My latest obsession: Noodles.


As you know I grew up in an Italian family, so pasta is no stranger to our table.  But with the exception of holiday dinners (or sometimes when we were just bored) we usually had box pastas.  I usually find pasta dishes boring to be honest, and rarely do I order them at a restaurant.  And I can tell you if I do, I never get that crappy shoelace-looking box spaghetti.  Ugh, lame…

Well my ideas on noodles in general changed not too long ago when I started reading David Changs Momofuku, The cookbook/story of his now famous noodle bars and other restaurants in NYC.  He’s all about ramen, and until I read this I really didn’t get it.  As with most Americans, my knowledge of ramen didn’t extend much past the 20 cent bricks I lived off of during most of my 20’s.  Fast forward to about a week ago to when I picked up Oishinbo. Let me tell you, it was a history lesson and a spark of imagination for me….

Oishinbo(Ramen and Gyoza) is written as a Manga style comic strip, and it’s all about  the cultural and historical significance of ramen in Asian culture.  The role of a ramen house in daily life of most Chinese and Japanese people is something i can’t liken to a diner or coffee house in america or anywhere else.  Also delving into the method of noodle preparation and all sorts of good stuff, It got me going on an already momentous plunge into noodle obsession.

I picked up some fresh, yellow lo mein noodles(yes i know, lo mein is not a ramen noodle, but the yaki-soba noodles at my local asian market sucked) and made noodles as per Changs recommendations.  firm, fresh, lightly boiled noodles in a tamari and oyster sauce flavored duck stuck, garnished with a poached egg, grill-seared pork belly slices, crisp, roasty nori sheets, shaved scallion and a dash of toasted sesame oil.  I will tell you what.  It was so satisfying and delicious that if I didn’t have to roast a god damn duck every sunday to make this stock I’d eat it every day.  My preparation is below, if you have the patience I seriously recommend trying it.  The  combimation above is seared ribeye and broiled tofu.

Stock:  Roasted duck carcass, celery, onion carrot, peppercorn, water.  proceed as with a normal stock, and reduce a little if you like.  put aside enough stock for your dinner and add tamari(or any premium soy sauce) and oyster sauce.  for 3 cups of broth I added about2-3 tbsp soy sauce and 1-1.5 tbsp oyster sauce.

pork belly:  Remove skin. Put in a roasting pan, preferably one they fit snugly in.  450 degrees for 45 min to an hour, basting periodically, then 250 for another hour.  Remove, let cool , then slice into half inch thick slices.  Sear quickly on blazing hot grill to add some marks.

noodles:  Fresh lo mein or alkaline noodles.  Cook as directed, then rinse.

Eggs: Poached, runny yolks only.  I like to use the saran wrap method.

Put noodles in individual bowls, top with egg,  nori, scallions and pork.  Add whatever you want, really.  Pour hot broth over preparation and serve immediately.

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~ by Chest Rockaway on July 6, 2010.

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