Birds of a Feather

Stayin’ Cool August 3, 2011

Filed under: Recipes and food — kcfeather @ 3:28 pm

We’re on holiday this week, with the fam in Cape Cod, but are back in Cambridge for a short spell (to work…) I recently discovered something so wonderful, and so “summertime” that I just had to share.

In the middle of a pretty brutal heatwave a few weeks ago, C and I decided that the best way to beat the heat was to go to the movies (for the second night in a row). Midnight in Paris, which we had heard great things about, was still playing at the Coolidge Corner theatre, and so for dinner we thought we’d stop by the Super 88 (a grocery store where we won’t shop – but where we’ll eat at the food court).

On my way to pick C up from his office en route to Super 88, I was listening to NPR’s Splendid Table. In this particular episode, they were interviewing a woman in LA about her favorite foods for the dog days of summer, and she mentioned a meal I had never heard of: mul naengmyeon or, naeng-myun.

From Wikipedia:

Naengmyeon is a Korean dish of long and thin hand-made noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients: buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, naengmyun made with the starch from arrowroot (darker color and chewier than buckwheat noodles), and kudzu…
Originally a delicacy in northern Korea, especially the cities of Pyongyang and Hamhung in North Korea, naengmyeon became widely popular in Korea after the Korean War.
Naengmyeon is served in a large stainless bowl with a tangy iced broth, julienned cucumbers (Korean cucumbers are like the gourmet cukes. Remove seeds if using the ubiquitous waxy cukes), slices of Korean pear, and either a boiled egg or slices of cold boiled beef or both. Spicy Mustard sauce [or Mustard oil-use sparingly] and vinegar are often added before consumption.

I was fascinated just listening to the description, and was excited to find that the Korean restaurant at the food court actually sold Naengmyun. So of course, I had to try it. And it hit the spot – was perfect for such a hot night. Now I have a new go-to food for the really sticky 90/90 days (90 degrees/90 percent humidity).

Yes, at Super 88 they even put in watermelons!

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