6.229 Mul Naeng Myeon


22 (Sat) August 2015

Mul Naeng Myeon


at Chosun Cafe

-Ermita, Manila-

with JR

In Korea, where kudzu is referred to as “chilg (칡),” the root of the plant is dried, ground into a powder, and added to various foods and beverages.  Cafés back in the day commonly offered chilg cha (tea) (hot) and chilg jeub (extract) (on ice), though nowadays they’re likely only to be found at traditional teahouses.  The powder is also used to make chilg ddeok (rice cakes) and chilg naeng myeon (cold noodles), particularly in North Korea (see for example 4.261 Pyongyang (Mul) Naeng Myeon).   Highly regarded for its bitter flavor, black color, (perceived) medicinal properties, and starchy texture.

As mentioned in the previous post on this restaurant, the best part is the unlimited vegetables for the grill.

Here, the mul naeng myeon was meh.  The noodles were blackish — just food coloring to mimick the appearance of chilg — but with no bitterness that’s characteristic of the real deal.  The broth was sweet and tangy, Hamheung-style (see for example 3.010 Mul Naeng Myeon).  Typical of the dish as it’s served at cheap BBQ restaurants.  Not my thing (see for contrast 6.216 Mul Naeng Myeon).

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