Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea nowadays, so when the CIA recently re-upped my assignment to travel to North Korea disguised as Dennis Rodman, it was a familiar sight when our luxury C-150 transport taxied the tarmac after landing.
Yes, once I thought I was out, they pulled me back in, the bastards. So I inserted the lifts into my
sneakers, re-tattooed my body, got pierced again, donned my sunglasses and met with my pretend BFF,
Kim Jong Son for a second time. You’ll recall I went over there last April and found there was no
intelligence in North Korea. Just a bunch of short Korean knuckleheads.
It was another intelligence gathering mission covered up with my team of ops disguised as aging
basketball players people in the USA never heard of. I was not distressed however, how hard could it
be to start five tall old guys against a North Korean squad that averaged about five-foot two-inches tall.
I did get one tidbit of Intel while at a state dinner at a North Korean fast-food joint the other night after
landing. I asked one of the Party secretaries about a recent testing of a nuclear long-range missile that
failed thirty-seconds after lift off. She whispered in my ear as we chowed down that the testing turned
out to be a very successful launch of an extremely short-range missile. I immediately ducked into a
phone booth and relayed the info back to Washington on my shoe-phone.
Anyway, as always the hospitality was once again awesome in a North Korean way. A ticker-tape
parade was highlighted by a pack of 150 wild-dogs lining the streets throwing confetti and cheering my
arrival. And again, the food was out of this world.
The most famous local food is Pyongyang Naengmyeon, or also called Mul Naengmyeon or just simply
in North Korean, Naengmyeon. Nothing is short in North Korea except for the people. Naengmyeon
literally means "cold noodles" served in a cold soup. Naengmyeon consists of thin and very chewy
buckwheat noodles in the cold broth mixed with a meat broth, and Dongchimi, a watered down North
Korean Kimchi and topped with a slice of sweet Korean pear.
Here is my version. Check out the recipe if you want to try this one at home. I know when I get back, I
Bibim Myun II (North Korean Cold Noodles)
1 ½ Lbs. Buckwheat Noodles
2Tbs. Korean Sesame Oil
Pinch of Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3/4 lb Flank Steak, Shredded
1 ½ Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 Tsp. Sugar
1 Tbs. Chopped Scallion
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 Korean Pear
2 Korean Cucumbers, Sliced in Half and Cut
½ Lb. Kim Chi
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tbs. Korean Chili Paste (Go Chu Jang)
2 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tsps. Sesame Oil
1 Tbs. Toasted Sesame Seeds
Bring 10 cups water to a boil over high heat in a large pot. Add the noodles, cover the pan and cook until
the foam rises and moves the cover. Uncover and let the foam subside. Cover again and repeat the boiling
and foaming a total of 3 times.
Drain. Do not break the strands of noodles during the cooking or draining process.
Mix the salt and the oil together and then mix into the cold noodles so they will not stick together.
Refrigerate for future use or set aside if making the full dish.
Mix all of the beef garnish ingredients together in a skillet and stir-fry over medium heat for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Peel the pear into 2 to 3 inch julienne strips.
Put the cucumber slices into a nonstick frying pan and stir-fry over high heat for 10 minutes, which will bring out a strong green color to the skin.
Prepare two omelets.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a paste.
When ready to serve, put the noodles into a large serving dish or bowl, Arrange groups of the vegetable
garnish over the noodles, independently of each other in separate piles, such as pear, cucumber, omelets
The seasoned beef garnish and the seasoning paste is served separately in their individual bowls. Diners
serve themselves of the noodles and vegetable garnishes, add any seasoned beef and seasoning paste and
You can also just mix together all of the ingredients and serve from one large bowl.
Check out the video for some highlights of my mission.
한 가지 좋은 사람들이 (Have a good one everybody.)