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Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan

The true taste of wheat noodles after having a better understanding of its concept

Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan
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When the Korean War broke out, several people fled to Busan from all around the country. At that time, you could hear all kinds of Korean dialects and taste unique local delicacies in Busan. The origin of Busan’s most famous local dishes can be traced back to this period. One of them is wheat noodles.
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan1
In Busan, you could find many people from the northern part of Korea beyond the 38th Parallel Line. They missed their local food called cold buckwheat noodles; however, they were too poor to buy its main ingredients such as buckwheat or potato. Because of the war, they suffered food shortages, and the only ingredient they could get a hold of was wheat flour provided by the US forces. To create a dish that resembled cold buckwheat noodles, they decided to add starch to wheat flour instead of buckwheat or potato. This marked the beginning of the wheat noodles that we enjoy today.
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan1
In every restaurant, wheat noodles can be roughly divided into two categories: cold wheat noodles and spicy wheat noodles. However, the flavors of wheat noodles vary depending on the restaurant, particularly because each restaurant has its own recipe and process. Although the maturity of the noodle dough and cooking time are important, what truly determines a good restaurant is the kind of broth used. In many cases, broth can be cooked with beef or pork bones and, in some cases, with chicken bones. However, as they are made of wheat flour, wheat noodles are hard to digest. Overcoming this problem led to several medicinal herbs such as licorice, angelica, and cinnamon being added to the broth.
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan1
When you order a bowl of wheat noodles, in many cases, you will see the noodles stay put, instead of being loose and scattered. This is the key to keeping noodles chewy. After making wheat noodles, you put them in ice-cold water to further increase their elasticity and chewiness. Nevertheless, when wheat noodles were created, such a method was discouraged because soft noodles were more popular among people.
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan1
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan2
To add more flavors to wheat noodles, various garnishes are used because they can determine a restaurant’s unique characteristics. For cold buckwheat noodles, a boiled egg is added to wheat noodles to protect your stomach. That is why it is natural to eat the egg first before the noodles. Julienned radishes are perfect for creating a crunchy texture and adding a deep flavor when eaten with the noodles. The spicy chili sauce called dadaegi can also attribute to the taste of the wheat noodles. Depending on how much sauce you use, you can increase the spiciness, sweetness, and sourness.
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan1
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan2
After the 1970s, wheat noodles became popular along with the sudden increase of restaurants specializing in wheat noodles. In the 1990s, wheat noodles became widely known as one of Busan’s best-known dishes and eventually designated as a Local Food of Busan in 2006. The success of wheat noodles can be attributed to the long-standing restaurants that have offered wheat noodles over multiple generations. In every corner of Busan, several successful wheat noodle restaurants named their restaurants after their hometowns or villages, including the established ones that have lasted over three generations since the Korean War and the new ones that went viral after developing their own secret recipes. Perhaps, among many local dishes, wheat noodles taste the best.
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan1
  • Wheat noodles, a mysteriously addictive summer food from Busan2
Even if you stand motionless on a hot summer day, you will still feel the sweat trickling down your skin,
but with the chewy yet soft noodles in sweet and sour broth covered with thin ice, it will definitely blow away the hot summer heat.
In your food tour, make Busan wheat noodles your first choice. You will never regret it.
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