It’s sweltering hot here in Toronto, stable at 35-40° C for the past while with humidity (Surprise! We don’t live in igloos. :)). I’m sure the ice cream shops and gelaterias are constantly scooping out buckets of cold treats and many cafés are endlessly filling cups with iced frappés and Italian sodas.
Although I would normally choose a hot meal over a cold one, there are nice alternatives for mucky days like this. One dish is called mul naengmyeon, which is a Korean noodle bowl. Though noodles are traditionally found as a hot meal, mul naengmyeon is actually a cold noodle dish. In fact, to ensure the dish stays cold it actually has slushy ice in it.
The slushy ice is the result of freezing the broth and serving it with some liquid broth (ingenious, no?). It’s slightly sweet, thanks to mixture of beef, pear and Korean radish and has some sesame seeds floating around. This particular bowl of mul naengmyun came with hard boiled egg, a slice of tomato, a sliver of Asian pear, tangy pickled Korean radish (which is similar to daikon), julienned cucumbers, a piece of beef and buckwheat noodles. If you’ve never had buckwheat noodles before, they are thin, super chewy noodles with a pleasantly gummy texture and is slightly nutty flavoured. They tend to be very long, so many places offer scissors to cut them into smaller strands. And for those gluten-free readers out there, since they are made of buckwheat (though sometimes it uses arrowroot or sweet potato), the noodles don’t contain gluten in them. 🙂
And of course, as I have said many times before, eating at a Korean restaurant has the perks of free banchan. Yum yum! 🙂
There is the option of adding some mustard and vinegar to the broth, but I find the mustard tends to overpower the sweetness of the broth. If you have mustered up the courage, feel free to add some to change the flavours of the broth. Until next time, stay frosty. 🙂