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Beat the Summer Heat: Naengmyun

Posted By Audrey Archives On May 28, 2013 @ 9:44 pm In Food & Travel | Comments Disabled

Koreans love the refreshing noodle dish called naengmyun. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

It’s the prime of summer and food is always a great way to rejuvenate oneself during hot weather.

Curious as to what my peers were enjoying this time around, I asked a few friends and, to my delight, the top pick was a dish that I had almost forgotten about but was soon ecstatic to re-explore: Korean cold buckwheat noodles or mul naengmyun.

Thought to have been made since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), mul naengmyun (or naengmyun for short) is a traditional Korean noodle dish that is made up of cold broth, thin buckwheat noodles (or other various noodles), julienned cucumbers, sliced beef, boiled eggs, and sliced Asian pears. Vinegar and mustard are common condiments used for extra flavoring.

These fresh, tangy and refreshing noodles are served cold, and is not only a favorite among Koreans but it’s also gaining in popularity among many non-Koreans.

Mr. Li, an investment banker of Chinese descent, was introduced to naengmyun by his Korean girlfriend and now calls it his favorite summer dish. He frequents Yu-Chun in L.A. to satiate his appetite for these noodles. (His visits to Yu-Chun have led him to try out other Korean dishes). Ms. Yoshida, a fashion market researcher of Japanese descent, says that she has had a great experience trying naengmyun and wishes to try the other spicier kind that her friend had last time at their dinner.

The positive reviews from both native Koreans and other ethnicities have quickly allowed naengmyun to become a dish of first resort to beat the summer heat.

Have you had your naengmyun yet?

Some popular destinations for naengmyun if you’re in the L.A. area:

Yu-Chun Chik Naeng Myun

3185 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90006

Chil Bo Myun Ok Ulsacc

3680 W 6th Street Los Angeles, CA 90020

P.S. Most Korean BBQ joints other than the aforementioned will also serve naengmyun. It’s a great accompaniment to your hot grilled, savory meat.

Happy Summer!

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