco county, I’m craving the Korean dish Mul Naengmyeon, savory cold noodles that is perfect for a hot day.  I know,  I know… icy cold beefy soup does sound weird, but trust me my friends, you can’t judge it until you try it!   I was pleased to find that my favorite Korean restaurant in Concord, Korean BBQ Plus serves a very fine rendition.  What makes it so special is that the broth is so icy cold that it is like slurping up a savory slushy.  How do they do that, they must add shaved ice?  It’s brilliant!

The broth is deeply flavorful  with a spicy mustard oil, along with a good splash of vinegar and topped with thin slices of pickled radish, cucumber, thick slices of brisket and a hard cooked egg.  You also are served a small blob of hot mustard that has the same nasal clearing properties as wasabi, and a bottle of vinegar for additional zip.  This is a bowl I enjoyed on another visit with darker noodles that had a fantastic chewy elastic texture.  These long noodles symbolize longevity of life and good health, but alot of restaurants will cut them with scissors because they are so unwieldy that I reckon they pose a health risk…

One of the reasons I like this particular restaurant is because they serve an impressive amount of banchan to each table, and you get the same amount regardless if there is only one person or a group (in which case you may receive doubles). The variety of dishes enhance the meal with bursts of flavor and texture, many are fiery hot, some are sweet and sour, delicate and savory, pungently pickled… it creates a complex banquet to graze through.

I found a recipe for this dish on Serious Eats that looks promising, and here is a post that comprehensively describes the many incarnations of Korean noodles; one of these days I want to try the spicy version with raw skate, which is fortuitously called hoe naengmyeon.

Korean BBQ Plus on Urbanspoon

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa September 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

What a lovely array of banchan! That noodle soup looks great.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Karen September 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

oooo I love mul nangmeyeon!

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Cookie September 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Icy cold beef noodle soup does sound a lil bit weird but then again I’m a big fan of chilled soups so I’m sure I’ll like this!

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Passionate Eater September 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I know you said not to knock it until I tried it, but cold beef noodle soup sounds odd to me. Does the fat coagulate? Does one miss the satisfying steam that usually clears the air passageways? Seems like the soup has the “nasal clearing” part down with the mustard though. Hmm, I think I have to try this savory slushee soon.

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foodhoe September 23, 2011 at 7:13 am

cookie, I love chilled soups too. there’s another one that is made with red chilies that reminds me of kimchi gazpacho that is just awesome.
PE, as you can see the soup is clear and does not have any coagulation, but the brisket does have some, but it’s similar to biting into cold sliced prime rib or the sliced beef that is served on the cold appetizer platters in chinese restuarants… ’tis good, just different

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Michelle September 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

my fav summer dish. cold noodles!

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Ben September 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’ve never heard of this. Not sure if I would like to eat a soup and then find a chunk of ice, even if it’s in slushy form. But I’ll take your word for it that it’s good. (Unfortunately for me in my parts of Oakland, it only gets up to 75 degrees, which doesn’t send me running for cold soup. Ice cream, well, that’s another story. ;-)

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Carolyn Jung September 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm

With the late-summer (fall??) heat wave, this would hit the spot. Filling, nourishing, yet cooling. What more can you ask for? ;)

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Kirk September 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Though my tastes waver towrd Bibim Naengmyun, Mul Naegnmyun sure does refreash.

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