Category Archives: noodles

In praise of the porky

Rice vermicelli in pork broth with meatballs at Wor Rasamee

Rice vermicelli in pork broth with meatballs at Wor Rasamee

No one wants to be a pig. The very worst thing one can do is to eat like one, squeal like one, or sweat like one. Don’t even think about looking like one. That is the worst that bad can get.

But when cooked over a grill, crisped and sliced over a mound of fluffy white rice or minced and folded into an omelet, the pig becomes something that every Thai food lover wants a part of. Few dishes demonstrate this more than guaythiew moo, or pork noodles: a mix of pork meatballs, minced pork, stewed fatty pork and pork liver, simmered gently in a pork broth before a quick dunk in a plastic bowl with a handful of rice noodles, some blanched bitter greens, and a sprinkling of bean sprouts and deep-fried garlic bits.

Because many Thais refrain from eating beef for religious reasons — as followers of “Mae Kwan Im” (a Mahayana Buddhist Goddess of Compassion now popular among many Thai-Chinese Theravada Buddhists), they are encouraged to cut out beef in view of eventually going vegetarian — pork noodle joints are probably the most numerous of all the noodle vendor varieties scattered throughout the city. This means there is tons of competition, and more pressure to set oneself apart from the rest of the noodling fray (I’m not counting bamee, or egg noodles, with the rest of the pork noodle crowd because the emphasis there tends to be on the noodles and the toppings are different — that said, there’s lots of competition there too).

Some vendors bomb the crap out of your tastebuds with a plethora of chilis, and some are nam tok specialists who add a touch a pork blood to their broth. It’s the rare vendor who lets the pig stand on its own porky merits. That is Wor Rasamee (corner of Silom and Saladaeng roads), a longtime pork noodle shop run by a deeply efficient elderly man who is the Thai street food equivalent of Rene Lasserre. Every need is fulfilled quickly and with as little drama as possible, sometimes before you have even thought of it. And the time it takes for a bowl to get to your table? 10-15 seconds, tops. Really.

Not to say there’s no little gimmick to set this little stall apart. Here, it’s the unique sauce, set atop every table and served alongside the four-pronged usual condiment selection of sugar, chili flakes, chili-studded white vinegar and fish sauce. It has no name, but it does have ingredients: vinegar, garlic, chilies, palm sugar, and an irresistible hit of fermented tofu, my culinary Achilles heel, a quicksilver sweetness in a pork broth smelling faintly of Chinese 5-spice powder.

sauce

How can I say no? It is food crack. There are surely more ingredients in this sauce than were relayed to me, and I will try to spend the next few weeks ferreting them out. Until then, I will have to risk heading back to this crowded, busy neighborhood in the heart of the central business district in the hopes of snagging a seat in the midst of all the Japanese tart cafes and fast food chains.

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Filed under Asia, Bangkok, food, food stalls, noodles, pork, Thailand

Yen ta fo for h8ers

Yen ta fo with rice vermicelli at Thi Yen Ta fo Rot Ded

Yen ta fo with rice vermicelli at Thi Yen Ta Fo Rot Ded

I write a lot about yen ta fo. It is my absolute favorite Thai noodle dish. What’s not to love? An unlikely but irresistible melange of textures and flavors, from squidgy blanched morning glory stems, rubbery squid, soft fish balls, crackly bitter deep-fried garlic and the crunch of a deep-fried wonton — and that’s before you even get to the sauce. Because it’s the sauce that makes or breaks it all: tart with distilled vinegar and pickled garlic, resonating from the heady boom of fish sauce, underneath which the slightest whiff of sweet fermented red tofu emerges like the flash of a red sole on an expensive shoe … that is what yen ta fo is to me. A very delicate balance that, at its best, is the stereotypical juggling act illustrative of the best of Thai cuisine.

At its worst, yen ta fo is something different. It’s all sweet, all pink, all sickly and flat, like Hello Kitty. So it gives people the wrong idea, that these noodles are something for people with a sweet tooth, that there is no complexity to it at all, that it’s Britney Spears when you want to be rocking the egg noodle-PJ Harvey special. I always put this down to people going to the wrong places for yen ta fo. There is such a thing as the wrong place for a certain dish. In fact, that is the whole point of this blog.

I’ve been to Thi Yen Ta Fo (084-550-2880, open 11-22 except Mondays) more times than I can count. I mean, it was always closed those other times, but it feels like second nature to me now to just head automatically to that street corner on Mahachai Road, just down the street from Thipsamai and next to Jay Fai. Usually, I just find a shuttered cart with a sign bearing the vendor’s name. But just a few days ago, it was all systems go: an entire corner and then some, littered with packed tables and the sort of flustered, harried waiters you would see at your nearest Fuji or Crystal Jade restaurant.

For a soup noodle dish that is so often dismissed as “those terrible pink noodles”, yen ta fo sure seems popular here. But there is a very good reason for this. When our bowls come to the table, it’s less about the pink sauce and fermented tofu and more about the veritable blanket of chopped chilies that coats our food like a suit of armor. If there was ever any doubt in my mind that a typical Thai fix-it involves just throwing a bunch of chilies on something to make it taste better, that doubt has long since been blasted from my head by the smoke coming out of my ears after a bite of these noodles. This stuff is SPICY. It changes the whole flavor profile of the dish. Here, it’s all tart and fiery, even slightly metallic. It’s yen ta fo for people who don’t like yen ta fo very much.

There’s other stuff too. The immense popularity of this place has necessitated the incorporation of a second cart, this one offering fried noodle dishes like guaythiew kua gai (pan-fried rice noodles with chicken and egg). That’s not to mention the pork satay place that also serves the customers here, and the other soup noodles offered by Thi, like the just-as-spicy tom yum egg noodles with fresh basil and minced pork:

Bring your tissues

Bring your tissues

I can’t say I don’t like these noodles, because that wouldn’t be true. Would they be my favorite yen ta fo? No, because they are barely yen ta fo at all. Would I go back? Absolutely. With a pack of tissues. And some Tums.

 

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Filed under Asia, bamee, Bangkok, food, food stalls, noodles, Thailand, yen ta fo

Glutton Abroad: Taipei Bang-bang

Clear and standard versions of the namesake dish at Yong Kang Beef Noodle

Clear and standard versions of the namesake dish at Yong Kang Beef Noodle

On the way over to Taipei, I saw an episode of the TV show “Louie”, which features American comedian Louis CK. In this episode, Louie and his friend brother engage in a practice they refer to as “bang-bang”: having a full meal at one venue before going to a completely different type of place and getting a second full meal there. There are different combinations they play with before deciding on “Indian-diner”, which, to me, is just an OK combination since you can cheat on the “diner” side of the quotation with just a Greek salad or something, whereas something like “Italian-barbecue” is a real, full-on, genuine pig-out. (This, from the person with $^%&ing GERD.)

Anyway, when they are talking to the waitress at the diner later, Louie treats his “bang-bang” mission as something to be hidden and ashamed of. This marks my first disconnect of the day: that this is something to hide away. Because I do this shit all the time. It is called “lunch” and “second lunch”. Sometimes it is “second breakfast”. I am too old to have “second dinners” anymore. The point is that this is perfectly normal behavior that every food lover worth his or her own weight in potato chips understands and engages in. Sometimes there is not enough time to try everything you want to try. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it! What’s the problem?

Faced with only two full days in Taipei, I was grappling with this very conundrum myself. There are a gazillion eateries in Taiwan’s capital, and only a few hours to taste them all. Do you think this meant I would have to do without something or other? HELL NAW. It was my first time in Taipei, and my very first experience with real Taiwanese food. I wasn’t going to chuck this opportunity with concerns about “diet” or “health” or “looking nice”, etc.

Thais like to consider Cantonese food the foundation of all great Chinese food. They say Cantonese food is the epitome of classical Chinese cooking, and a celebration of the light, natural flavors coaxed out of superior ingredients. I find this interesting because, even now, I still don’t get it. I still find it leaden and unappetizing, coated in gelatinous, saliva-like sauces. I know I am in the minority here, and likely traumatized from my childhood spent in every Cantonese restaurant located between Pittsburgh-Cleveland.

But no, I see Taiwanese food as the real embodiment of this light/natural aesthetic — minimal manipulation with great ingredients, minimal fuss, and unusual, thought-provoking combinations. The great difference between this and what Thais like is that there is no grand wallop of flavor. It’s introverted food, subtle, a little cerebral … some might even call it retiring or shy. It takes a little time with a dish to get to know it well. It’s not out to seduce, like Thai food, or wearing its resume on its sleeve, Cantonese-style. In this way, I feel like I can relate to Taiwanese food in a way I can’t with the more ESFP-geared charms of a place like Thailand or Hong Kong.

So when there were three places I really wanted to hit on Yong Kang Street, one of Taipei’s most well-known areas for food, I was determined to find them all (a “bang-bang-bang”, if you will). The first, and most obvious, is the famed xiaolongbao eatery Din Tai Fung, an Asia-wide dumpling empire that has been lauded by the New York Times. Its flagship is just around the corner, on Xinyi Road, and is a huge tourist draw. How much of a tourist draw? The girl in front speaks fluent Thai, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese and Cantonese. Despite its tourist attraction status, its famous soup dumplings may be even better than anywhere else. The standard pork and chicken soup dumplings are available, but there are also variations like pork and black truffle, which require an entirely different spoon and absolutely no sauce.

Din Tai Fung's pork and truffle soup dumpling

Din Tai Fung’s pork and truffle soup dumpling

The second place featured one of my very favorite noodle dishes in all the world, danzai or “dan dan” noodles. I wanted to make sure I got them at Slack Season Noodles (also known as Tu Hsiao Yueh, located at 9-1 Yong Kang St), started in 1895 by a fisherman who made noodles in the off-time spent away from his fishing boat (hence the name “Slack Season”). Today, there are several branches of this place, but the most famous may be on Yong Kang Street, where a noodle vendor is still located out in front of the dining room, patiently enduring tourists taking endless photos of them.

Traditional danzai noodles from Slack Season Noodles

Traditional danzai noodles from Slack Season Noodles

The final, third place was the hardest to get into, featuring the longest, most intimidating line. If it wasn’t called Yong Kang Beef Noodle (No. 17, Lane 31, Secion 2 Jinshan South Rd), I would have certainly walked away, but I didn’t come all this way to wimp out and deprive myself of Taiwan’s famous beef noodles. So in the line I went, listening to countless American tourists walking by and remarking on how some people are so “crazy” as to stand in line for food.

Well, let me tell you, the line was worth it. It’s not a beef noodle like in Thailand, where the broth is either thickened with cow’s blood and a representation of all that is beefy, or a clear broth that ends up being light and refreshing — it’s somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between those two. The broth is hearty and beefy, yet light, and the noodles chewy and satisfying, but it’s that beef that is the real star: thick melting slabs generous marbled and tender enough to be cut with a single chopstick.

beefnoodle

But the real discovery here was the “spicy dumpling”, which featured a sheet of nearly-melting dough around a nicely-seasoned ball of mince, doused in a sauce thickened with fermented tofu. Could I resist a generous dollop of macerated red chili with garlic to accompany it? Of course not.

The spicy dumpling at Yong Kang Beef Noodle

The spicy dumpling at Yong Kang Beef Noodle

 

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Filed under Asia, beef, food, noodles, restaurant, Taiwan

My boyfriend

I haven’t told my husband yet, but I have a boyfriend. If he knew, he would be more bewildered than anything else. Actually, the boyfriend would be pretty bewildered too. Because he doesn’t know he’s my boyfriend.

I have never met the man. I have never even been in the same room with him. He plays the guitar. He is American. He is male. That is as far as I can get before I become embarrassed and can’t talk about him anymore. But I listen to him every day, while I’m running on the treadmill. That is our time.

You probably think I’m talking about John Mayer, because he is a big American guitarist who also happens to be male. No. I would rather gouge my eardrums out with rusty scissors than listen to that man on my beloved treadmill. John Mayer is greasy stir-fry left to cool on a dirty countertop while the waitress picks her toes. Sorry, if you are a John Mayer fan. Yes, I know you think he is talented.

I’m talking about this guy:

Jack White

(I did not add the photo directly to the post because Karen says that’s stealing. So you have to click on the link. Sorry).

I look through photos of him sometimes to calm me, when I am procrastinating from doing something vitally important. My editor is really pleased about that. Jack White is probably the reason why my book will never be published. That is OK with me. I have several “favorite” photos. One is my absolute favorite because he is staring at the camera with the same skeptical expression I imagine he would use if he ever actually met me. Like he is a heartbeat away from calling security.

But my friends do not share this love for Jack White. When I show Karen a particularly fetching one of him holding a red umbrella, I get this reply via text:

KAREN: He looks like he’s on his period.

Oh, Karen. Maybe it’s a good thing we have vastly different tastes on these matters. She is an aberration, an outlier. But then I show my friend Patrick a photo over dinner, because I am back to being 11 years old and boring my friends at the lunch table about Duran Duran.

Patrick puts on his best Miss Marple voice: “After my womyn’s studies seminar I’ll go pick up Lily in the Subaru and head to the kd lang concert,” he says. This is utterly baffling. Last time I checked, Jack White seemed very male. In fact, his complete lack of enthusiasm for wearing underwear is one of the things that bothers me about him, if for no other reason than the fact that we all now know that he dresses to the left (does that mean he is a liberal?)

I feel like we are in an Alice in Wonderland world where Justin Bieber is a real catch and Adam Levine is a major league heartthrob who is not creepy in the slightest. What is going on? Why are people going on about things that are obvious and completely, utterly simplified, the tom yum noodle versions of humanity? There is no subtlety in a bowl of tom yum noodles. It doesn’t really require a lot of extra work to do well. Sometimes, all you need are the tom yum seasonings from a pack of instant noodles added to a bit of pork broth, and there you have it. Britney Spears in a bowl.

For my money, when I go anywhere, it’s all about yen ta fo. If you read here regularly, you already know about my fondness for them, but they really are my favorite soup noodles in the world — more than snoretastic pho, more than tired old ramen, and don’t even get me started on those poseur minced pork noodles, the Fall Out Boy of street food. Yen ta fo is hard to describe: plain rice noodles dressed up in a pork broth-based sauce liberally touched with red fermented tofu and chilies, pork and fish meatballs, bits of squid and congealed pig’s blood, and a whole handful of blanched morning glories. The very best bowls have deep-fried bits of pork crackling and garlic as garnishes. Through some strange culinary alchemy, these ingredients should all combine into a melange that is somehow spicy-tart-salty, and only a little bit sweet. Every bite shows something different, depending on what you get. It’s not always perfect or even good, but then again it’s not about making choices that are easy or simple.

Yet this all gets described on most menus as “red seafood noodles” or “pink noodles in sauce.”

An exemplary bowl of yen ta fo

An exemplary bowl of yen ta fo

 

The best bowl, the one I go to the most frequently when I want this dish, is Guaythiew Pik Gai Sai Nampung on Sukhumvit 20/1 (the alleyway between Sukhumvit Sois 20 and 18). This place is actually known for its chicken wing noodles, which can be too salty for some (present-day Eddie Van Halen). I prefer the “red seafood”, which may not, at first glance, look like what you’ve been waiting for, like that thing that will see you through an hour and change on the treadmill every day. But that just means that there’s more for me.

 

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Filed under Asia, Bangkok, food, food stalls, noodles

What’s Cooking: Yum

A "three-way" yum of shrimp, pork and dried fish at Polo

A “three-way” yum of shrimp, pork and dried fish at Polo

I’ve been away, so I haven’t had as much Thai food as I’d like. Although the world is full of what I’m sure are great Thai restaurants that venture beyond the sour-sweet stir-fries and chicken with cashew nuts that we all know and will perversely miss some day, I have a general rule about not eating Thai food when I’m out of the country. It is usually — not always, but a lot of the time — a pale shadow of what I’d get at home. Since I live at home, why don’t I just get it there?

But I find that the thing I miss most when I’m away is the spicy-sour-sweet melange of what-have-you called, fittingly, “yum”. It’s room temperature and chopped, perfectly made to eat in greedy mouthfuls with a spoon — the bigger, the better, hopefully alone so that you don’t have to share. It’s made up of things that might not tantalize on their own, like tiny dried fish or julienned banana blossoms or blanched Chinese kale stems or even chopped lemongrass bulbs. Its variations are infinite, but the overall effect of the dish is the same: a bit of spice, a lot of tart, some fish sauce, some sugar. Some heft in the form of a smoky grilled eggplant, or lightly cooked shrimp. Something light and refreshing, like lettuce. And always some texture, some crunch. It’s the very definition of something that is better than the sum of its parts.

The sky is the limit when it comes to thinking up yum salads of your own, so it’s probably not surprising that many families have their own favorite yum recipes. My husband’s family is no different. When they get together, you can be sure to find a big vat of beef green curry (gaeng kiew waan nuea), some fermented rice noodles (kanom keen), a bit of roti, and, in a nod to the Japanophile tendencies of modern-day Bangkok, some pickled ginger. Also on the table is a big brimming bowl of yum soon sen, a “salad” of glass vermicelli that is a far cry from the anemic glass vermicelli salads I have had anywhere else. With its mix of palm sugar and coconut milk and tamarind juice, this salad recalls more of the luxurious sweetness of a good mee Siam you’d find on the southern Thai border, and less of the cartoonish “hot ‘n spicy” of a package of Mama tom yum noodles. It’s sort of like eating garlic bread for the first time again.

Obviously, I lack the self-discipline to stop and take a photo of this dish, so you will have to be content with a photo from Karen, taken at the beginning of a family banquet when everyone was being too polite to be the first to tuck in:

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Yum woon sen in the earthenware bowl in the middle, surrounded by everything else anyone could think of on that day

 (Photo by Karen Blumberg)

I have to admit, I had a bit of trouble securing this recipe from my husband’s aunt. These things aren’t easy to come by. So if there’s something that might be missing, or some cooking step that someone may have forgotten to mention, well … don’t look at me. I’m just the messenger.

Yum Woon Sen

Ingredients:

–       500 g woon sen (glass vermicelli)

–       1 kg shrimp, cleaned

–       shredded kaffir lime leaves (for garnish)

–       1 L coconut milk

–       1 kg shallots

–       25 g dried chilies

–       150 g tamarind juice

–       5 Tbs fish sauce

–       150 g palm sugar

–       unscented cooking oil (for stir-frying)

 

To make:

 

  1. Soak glass vermicelli in water for half an hour.
  2. Mince and then stir-fry shrimp until pink, let rest.
  3. Slice and fry shallots until opaque.
  4. Split coconut milk into two portions, the add palm sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind juice (juice only). Mix, and heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  5. With the remaining coconut milk, “stir-fry” glass vermicelli that has been drained. Add other coconut milk. Add shallots, leaving some for garnish. Add chilies, sliced roughly. Stir-fry until dry. Scatter julienned kaffir lime leaves and remaining shallots over the top as garnish.

 

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Filed under Asia, Bangkok, food, noodles, Thailand

A spoonful of sugar

_DSC9704

The formidably cluttered work station at New Chu Ros

The first time we set out to find this place (and by the first time, I mean: the first time after the four times I’d been there before while researching the first book), we got lost. I thought this old Banglamphu standby — located deep in the bowels of a covered-walkway market specializing in bits of fabric and ladies’ undergarments — was located in Little India. Pahurat somehow figured in the location of the place, I knew (I am not very good at directions). All I needed to do was to find the outdoor market.

Except … there are a whole lot of outdoor markets. All over Pahurat. And all around Banglamphu, too. Because the second time, we were lost irreparably — this time in a random alleyway around the corner from the old-style shopping center known as Old Siam (incidentally, a great place for coffee, juices and a bathroom break if you ever find yourself in the area). The third time, I found it. And it was closed. And the fourth time, I forgot where it was and found myself in the same random alleyway again. Yes, I know.

The fifth time, it was open, AND in the place we thought it would be (after going to the wrong market one last time. Because, we are us). It’s in a place called the Pahurat Market, yes, but really, how helpful is that? Better yet: across the street from the KFC at Old Siam (the actual KFC, not the sign, don’t use the sign). More specific? After crossing the street, turn right, and then turn the corner, and the market will be the first on your left. It’s a proper market — no listless little alleyway with cutesy stationery shop and a couple of sad old vendors selling incense here. It’s lined with fabric shops and jam-packed with stalls selling girdles and nightgowns and the odd touristy knick-knack or two. And it’s there — about 30 meters in to the left, or, if you want a shortcut, directly through the shop specializing in dancers’ traditional Thai headdresses and to the right upon exiting.

If you are still confused, there’s the voice — the proprietor of the shop has a very distinctive voice that really defies description. Any pedestrian within hailing distance will get an earful, exhorting them to come in and listing the specialties of the house: in this case, noodles, every kind, in a pork or tom yum or fermented red tofu broth.

_DSC9672

A bowl of yen ta fo with iced coffee

My favorite order at these kinds of noodle places is yen ta fo — the red fermented tofu-based sauce paired with fish meatballs, slippery slivers of squid, deep-fried pork bits and blanched morning glory — without broth or noodles. I don’t need the yen ta fo garnishes to have to share the spotlight. I find yen ta fo is a maligned sauce even among Thais, many of whom say they won’t eat it because it’s too sweet. I find that funny because, well, have you had Thai food lately? I think that the real measure of whether you’ve transitioned to becoming a true Bangkokian today is when you start sugaring your noodles. Anyone can revel in the dirty trashcan stink of fermented fish sauce or bomb their palates to Neverneverland with the typical assortment of chilies and spices … but it takes a true Bangkokian to add a heaping spoonful of sugar to all that drama. No longer can we have the savory without the sweet, and (maybe) vice versa.

I’ll admit it: terrible yen ta fo is indeed too sweet. But the very best ones, like the bowl at New Chu Ros, throw in plenty of tart and a tinge of spice, making yen ta fo a literal party in the mouth of textures and flavors. So if you are intrepid enough to brave the Pahurat market, and willing to possibly get a little lost, try out the bowl at New Chu Ros. Girdle optional.

(All photos by @karenblumberg).

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What’s Cooking: Bamee Slow

My stab at "bamee kai", or egg egg noodles

My stab at “bamee kai”, or egg egg noodles

It’s on. Stress has taken hold, and I am feeling overwhelmed. As deadlines loom and previously-unforeseen hitches suddenly rear their little heads, I find myself reacting in strange ways. Please don’t be alarmed. If you see me staring at you, I am not contemplating you for dinner. I don’t see you at all. If you are foolish enough to say something to me, do not be startled if I spout even more rubbish than usual. I am trying to work something out.

In my present state, I have discovered some people enjoy my company more than usual. These are twisted and strange people. They are also food lovers. Because, in an attempt to keep from creeping as many people out as I usually do, I have retreated to the kitchen, where I can be as weird as I want and as brave as I like. It’s all OK, you see. My inevitable failures here won’t be as heartbreaking. And the results, as pitiful as they are, can be shared by everyone.

Today, I am attempting to replicate one of my favorite comfort foods, the bamee kai (egg noodles with, um, egg) from Bamee Slow, officially referred to as  “Bamee Giew Moo Song Krueang” (open after 8pm at the entrance to Ekamai soi 19). Diners who like these noodles enough to queue up for them — and Thais have a hard time lining up for anything — affectionately call this place “Bamee Slow” because the khun lung (old “uncle”) manning the stall makes every bowl one by one, and it can take up to half an hour to get your order (for the record, the longest I have waited is 22 minutes). He has since stepped back from the soup vat and his daughter has taken over, and I am told she is a bit faster. But their noodles are as popular as ever.

What I love are the al dente, silky noodles, coated with the unctuous yellow yolk that eventually spills out of every unlucky egg plonked into each bowl. Slices of red pork, sturdy bits of Chinese kale, crumbled minced pork bits: none are immune from the reach of the yolk. This is what I am trying to capture, in my own small way.

Before starting, you need to make sure you have a big enough strainer that will hold all your noodles while ensuring that all the starch washes away, so that your egg noodles are not a smooshed-up Jack Sparrow-like bird’s nest, rendering your entire bowl a sad mess like the remnants of my career. Also, like the people at Bamee Slow, you should make up each bowl one-by-one: it really does make for better noodles.

I boiled a handful of pork soup bones in water with some garlic and white peppercorns for an hour, skimming periodically, and then flavored the broth with soy sauce and roasted chili paste (the ingredient that I think lends the toxic orange color to Bamee Slow’s broth). However, if you don’t have the time or inclination for this, pan-fry some minced pork with or without pork soup bones first, then cover with water and boil for a few minutes before starting. Or, simply get a couple of pork bouillon cubes into some hot water and proceed without delay. It’s all up to you.

Bamee Slow’s egg noodles (makes 2 servings)

– 200 g pork soup bones

– 500 ml water

-2 garlic cloves

– 5-10 white peppercorns, depending on how peppery you like it

– 1 tsp nam prik pow (roasted chili paste)

– 1 tsp salt

– 3 Tbs soy sauce

– 200 g minced pork

– 200 g fresh egg noodles

– 4 stalks Chinese broccoli or kale

– 2 eggs, soft-boiled (boiled for 3-4 minutes), cooled in an ice bath, and peeled

– Sugar, chili powder, fish sauce, white vinegar (for garnish)

To make:

1. Boil first four ingredients for an hour, skimming periodically.

2. Season with soy sauce, salt, roasted chili paste and more white pepper. Adjust to your taste.

3. Add minced pork and allow to boil for a few minutes until pork is cooked, skimming scum off of surface.

4. Add your greens.

5. Place half of your noodles in a strainer and immerse in the broth, skimming more off the surface if needed. Wait 2-3 minutes for noodles to “cook” and lose their starch.

6. Place in a bowl and ladle broth with minced pork (but without pork bones) over the noodles. Garnish with egg and greens and, if you have it, a few slices of Chinese-style barbecued red pork.

7. Serve alongside sugar, chili powder, fish sauce, white vinegar (with or without sliced or smashed chilies) and ground peanuts, if you like.

 

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Filed under Asia, Bangkok, food, food stalls, noodles, pork, Thailand