After our unfortunate Bourdain/Bizarre-Foods-like bug-eating bungle, we were determined to go back to Federal Way (known to some as South Korea, who refer to Edmonds/Lynnwood/Shoreline as North Korea) for a more satisfying Korean food experience. Friends recently told us about eating naeng-myeon. So, noodleheads that we are, we had a hankering and had to have it.
At Kokiri Korean Restaurant, we tried two types of naeng-myeon. Both are described as “freshly pulled potato noodles” that are served cold in stainless steel bowls and topped with shaved daikon, julienned cucumber, a couple of beef brisket slices, and half of a hard-boiled egg. (There should also be Asian pear, which was disappointingly missing.) The thin noodles are chewy and sticky, so the server wields scissors to cut them at your request.
Mul naeng-myeon (or mool neng myun, as Kokiri spells it) features cold beef broth, and comes with hot mustard and vinegar to add as you desire. The broth is mild and the dish is refreshing, especially on a hot summer day. But, as our visit wasn’t on a hot summer day, and since the steel bowl keeps the broth quite frigid, the dish left us shivering—but happy.
The bi bim naeng-myeon is more like a salad, served in gochujang (red chili pepper paste). This gave a welcomed warming effect, though like the kim chi that came as part of the panchan, it wasn’t as spicy as we’d have liked. Still, it was satisfying, though we continue to wonder: Do restaurants deliberately dumb down the food for people they consider foreign to their fare?
Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on June 2, 2008.