When the people are talking about the food tastes of corn foods like corn pancakes, corn noodle and corn pasta, they mention the phrase “from Moranbong District Corn Speciality Restaurant” after the food’s names, because its foods are well-known. Especially, corn noodle served at the restaurant is very tasty. Cold noodle, warm noodle, dried vegetable noodle in bean paste, noodle casserole and many other varieties of corn noodle attract people for their peculiar tastes. Those who once have had their meal in the restaurant become its regular visitors, and their number is on the increase every day.
The restaurant began to serve corn foods exclusively five years ago. Pae Chun Hui, chief cook of the restaurant, says, “We wished to make popular foods of corn, which is in plentiful supply and one of the major grain crops in the country.” According to her, the main factor in promoting the taste of corn noodle is its high quality after its modification: the modified noodle is characterized by yellowish colour, moderate thickness of strips, their smoothness and chewiness. Corn noodle gives its original taste when it is served in cabbage kimchi juice with a garnish of fried cabbage, sweet potato runners, mushroom, green pepper and seaweed. It is good to have cold corn noodle served in cold cucumber soup in mid-summer. And warm corn noodle and dried vegetable noodle in bean paste soup, which gives national flavour, are popular. The restaurant also serves green corn pancakes, corn pasta and corn tea, and other delicious and nutritive corn foods. After having their meal in the restaurant the citizensin Pyongyang and other people, who were in the city on business, were struck with wonder whether the foods were really made of corn, saying that they had tasted the genuine corn foods in the restaurant.
The chief cook of the restaurant won first place each year at different national cooking festivals, and her cooking skill broadcast on TV on those occasions drew the attention of married women.
When I asked Pae, who has already won ten gold medals, if she were confident of winning the 11th medal at the cooking festival to be held in celebration of the Day of the Sun, she replied, “My concern is not the number of medals, but the quality of the dish. When I improve their quality and make the best of their characteristics, to the liking of all people, the number of the medals will increase naturally.”