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Yun Seoul chef’s passion for ingredients elevates noodle mastery

Kim Do-yun, chef of Yun Seoul, poses at his restaurant in southern Seoul.  Courtesy of Yun Seoul

Michelin-starred chef Kim Do-yun of Yun Seoul, known for his expertise in noodles and extraordinary dedication to sourcing ingredients, proudly embraces the quirky label “weirdo obsessed with ingredients” given by his customers.Deep inside his restaurant, Kim has a lab-like refrigerated storage space where he keeps over 500 ingredients labeled by year of production and place of origin — various pickles, dried vegetables, beans, grains, seeds, dried meat and dried fish with some aged up to seven years. Limited to seeds alone, his collection includes some 90 different kinds of sesame and perilla seeds.Kim says each ingredient, gathered from all across the country and even abroad, are like invaluable books in a library.

“I try to keep some ingredients produced that year to study. I compare ‘gosari’ (bracken fern fiddlehead) produced and dried seven years ago and that of this year and examine how its texture and taste became different,” Kim said during an interview with The Korea Times at his restaurant in southern Seoul, April 9.“There were some incidents that my staff mistakenly used up some ingredients produced in a certain year. It was like the same pain that a book collector would feel when one’s rare, invaluable books are missing.”He has put the most effort into his wheat samples collected from his travels across France, Turkey, Italy and various Korean provinces, as they are the key to his noodles.“Since Korea has unfavorable environmental conditions to produce wheat, I had a hard time to find the right wheat that I can use for my noodles,” 메이저 he said.

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