Chilled Buckwheat Noodle Soup – Mul naengmyeon 물냉면


Naengmyeon literally means “noodles in a chilled broth.” People used to enjoy the dish as a popular winter specialty. This is because white radish — one of the main ingredients for dongchimi radish-based water kimchi — is a seasonal food in the winter, and naengmyeon noodles are made using a dongchimi broth. In fact, there’s a historical record about the dish in the “Dongguk Sesigi” (동국세시기, 東國歲時記), or “Record of Seasonal Customs in the Eastern Kingdom,” from late Joseon times. It says that, “Naengmyeon is usually eaten on Dongji, the official onset of winter, and the 22nd of 24 yearly solar terms, in the 11th month of the lunar calendar.”

Koreans usually cite Bulgogi as their favorite wintertime dish and Naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodle soup) for summertime. There are two type of Mul-naengmyeon; Pyeongyang-style and Hanheoung-style. Pyeongyang Naengmyeon is characterized by softer noodles due to a larger contents of buckwheat, and a clear and mild-flavored broth. Hamheung Naengmyeon noodles contains a higher percentage of potato or sweet potato starch, resulting in a more firm and stringy texture. The taste is enhanced by adding generous dollops of vinegar and mustard to the broth. (Souce: Wiki)

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