Lost in Translation: Mul Naengmyon 물냉면

Mul Naengmyon by flickr/__smileoften
Mul Naengmyon by flickr/__smileoften

When the summer heat starts rolling in, my reduced appetite slowly grows a craving for mul naengmyon, a savory cold noodle soup, one of the bestest Korean dish to exist. Cold broth can sound strange, especially when they throw some ice in it, so, while it may not look appealing on the paper, and may take more than one bite to appreciate, it is a dish that I have learned to love. In my book, there’s no better summer dish. Mul naengmyon is nourishing, filling, and thirst quenching, what other dish meets all those criteria?

Preparing for an outing in Taipei, I searched for some Korean restaurants offering mul naengmyon, and came up with miserable results, nil. So when sharing my grief with Hungry in Taipei, she suggested two places, and while learning more about her suggestions, I soon realized why my original searches led nowhere…

In Chinese, mul naengmyon is actually translated as 冷麵 or 冷湯麵, literally meaning “cold noodles” or “cold soup noodles”, respectively. Silly me, searching the Taiwanese blogosphere using the wrongful keyword, 涼麵, also meaning “cold noodles”, but most often referring to a popular Taiwanese dish, of Sichuanese heritage, composed of dry cold noodles, fresh julienned vegetables, and a sesame sauce.

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵, by seansadventuresinflavortown.com
Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵, by seansadventuresinflavortown.com

Following this epiphany, Google suddenly started to cooperate with my quest for mul naengmyon. Then, while randomly walking the streets of Taipei, and randomly glancing at menus, I started to notice those 冷湯麵 at most of the Korean restaurants I passed by, just as if mul naengmyon was everywhere, calling for me.
In the end, all is well, Taipei does not suffer a shortage of mul naegmyon like I’d originally thought, and the hard work is left to come, finding the best bowl out there! 😀

To summarize this post:

 Mul Naengmyon 물냉면 = 冷湯麵 = Korean Cold Soup Noodles

This article is dedicated to all naengmyon lovers. 😉


5 thoughts on “Lost in Translation: Mul Naengmyon 물냉면

  1. You have a very particular taste. I’m not a big fan of Korean food. I like some BBQ stuff, the occasional kimchi, but that’s about it.


    1. You mean I like “weird asian food”? Hehe j/k 😉 I gotta say that I thought this mul naengmyon was the strangest thing when I had it the first time, and then, it just grew on me. Overall, I like Korean food because it’s not too greasy, except the pajeon, has flavors, and they have a good variety of soups for the cold seasons, I love it! Good to know you’re not a big fan of Korean food, maybe I can try to convince you thru the blog, if I get the chance :p


    1. Haha, you’re asking me?! I think maybe the best way to know is to ask a Korean in Taiwan, lol. I always found that something was off with the mul naegmyon I’ve ordered, so for now, I’ve halted my quest for mul naegmyon in Taiwan. :/


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