Sunday, November 16, 2014

Noodle Soup Saga

I've been really into noodle soup lately if you haven't noticed. I have to write a book about it, and so I've started systematically recording every version I cook for breakfast. Some are simple, some extraordinarily complex and time consuming. This week I decided to just change little things in the basic recipe to see if I could taste the subtle differences. It's not something I've ever done before: cooking the same basic dish every day. As you can imagine, the differences are vast, just one ingredient different makes all the world of difference.

This week began with beef broth, buckwheat soba and a dollop of leftover lamb chili that was laced with pho flavors. Then on Tuesday was a quick ramen in chicken broth with coconut, tomato, lime and sriracha. I actually had a packet of instant ramen and just threw away the chemical packet. Still, very quick. Wednesday was a gorgeous mung bean, chicken broth and again tomato, lime, sriracha, cabbage, scallions. Nothing like the one the day before. Then Thursday was fish stock, rice cellophane noodles, lemon, parsley, carrots and cabbage. It's amazing how switching lemon for lime and parsley for cilantro changes the entire dish. Saturday there was almost nothing left in the house, but wheat noodles, chicken stock, and much like the day before, but with a hit of fermented salgam suyu, changed everything. Sour and beet/red carrot-flavored.

Today was the killer. An 18 hour stock cooked overnight on low in the oven. Mostly duck necks and vegetable ends. With arrowroot starch vermicelli. I never knew there was such a thing! Some shiitake mushrooms, cilantro, leftover chicken breast. It was slick with meatiness. No chili or acid, since I just wanted the stock to shine through. This bore no relationship to versions I made earlier in the week. Do you think there's the making of a whole book here? I'd say so!

5 comments:

Sheryl said...

Yes. And I will be first in line to buy it.

Ken Albala said...

Thanks Sheryl!

Cassandra Rayne Gross said...

I agree - 1000 days of noodle soups will be an epic journey worth following!

joy said...

Eating is really one of my hobby i mean part of my life and cooking is my passion. I also love going to a place and at the same time taste their delicious and most wanted food.I want to taste something that is new to my palate. Thanks for sharing your article with us.

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Silvia Jacinto said...


Life is a battle, if you don't know how to defend yourself then you'll end up being a loser. So, better take any challenges as your stepping stone to become a better person. Have fun, explore and make a lot of memories.

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