Addicted to Korean BBQ, obsessed with Korean fried chicken? Can’t get enough of bibimbap? Noodlies, reckon you shouldn’t forget about this Korean noodle favourite…

Naengmyeon might be a shock to the taste buds at first, but noodlies, Sydney food blog promises you, it’s very worthwhile. Literally translates as cold noodles, this dish comes to your table with ice in the clear broth. Look carefully at the image above, you can see melting ice cubes in the bowl.

To make this ice queen noodle even more frosty, the naengmyeon broth here (from Palbok House) is made with dongchimi – water radish kim chi.  Additional vinegar and kim chi radish are added on top. Cold, sharp and sour, it all sounds impenetrable, but the reality is the exact opposite.  Why do we love salt and vinegar chips? Because that sharpness is excitement for the palate. So too, the sour here is all sex.

But if the bowl is too sharp, it risks souring the entire experience. Boiled egg is one perfect counter-balance. It’s not an overpowering taste so it doesn’t take over the bowl, however, the egg yolk in particular, provides a dense texture that complements all that sour.

In the same way, the buckwheat noodles, dark and tough, mysterious and rough, balance out the clear, sour broth. The noodles are a mouthful, hard thick, unwieldy, yet ultimately very rewarding. A pair of scissors is provided to help diners untangle these thick strands, but noodlies reckons it’s a better experience to wrestle with the noodles sans implements. Extra vinegar and a mustard sauce is provided if you want to tailor to taste.

@thang_eats Korean cold noodles #food #Korea #fyp ♬ Fantastic Baby – BIGBANG

Our bowl, as served at Palbok House, is the radish kim chi style. Naengmyeon fanatics will tell you beef broth is also popular. There are even seafood versions. The bowl varies from region to region with local ingredients used. The dish originates from north Korea, the buckwheat, probably the most popular version, is sometimes also called Pyongyang naengmyeon. A version made with potato noodles and chilli paste is also referred to as Hamhung naengmyeon, after another North Korean city.

There are plenty of Korean restaurants where you can sample this Korean noodle favourite. Noodlies, prefers the cold noodles at Palbok house. But it’s hard to crown a ‘best’ naengmyeon because there’s just so many different options. Maybe, readers, your adventure is to eat until you find your favourite.

Hungry for more? Korean Cold Noodle Rhapsody is an excellent Netflix documentary all about this addictive noodle; the variations, the history – all in delicious, slo-mo close up.

Got a favourite naengmyeon eatery in Sydney? Noodlies, would love to know.

Palbok House
2 Bridge St, Lidcombe, NSW
(02) 9649 1312