Raw Beef Chilled Noodles (YukHwe Naengmyeon)

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YukHui Naengmyeon 육회냉면
YukHwe Naengmyeon 육회냉면

Something new popped up in the menus we usually get taped to our door. A naengmyeon delivery joint specialized in YukHwe, the Korean raw beef dish I like so much. So I ordered their YukHwe Naengmyeon.

This is done bibim style, so there’s no broth. Just a big dollop of gochujang under the egg. So since it’s Bibim Naengmyeon, I mixed it up.

The taste?

The gochujang so overwhelmed it that the beef barely made a presence. I was a little disappointed by it. Raw beef is usually put into traditional Jeonju Bibimbap, and this was the first time I had seen it in Naengmyeon. Considering what had happened in Japan recently, it was pretty risky ordering a raw beef dish from a delivery joint. Next time, I’ll just go back to my regular Mul Naengmyeon.

As an aside, EJ and I have noticed that each summer the Mul Naengmyeon gets spicier and spicier. They keep putting more gochujang in it. This is a trend I don’t like. It’s not that I don’t like spicy food, but Mul Naengmyeon is one of those dishes you eat to get a respite from the usual gochujang-drenched fare. Putting more gochujang in Mul Naengmyeon just makes it taste like everything else. It loses its uniqueness.

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6 thoughts on “Raw Beef Chilled Noodles (YukHwe Naengmyeon)”

  1. Joe, how safe do you think raw beef is in South Korea (or Japan, for that matter)? 

    I have heard that in Europe, things like Steak Tartare were of little risk to eat because beef cattle were raised naturally and in good conditions (clean, not crowded, not fed grain that is unnatural to them and causes their digestive systems to go out of whack and cause them to need antibiotics, not given hormones, etc.). 

    It is the factory-farmed US beef practices that would make yuk’oé or Steak Tartare dangerous. If this is correct about most US beef, and I believe it is, my question is whether it is any different in South Korea? Do you have objective information that Korean beef in general is not raised in this way? And if low-grade beef is, what about the much touted hanu beef?

    Reply
    • Kinda funny because the first time I got food poisoning was with steak
      tartare in Paris.

      From what I’ve read, e. coli gets into the meat when there’s bad
      handling at the processing plants. If e. coli gets on a whole piece,
      like a primal that you make steaks and other cuts from, it’s likely only
      on the outside, and some thorough washing with water can do the trick.
      But when they grind the beef at the processing plant the bacteria is
      mixed with the meat.

      That’s why I feel a little safer at butcher restaurants, where they deal
      with primals and do most of the processing.

      On the Hanu vs. U.S. beef front, there isn’t a reliable standard to
      label beef as Hanu. I would like to investigate further and see if Korea
      uses any of the feedlot finishing that the U.S. does. I do know that
      Koreans prefer grain fed beef, which is disruptive to their digestive
      systems (the cows’).

      So far, I haven’t heard of any cases of e. coli poisoning through YukHui
      in Korea, but I think it’s just a matter of time.

      Reply
      • I should clarify my verb tenses. I have heard that it was okay to eat it in Europe, but I have no idea about now. I have heard that European meat producers have had to change practices to keep up with US and Australian beef, but the source of that information may be biased. 

        e. coli is some nasty stuff, and the factory farming is a mess, causing it to get even in the spinach and other vegetable supply in California. 

        Anyway, I’d also be curious about other practices in Korea, like hormones, feeding cement to the cows, etc., etc. 

        Give me good old fashioned grass fed. Truth is, though, I eat very little beef or pork anymore, unless I’m in a restaurant. 

        Had good ahi burritos on the North Shore yesterday. 

        Reply
        • You are just evil to bring in the ahi burritos. Mmm…

          I want to look further, too. Korea is admired a bit by agri-nuts (I use
          that in the most respectful sense) for being able to feed its population
          without screwing up its agricultural system. But ideals and real
          practices tend to have gulfs.

          Reply

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