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Korean Noodles, a Summer Delicacy Updated: 2011-08-18 00:00:00 KST

In the current hot weather, summer delicacies come to mind.

[Interview : ] "So soothing and savory!"

[Interview : ] "I have never had noodles like these."

And noodles are the most sought after food in summer, for they rejuvenate the body while pleasing the palate!

This temple in Ganghwa Island is home to a special kind of noodles.

[Interview : PD] "I heard that this place serves some unique noodles."

[Interview : ] "Go in and ask."

Let's find out about these unique noodles.

[Interview : PD] "Does this place serve noodles made with lotus leaves[Interview : Seongwon, Buddhist monk
Seonwon Temple] "Yes. We serve noodles made with lotus leaves."

Noodles made with lotus leaves[Interview : Seongwon, Buddhist monk
Seonwon Temple] "These are the ingredients for the noodles."

The lotus is often called the flower of Buddhism for its ability to grow in mud but still look pristine.

The lotus leaf, along with its healing properties, is the secret behind the noodles made at this temple.

[Interview : Seongwon, Buddhist monk
Seonwon Temple] "Flour noodles are sometimes difficult to digest, but not the lotus leaf noodles."

How do you make lotus leaf noodles[Interview : Seongwon, Buddhist monk
Seonwon Temple] "Noodles made with lotus leaves do not get tangled. They can also be kept for a long time after boiling them once."

Add radish and mushroom with some broth,

along with cucumber, squash and carrot, and finally top it off with a lotus flower. Voila! The lotus leaf noodles are ready to be served!

One serving of lotus leaf noodles refreshes the body and mind!

[Interview : Kim Mi-suk, Diner] "These noodles are so delicious that I'm giving more to my husband."

[Interview : Park Wan-sun, Diner] "This is the first time I'm having these noodles, and they're really delicious, chewy and fragrant."

[Interview : ] "Lotus leaf noodles are the best!"

This restaurant is home to today's second delicacy.

The combination of noodles and a specially made broth are enough to have anyone's mouth water.

[Interview : ] "They're delicious and refreshing."

[Interview : Hahm Bok-rye, Diner] "I've never tasted anything like this before. It tastes like the dongchimi I had when I was a child."

The secret of this restaurant lies in the earthenware jars sitting in the yard.

[Interview : Yun Sang-im, Owner ] "This is our homemade dongchimi. We use underground spring water to keep the dongchimi cool."

Every winter, the restaurant makes its own dongchimi, or white radish kimchi.. However, there's another secret ingredient.

[Interview : ] "It's a bit salty."

[Interview : ] "We serve it mixed with beef bone broth."

That is none other than this special beef bone broth, which must be boiled for at least 24 hours.

The refreshing taste of the dongchimi and the deep flavors from the beef bone broth join to provide yet another unique and pleasing taste.

Some salt is added to the dough, and it's kneaded until the mixture is just right. The noodles are then boiled and immediately rinsed with cold water.

[Interview : Yun Sang-im, Owner] "By rinsing the noodles in cold water, the noodles lose the starch and become chewier."

Top the noodles with some garnish and add the broth, and the dongchimi noodles are ready to be served!

According to historical archives, kings of the Joseon Dynasty were known to enjoy this summer delicacy.

The dongchimi noodles have a long history of being part of the royal table. How does this dish taste[Interview : Kim Yong-eun, Diner] "Summer dishes should be refreshing."

[Interview : Kim Suk-heyon, Diner] "It tastes like dongchimi, and it also has a deep flavor."

Koreans' love for noodles know no bounds!

Noodles have had a historical place in Korean history. In the book "An Illustrated Book of Goryeo", noodles were listed as the best dish in Korea.

Until the end of the Joseon Dynasty, noodles were rare and precious, but with the influx of imported flour during the Korean War, noodles became a commodity.

One such dish enjoyed by everyone is kongguksu [콩국수]!

Gurye-gun, South Jeolla Province

The way kongguksu is made differs by region. Here in Gurye county, residents still make kongguksu the way Korean ancestors did.

Boiled soybeans are ground manually.

[Interview : Lee Gil-sun, Unjoru inhabitant ] "While most people use a blender these days, in the olden days we used to grind soybeans like this."

Consistently grinding the beans with a mortar results in a creamy soybean milk.

The soybean milk is then boiled.

There is a reason behind enjoying this dish on a hot day.

[Interview : Lee Gil-sun, Unjoru inhabitant ] "Having a hot bowl of kongguksu on a hot day rejuvenates the body while cooling it down."

After boiling the noodles, add them to the soybean milk and simmer for a couple of minutes. And voila, a warm bowl of kongguksu is ready to be served.

Having a bowl of warm kongguksu made the traditional way on a hot day can ward off the summer heat.

[Interview : Yu In-ja, Local resident] "Having hot food on a hot day is beneficial for your body."

[Interview : Lee Ji-min, Local resident] "I think warm kongguksu is perfect for Koreans."

Refreshing broth, healthy garnish and chewy noodles are the perfect ingredients for Korean traditional noodles. Let's enjoy the rest of summer with a refreshing bowl of Korean noodles.


I really love the soy bean noodles but I had no idea you could do it hot.
So delicious. I think I need to find a noodle shop for lunch.
You know there's one thing that most people will die to eat no matter how hot or cold the weather.
Well I think I know what you're talking about but as a vegetarian I'm gonna let you do the honors.
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