This recipe should be started a day ahead, as the soup has to be chilled in order to remove all traces of fat. It would be a good idea to make more than is immediately needed and freeze the stock for future use.
500 g/1 lb shin beef or brisket in one piece
1 beef knuckle or soup bones (beef ribs)
30 g/1 oz fresh ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 spring onions (scallions)
2 tablespoons Korean soy sauce
20 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon vinegar
300 g/10 oz buckwheat noodles
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
8 thin slices nashi fruit or firm pear
12 thin slices chilled cooked beef
thin slices of pickled white radish
hot mustard (optional)
Put all the soup ingredients into a large pan, add 3 litres (6 pints) water and bring quickly to the boil. Lower heat, partially cover with lid and simmer for 3 hours, skimming top frequently. Pour through a fine sieve and chill until surface fat is firm enough to remove. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill the beef.
To serve: Cook buckwheat noodles as described in previous recipe. Arrange noodles in four large, deep bowls. Korean bowls are straight-sided and hold quite a lot of soup. Pour chilled soup over the cold noodles, and garnish with hard-boiled eggs, nashi or firm pear, sliced beef and pickled radish. Mustard may be offered as a relish.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)