Tag Archives: cold

Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun Beats the Heat

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This weekend’s derecho wreaked havoc on DC, leaving thousands of people without power amidst a sweltering heat wave.  I am fortunately not one of those people, but am still melting in this oppressive heat.  While contemplating ways to beat the heat, I remembered an ice-cold bowl of naeng myun that I had at Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun in Los Angeles, the thought of which is instantly cooling me off.

Naeng myun is a Korean cold noodle dish, which actually originated in the mountains of North Korea.  Chewy buckwheat noodles are served in chilled beef broth, with shards of shaved ice still floating in the bowl.  Sitting atop the noodles is usually a perfectly hard boiled egg, julienned cucumbers, slices of lean pork, pickled radishes, and a dollop of punchy gochuchang (Korean fermented red bean paste).  Everything about the dish–right down to the silver metal bowl that it’s served in–is cool and refreshing.

I ate naeng myun a lot when I visited Seoul last summer, but had yet to find an adequate replication of the dish in the States.  That is, until I visited Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun in LA’s Koreatown, where virtually every customer in the restaurant was slurping a bowl of naeng myun.  Submerged in an ice bath of savory beef broth, the noodles were long and elastic, with a slightly nutty taste.  The gochuchang, and perhaps the addition of rice vinegar, added a refreshing tang and depth that cut through the savoriness of the broth.  Even 20 minutes after my bowl had arrived, as I continued to eat my way through the dish, the shaved ice in the broth remained in tact, showing no signs of melting anytime soon.  It’s a hearty yet refreshing dish, that gives you the strength and sustenance to withstand a hot summer day.

I’m not sure where to get the best naeng myun in the DC region (perhaps readers can point me in the right direction?).  But until I find out, I’ll be fantasizing about Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun, in hopes of alleviating this sweltering heat wave.

Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun
3185 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 382-3815
Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun on Urbanspoon

P.S. If you’re still in doubt about Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun even after my glowing review, go see Jonathan Gold and Anthony Bourdain wax poetic about the place here and here.

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Simple Squash, Simple Post

Even though winter has brought unusually cold temps, tons of snow, and general grumpiness to DC this year, at least one good thing has come out of it. The dreary weather is perfect for roasting vegetables, which is one winter treat I look forward to every year.

Roasted vegetables are so versatile. You can roast almost any combination of veggies: red bell peppers and red onions, for instance, or carrots and parsnips. You can also puree roasted vegetables into a dip or a soup, which will have the smoky, earthy taste of the vegetables. The Barefoot Contessa, for example, makes a wonderful roasted eggplant spread.

My favorite recipe for roasted vegetable, however, is butternut squash. Roasting the squash brings out its natural sweetness, and it is the perfect accompaniment to any dinner (particularly a roast chicken!). The recipe is also SO simple–I wouldn’t even call it a recipe! If you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like cutting an entire squash, the pre-cut squash sold in supermarkets will work fine too. Add this simple yet stunning dish to your next dinner party and it will be sure to bring your guests out of their winter blues!

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

1 medium-sized butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch cubes OR 1 package pre-cut butternut squash

2 T olive oil (can do more or less depending on size of squash)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Put foil over a baking sheet. Pour the cut butternut squash onto the baking sheet.

3. Pour 2 T olive oil over the squash and toss until the squash is well coated with the oil. (Add more or less depending on the amount of squash.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Place the squash in the oven for 15-20 min, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork and is golden brown on the bottom.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!