29 (Tue) May 2012
at Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon
-Okcheon, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
In addition to naeng myeon, Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon (옥천 고읍 냉면) also offers 2 meat dishes.
One is wanja. Perfectly crispy on the outside, perfectly moist yet also dense and chewy on the inside. Rich pork flavor, perfectly seasoned. It cannot and does not get better than this.
Pyeonyuk (편육) is a Korean dish. Essentially the same thing as suyuk, but comprising pork, which is boiled and sliced and served with condiments. Northern in origin, pyeonyuk is a staple item at most northern-style restaurants throughout the south. Because it’s so naked, as northern fare tends to be, the meat must be fresh and top quality. To kill/mask any lingering off-flavors, some restaurants add a trick ingredient to the boiling water, such as doenjang or ginger or ginseng or slivers of oak or some combination thereof, though too much would overwhelm the delicate porcine character and defeat the purpose of the dish.
The pyeonyuk at Okcheon Goeup Naeng Myeon is nonpareil. Perfectly pure, perfectly pristine, perfectly porky. It cannot and does not get better than this.
The restaurant offers a combo platter that includes half (“ban”) wanja and half (“ban”) pyeonyuk. Not on the menu, but that’s how many customers order it.
Lately, I’ve been shuttling back and forth from Seoul to Hoengseong to oversee construction on our cabin, which is nearing completion. The trip, exactly 99.8 km door-to-door, takes me through Okcheon. Today was the wife’s first visit to the site since building began.
(See also MUL NAENG MYEON)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)