Citizens, in Korea during the heat of their (very!) hot Summer, a bowl of Bibim Naengmyeon – cold beef noodles – is a most welcome and delicious respite from the heat! Naengmyeon is a Korean noodle dish of long and thin handmade noodles made from the flour and the starch of various ingredients.
According to the 19th century documents of Dongguksesigi (동국세시기, 東國歲時記), it has been made since the Joseon Dynasty. Originally a delicacy in northern Korea, especially in the cities of Pyongyang (평양, 平壤) and Hamhung (함흥, 咸興) in North Korea, naengmyeon became widely popular throughout Korea after the Korean War and noodles remain a universally-enjoyed dish in the country.
Naengmyeon is served in a large stainless-steel bowl with a tangy iced broth to complement the noodles, julienned cucumbers, slices of Korean pear, thin, wide strips of lightly pickled radish, and either a boiled egg or slices of cold boiled beef or both.
Spicy mustard sauce (or Mustard oil) and vinegar are often added before consumption. Traditionally, the long noodles would be eaten without cutting, as they symbolized longevity of life and good health, but servers at restaurants usually ask if the noodles should be cut prior to eating, and use scissors to cut the noodles.
Bibim naengmyeon is served with a spicy dressing made primarily from gochujang (red chili paste) and eaten with all the ingredients mixed together. In the case of bibim naengmyeon, a bowl of the beef broth from the boiled beef is often served on the side, albeit hot instead of cold in temperature.
Citziens – this is a delicious Summer dish that I hope you see fit to try! ☺ You can buy the Korean ingredients on Amazon or this gourmet Korean store here. Try enjoying this with some delicious Korean ginseng chicken!
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