Washington Post: How my North Korean-born grandparents taught me about loss, memory and the power of Pyongyang cold noodles


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excerpts:

My “naengmyun boat” was always my first bite of the North Korean signature dish — buckwheat noodles in ice-cold beef broth garnished with pickled radish and a halved boiled egg — that my grandparents and I had for lunch every Sunday after church while I was growing up in Seoul.

Pyongyang naengmyun’s subtle, clean flavors contrast with the sweeter South Korean version’s heavy seasoning and garnish. Those who try it for the first time can find it bland and will often cut the noodles with scissors because they’re so chewy. But connoisseurs know that a dash of vinegar draws out the richness of the broth and that cutting the noodles ruins the consistency.