a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

11,740. Noodles at home and out

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Food is pretty central to my life. I look forward to eating out, making meals, and even shopping for food. Shopping for food is the best kind of shopping to me because I (almost) always have success; I go to the store, find what I need, and buy it. I don’t spend hours trying on countless pairs of shoes, only to leave frustrated in and empty-handed. I get to accomplish a task, and you probably know by now that I’m someone who likes checking off tasks.

But yes, I live quite the food-centric life, always thinking about what I’d like to prepare for my next meal, and spending a fair amount of time looking at recipes or learning about cooking/baking techniques. Please do not confuse this with actually knowing anything about food or having cultivated my palate to understand fine food. I don’t know that I could tell you why I like something, only that I do or I don’t. I might try, but for the most part, I find that I lack an adequately descriptive food vocabulary and memory. Oftentimes, my memory fades to a rose-coloured version of actual events.

Oh yes… back to the subject at hand. My latest food obsession is noodles. This coincides with the weather turning cooler as I oftentimes like to eat noodles swimming in a hot broth that warms my entire body. Also, I like to think that I’m really great at making soups. Cutting up vegetables and putting together a big pot of soup on the stove is definitely one of my fortes, but I must admit to making similar soup all the time. I typically sauté onion, garlic, and chopped carrots until fragrant, add some water or boxed broth, and then throw in whatever other vegetables I have in the fridge. If I’m making it with meat, I’ll sauté the meat before adding the liquids. Tofu would just go in with the other vegetables and liquid. To make it heartier, I’ll mix in some rice or barley; if I don’t use grains, then I eat it with some bread.

Since I pretty much suck at making noodles in the same pot with the soup, I have been preparing them separately in another pot and then combining everything together. This is great for a number of reasons: (1) the noodles don’t get over- or under-cooked, and (2) I don’t have to fret so much about the timing of everything. The particular noodles I’ve been eating lately are these dried udon noodles. We usually purchase the frozen udon noodles that have somewhat of a squarish cross-section. These dried udon noodles are flatter in cross-section and have more bite to them. It’s also easier to control the firmness of the dried noodles; the frozen ones get soft quite quickly if you’re not paying attention (I am easily-distracted).

Noodle dish

Oh right, that photo isn’t of a soup, but just trust me that I like making soup a lot! Anyway, there are noodles underneath, those white udon noodles that was just so damned good. The topping is squash cooked with stewed oxtail and topped with fresh chopped scallions.

Aside from the home cooking, I’m also compiling a list of noodle joints in San Francisco that I’d like to try. So far, I’ve been to a bunch of ramen shops, but I’m looking for more Chinese noodle shops like King Won Ton out in the Sunset. I was there just recently and it was pretty good. I really love those skinny crimped egg noodles in soups with wontons and/or dumplings. I found a few more places on Chowhound and will steadily start checking them off this winter.

Partial list of noodles spots:

I like Himawari and Katana-Ya for ramen but hate the lines at both spots. Tanpopo up in Japantown was alright, but I prefer Iroha if I’m going to be up in Japantown. And if you want to talk about bun bo hue, then I really like New Ca Mau down in Sunnyvale. The place is no-frills, but damn the food is good.

That’s just a partial list… nevermind all the pho places. That’s for a whole other post, assuming I can even remember the ones I’ve been to!

The current list of places to visit is so much shorter, which helps to keep me focused:

Do you have a favourite noodle joint in SF or in the Bay Area? I’ll add it to my list.

And now I want to eat noodles again. Le sigh.

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Written by Reese

November 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Posted in just life

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