I was in Manhattan and had lunch at Hanjan the other day. Hooni's food never disappoints and this particular dish was my favorite of the meal. As a child I remember slurping down bowls of icy soba noodles with dipping sauce in the heat of the summer. When I saw the chilled buckwheat noodles on his menu, I knew that I had to have it. This bowl of mul naengmyun is completely different from the Japanese noodles of my memory. The icy broth had a surprisingly deep flavor and, in addition to the egg, there is thinly sliced brisket and shaved pickled vegetables to brighten things up. The hidden noodles are super thin and surprisingly springy. They had that sweet, earthy flavor that I associate with buckwheat. The dish was delicate and refreshing and incredibly satisfying. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the city anytime soon. I'll certainly be attempting to replicate it in my own kitchen this summer.
June 7, 2005