Cold noodles are a very cool way to chill out
[Recommended Local Eateries] Cold noodles
Milmyeon and naengmyeon are cold noodles with refreshing cold broth and floating ice. Hanbang Sariwon specializes in milmyeon, pictured above.
Looking for a way to beat this heat? For many Koreans, the answer rests in a bowl of cold noodles.
Picture broth so chilled it has thin ice floating on the top, paired with chewy, comforting noodles. Admit it, you're cooler just thinking about it.
The next time swelter causes you to run for (air-conditioned) shelter, consider a truly Korean way of cooling down with a delicious, refreshing meal of cold noodles. This issue of Dynamic Busan showcases two destinations. From naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles) to milmyeon (cold wheat noodles), there's a dish for your chilled-out wish.
■ Hanbang Sariwon (한방사리원)
This recommendation from the Seodaesin 1-dong dongjang (community head) specializes in milmyeon. Its wheat is tough to beat.
Originating in Busan during the Korean War, milmyeon's popularity has long since extended beyond the city. It is believed milmyeon's origin comes from North Korean refugees who had to make do with preparing noodles made from wheat flour, one of their relief items, instead of buck-wheat, which had historically been used. As is said, necessity is the mother of invention, and a new culinary delight was born.
Milmyeon, unlike the chewier consistency of naengmyeon, is softer and the broth is spicer. The dongjang chose Hanbang Sariwon's milmyeon (6,000 won) for its broth's deep flavor, with the use of medicinal herbs that create a clean aftertaste.
The dongjang recommends ordering a 5,000 won plate of "seoksoe gui," a side of grilled pork, together with the milmyeon. The sweet, aromatic and slightly-charred flavors of the dish linger in the mouth. Take a bite of the pork with some noodles, then wash it down with that flavorful broth. Now, that's how you survive the summer Korean-style.
-Address: 6-1, Daeyeong-ro 46beon-gil, Seo-gu
-How to get there: Dongdaesin Station (Metro line 1), exit 8. Walk about five minutes from the exit.
-Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed on national holidays
■ Sinpyeongga Sagyejeol Naengmyeon (신평가 사계절 냉면)
Naengmyeon, with its firm texture, sweet and spicy sauce and cold, comforting broth, hails from North Korea. A wintertime food back in the day, it is now an all-season favorite, particularly during Korea's notoriously hot and humid summer months.
The secret to a great bowl of naengmyeon is its broth. For naengmyeon aficionados, subtle complexity in the broth is the measure of its quality. For the Sinpyeong 1-dong community head, Sinpyeongga Sagye-jeol Naengmyeon passed this test handily.
The community head credits the quality of ox bones and meat used to create the broth for the restaurant owner's successful 15-year history, first as a pork restaurant and later serving noodles. Cinnamon and other medicinal herbs are also boiled, all for 18 to 20 hours. This lengthy process requires dedication and patience, but the reward is a beautiful soup full of rich flavors that are only possible through a long, long simmer. Its noodles are made by hand, resulting in a firmer, chewier and overall more satisfying dining experience.
Garnished with meat slices, shredded cucumber and boiled eggs surrounded by thin ice, this "Pyeongyang-style" naengmyeon is a complete meal. Or, you can mix in sweet and spicy sauce for a "Hamheung-style" experience. Either one will cost 7,000 won, with milmyeon orders costing 5,000 won. Adding an order of dumplings (5,000 won) is just the icing on the broth (we'll take noodles over cake any day).
-Address: 18, Dadae-ro 142beon-gil, Saha-gu
-How to get there: Dongmae Station (Metro line 1), exit 2. Walk five minutes.
-Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed on rainy days.