Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gangwon-do Delicacy - Makguksu

One of the good things about Singapore is that, we are really a foodie city.  And especially with the rise in interest in Korean culture, the number of Korean restaurants in Singapore have increased significantly.  I recently checked out Singapore's first Handmade Korean Noodles House - Guksu 1945, located at Suntec City and was treated to the variety of guksu options available.

But wait... what is Guksu?  It is essentially the collective term for Korean noodles or colloquially known as myeon eg. ramyeon (Korean instant noodles), naengmyeon (Cold noodles), jjajangmyeon (Korean-Chinese noodles with black bean sauce).

With Korean's long history, many guksu varieties have been created.  The commonly known ones will include gamja guksu (main ingredient for the noodles: potato starch), hobak guksu (main ingredient for the noodles: pumpkin and wheat floor), kong guksu (noodles in cold soybean soup), janchi guksu (noodles cooked in clear anchovy or beef broth).

(Guksu from Jeju - 국수회관, 신제주점)

I had a lasting impression of a bibim naengmyeong (spicy cold noodles) which I had at the Incheon Airport in 2015 and have been searching for a naengmeyon which resembles what I had.

Seeing that naengmyeong was on Guksu 1945's menu, I didn't hesitate to place that order.  But it turned out to be another variety of naengmyeon which comes with ice cubes in the soup and tasted entirely different.

When will we be able to try ALL the guksu varieties?  But one thing for sure, Makguksu (buckwheat noodles serve in cold kimchi broth), is one of the 2 Gangwon-do specialty dishes.  The other dish is Dakgalbi, which I have introduced earlier.  Click on this link if you missed the post.

Makguksu became a Gangwon-do delicacy because buckwheat is the staple crop that is widely cultivated in the province.  This delicacy has come a long way and it has been around since the Koryeo Dynasty.  And now, the go-to place for Makguksu is the Dakgalbi Alley where you can get enjoy both Gangwon-do delicacies at the same time!

Makguksu is similar to naengmyeon with the key difference being in the high concentration of wheat flour used in Makguksu and the greater use of vegetables in this dish.  In terms of taste, it is chilly, spicy, savoury and wheaty.  Doesn't this make the best combination to go with the warmly pan-fried spicy chicken during the cold seasons?!  Go for it!

(source: Korea Herald)

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