Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Naengmyeon, Chinese style

Autumn is here but the summer heat is stubbornly hanging on, so I'm still consuming naengmyeon to my heart's content. Any sort of cold noodles are good. This time around it's the Chinese version, or to be more exact, the Koreanized Chinese version.

Unlike Korean naengmyeon, the noodles are made of wheat flour like the noodles of jjajangmyeon and jjampong, so if you like naengmyeon mostly because of the texture this dish might not satisfy. But if you're a noodle junkie like me, it's another delicious dish to add to the repertoire. Close up:

The broth is mostly a chicken based stock with lots of seafood thrown in; it varies according to recipes, but almost all have peanut sauce added for a sweet nutty kick. Added toppings also differ by restaurant. The one I went to had a selection of julienned veggies, sea cucumber, jellyfish, shrimp, and soft squid.

As usual, I had a plate of mandu before downing the cold dish. I prefer the small mulmandu (water dumplings, i.e. boiled dumplings) over the pan fried potstickers gunmandu for which Chinese restaurants are well-known.

Had the dish at an ordinary neighborhood Chinese restaurant. (The more fancy places would have higher quality ingredients in the dish.) The food is what you expect from a standard Chinese place in Seoul, not to die for but not bad either. The prices are reasonable and you get your money's worth.

The restaurant is actually a chain and have several stores within the city. (Check out their site seen on the shop sign). The one I went to is in Sinsa-dong but there's no need to haul yourself all the way over here - you can get Chinese naengmyeon at your neighborhood Chinese place.
I don't recommend the delivery-only Chinese places, though. Find a restaurant that has an actual sitting area to be on the safe side, because Chinese naengmyeon can really be a hit or a miss.

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