Go back ten or twenty years, and Korean food was fairly niche. Nowadays, you’ll find every major city around the world has Koreatowns, making Korean food quite popular. Classic Korean dishes includes such things as Bibimbap (a mixed-rice dish) and Korean BBQ, but the most famous dish north of the 38th parallel is, without a doubt, Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
What are Pyongyang cold noodles?
This iconic national dish can be eaten all year round and is the go-to-dish to eat on wedding days, birthdays, business meetings or any other special occasion. As the name suggests it is best served cold but it is possible to ask for hot broth to be added to the dish.
Pyongyang cold noodles consist of buckwheat noodles, beef, pork, chicken, kimchi, cucumber, pear, a hardboiled egg, and Dongchimimul (Korean radish water). It’s up to you if you would prefer to add soy sauce, vinegar, or Korean mustard to give it more flavor. We at YPT always recommend adding vinegar and mustard for the best possible serving.
Where can I try this culinary masterpiece?
To state the obvious: Pyongyang cold noodles are served throughout North Korea, and you’ll definitely have a chance to try them when you travel to the country with Young Pioneer Tours. If you’re not eating as much Pyongyang cold noodles as you’d like during the tour, each of the hotels we stay at such as the Yanggakdo Hotel or the Sosan Hotel have their very own cold noodles restaurant for after-hours snacking.
Pyongyang cold noodles across the world
There’s also the legendary Pyongyang Restaurant franchise that has been popping up all over the world. This restaurant serves authentic North Korean cuisine prepared and served by – you guessed it – North Koreans.
Yanji, the capital of the Korean Autonomous Prefecture of China, does a fine job in authentic Korean/Chinese-Korean cuisine, including BBQ and cold noodles. Dandong, the Chinese border town city to North Korea also has its fair share of amazing Pyongyang cold noodle restaurants. You may find cold noodles found in China to be slightly modified for Chinese taste.
Don’t be surprised if you’re in Seoul and you see restaurants advertising Pyongyang cold noodles loudly and proudly. The Koreans down south enjoy a good cold noodles dish but they tend to include ice cubes into the dish which you won’t find else where.
Of course, the best way to sample the dish is to join one of our North Korean tours and try Pyongyang cold noodles the way it’s meant to be – in Pyongyang. If you’re lucky, you may even get to hear the North Korean song dedicated to this famous national dish..