Monday, August 11, 2008


A few weeks ago I ran across a mention of naeng myun on a blog, and instantly got a craving. Mmmmm... naeng myun....

Literally "cold noodles," this is a Korean summertime food. It's wonderfully refreshing when you've been out running around in the heat and humidity. Oddly, I never had naeng myun while I was on my mission (even though I was there for two summers--go figure). It wasn't until three years later, when I was there on a summer internship for three months right before Doug and I got married, that I had my first taste. We (the other guy from BYU who was also working there, and I) went with the office girls to Everland amusement park on a day off, and afterwards we went out for naeng myun, and I loved it. Doug and I also ate it more than a few times, when we were squeezing in our last-minute sightseeing in the August heat in the weeks before we came home. (Bad timing--I would not recommend August as a good time for running around Korea. Or doing anything outdoors in Korea. Just say no.)

(That's not the greatest picture--there's a nice one here.)

So I was craving naeng myun but it just didn't seem right to eat it unless it was hot outside. So when we finally had a warm day (last Wednesday), we drove down to Lakewood and got some. That is, I got naeng myun, and Doug got some jap chae and shared his rice with Kate.

너무 너무 맛이있어요!

Served in a big cold metal bowl, naeng myun is buckwheat noodles in a tangy broth, with crushed ice, topped with thinly sliced beef, cucumber, daikon radish (muu), and half a hard boiled egg. (Doug doesn't like hard boiled eggs, so he'd always give me his.) It usually has Asian pear (bae) in it too, but I think mine was just muu. They also give you extra vinegar and mustard (with wasabi) to add if you want.

Kate demonstrates her kim sandwich technique. One piece on the bottom, a little rice on it...

...and another piece on top!


I've given Kate lots of kim (laver seaweed) with rice pinched up in it, but she came up with the sandwich thing all by herself.

After lunch we went to Fort Steilacoom Park and played for a while. It would have been better to go to the park and get all hot and tired first, and then go have naeng myun, but we did it backwards.

A few days later, we were talking about this meal and Kate said, "Oh! That house looks like I Love Bento! It's Korean!" We'll have to go back again soon.


Kathey said...

Cute pictures. I love Kate's comment.

Barb said...

That does sound tasty. I went through a phase a month or two ago when I couldn't eat enough noodles--my favorite right now is aglio olio with fresh herbs chopped up in it. I found a Rachael Ray recipe somewhere that I like. Anyway, I think it's funny you were craving noodles, even though it was a specific kind. I still like noodles a lot, but the craving isn't as strong.

cami said... food.....