the refreshment of slippery noodles in an icy tangy broth… gliding down with sizzling pork fat on a stick.
BEST ARGUMENT A SUMMER CAN HAVE.
SEEMINGLY, if you think that I have lost my mind and regards to the diversity of this blog somewhere in the frozen land of popsicles, gelato and gelato plus slushy cocktails, here’s a proof that… you’re absolutely correct. These days, I feel as much desire to be in close proximity to open flames as there is to a screaming baby on an airplane. Even with evident love for a bowl of hot and slurpable fire, these days I want my dinner to feel as close to a cold shivering shower as it can get, and believe it or not, it can.
Allow me to present evidence from our last two years in New York where we had the pleasure of visiting Fort Lee a few times, aka the better Korean Town just across the Hudson from Upper Manhattan. Before such trips, I thought I could be happily-ever-after with Manhattan’s functioning K-town with its satisfactory BBQ following an affordable eyelash-extension. But Fort Lee had ruined such ludicrous fantasy with delicious aggression. The variety of dishes served there isn’t too different, but with just an extra pinch of much-ness that kicks them from good, to great. And among which, the glorious mul Naengmyeon was unlike any I’ve ever had.
It means “cold noodle”, but boy is that an understatement.
Apart from dishes with the same claims, mul naengmyeon has kicked the word “cold” to a new level. Instead of mixing noodles that are cooled after cooking with various sauces, it plunges them into an icy bath of broth made from beef and pickling juice that is chilled to a borderline frozen state. As I swam my chopsticks through the frosty lake of flavours, I could hear the sound of slushes colliding in a refreshing symphony. The buckwheat noodles were cold, chewy and slippery, gliding effortlessly into my properly chilled tummy with the savoury and tangy broth, topped with more pickles and thinly sliced pear and cucumber.
It is not a summer dish. It is the summer dish.