3.005 Mul Naeng Myeon


10 (Tue) January 2012

Mul Naeng Myeon


at Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon

-Okcheon, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-


Solo Getaway, Day 3 of 3.

For reasons that I decline to share here, I needed to get away, on my own, so I loaded the car with gear/food/booze/entertainment and headed for the hills.  I’ll be camping out for 3 nights.

Old. School.

Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon (옥천 고읍 냉면) is a Korean restaurant.  Specializes in Okcheon-style mul naeng myeon.

As briefly mentioned in a prior post (see 1.261 Wanja), Okcheon is a small town renowned for a special kind of mul naeng myeon. Somewhat akin to Pyeongyang style MNM, yet distinctive enough to be in its own class altogether, as described below.  Based on my experiences with many MNM restaurants in the area, Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon is the best of the bunch. 

Only 4 food items: mul naeng myeon, bibim naeng myeon, wanja, and pyeonyuk.
Yet 6 condiments [clockwise from left]: soy sauce, mustard, vinegar, gochugaru, gochujang, saewoo-jeot (fermented shrimp paste).
1 side dish: spicy pickled radish – amazing.

The MNM, as always, was excellent.  The chilled broth, derived from beef/pork stock, was mostly crisp and refreshing, a touch of sweetness, but free of tang.  The thick noodles, composed of buckwheat and potato starch, were perfectly chewy without being rubbery.  The toppings were minimal as can be, just half of a boiled egg and julienned cucumbers. The dish feels complete. 7,000 won.

I will someday soon post on the wanja and pyeonyuk (as seen in the background), which are also awesome.

Seolmaejae National Recreation Forest, where I’m camped out, is on a small mountain in Okcheon.

After 2 days of cooking for myself (in the snow), I drove down into town (for a bowl of chilled noodles).  MNM is said to be a winter item – probably dating back to a time when the broth was left outside to freeze in the natural cold.  Afterwards, I drove back and and zipped myself into my tent and cranked the heaters on high and settled in for the night.  I was beginning to miss home.

Bingeing Everybody Loves Raymond, which perhaps made me even more homesick.
Heating up leftover wanja on the space heater.

(For more details about the food, see WHAT)

(For more details about the venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)

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