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Chris Amirault

Asian Noodle Soups--Cook-Off 18

132 posts in this topic

I finally got a chance to do this cook-off. Just happened to find a HUGE bag of frozen cantonese egg noodles at the Asian market. I made a simple broth using chicken bones, pork bones, and water as the lady at the market suggested using Ah Leung's method of pre boiling the bones and then simmering them in a clean pot of water. After making the broth I realized I forgot to pick up something to go with the noodles. Oops. I had a piece of pork belly in the freezer which I thawed and roasted at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. Boiled some noodles, add broth, season to taste, top with bean sprouts, pork, and green onions. Yum.

Here's ya go bamii nam tom yum moo sahm chun (eggs noodles and pork belly with spicy soup):

gallery_39656_2144_2787.jpg

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Beautiful ba mii nam! Any condiments?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Thank you. :smile:

I did not season the pork belly, just stuck it in an oven. The flavor of the pork is quite nice on it's own and I knew I would be using it in this dish. What I love is the crispy skin of the pork. I could have done it the way a noodle shop near my home in Bangkok does it but I didn't want to dirty my kitchen up too much. They steam the pork belly and then fry the top so that it gets really crispy. You can order it on the side and dip it in a dark soy sauce/pepper vinegar mix.

Umm.. snowangel I'm not sure what you mean by condiments? Are you talking about the seasonings found on any table that serves noodles in Thailand? Or are you talking about a side dish? I'm thinking you're talking about the seasonings. I used the normal; fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar with serrano chili. Since I made this tom yum flavored I also included crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

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Umm.. snowangel I'm not sure what you mean by condiments? Are you talking about the seasonings found on any table that serves noodles in Thailand? Or are you talking about a side dish? I'm thinking you're talking about the seasonings. I used the normal; fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar with serrano chili. Since I made this tom yum flavored I also included crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

Yes, I meant the seasonings found on any table (or noodle wagon). Ah, the vinegar with serrano chili (although I often use bird chilis since I can get them easily). My favorite of th condiments!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Umm.. snowangel I'm not sure what you mean by condiments? Are you talking about the seasonings found on any table that serves noodles in Thailand? Or are you talking about a side dish? I'm thinking you're talking about the seasonings. I used the normal; fish sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar with serrano chili. Since I made this tom yum flavored I also included crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

Yes, I meant the seasonings found on any table (or noodle wagon). Ah, the vinegar with serrano chili (although I often use bird chilis since I can get them easily). My favorite of th condiments!

I didn't use bird chili in this one since I didn't feel like blending the chili and vinegar. Is that how you do yours? This one I just sliced the chili and dropped it into a jar of vinegar. Insta chili vinegar, course it will be better after it sits for a bit but still yummy.

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I didn't use bird chili in this one since I didn't feel like blending the chili and vinegar. Is that how you do yours? This one I just sliced the chili and dropped it into a jar of vinegar.  Insta chili vinegar, course it will be better after it sits for a bit but still yummy.

I make mine exactly the same way, just usually with birds because they are easier for me to find. The serrano's at the supermarket are often past their prime!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Oh, man.

I decided I needed some duck this weekend, and so I bought a Bell & Evans pekin duckling, trimmed it, dried it, smushed some szechuan paste on it (szechuan peppercorns, garlic, scallion, ginger, dark soy, shaoxing), let it marinate on the counter for a couple of hours, then steamed it in a pyrex pie plate for 90 minutes.

Turns out that was too long to make a good crispy duck -- the joints had degenerated in that wonderful way that would've made it collapse in a wok filled with hot oil -- but was perfect for shredding for soup. AND... at the base of the pie plate was an inch of the most remarkable duck stock I have ever tasted.

I added a few cups of rich chicken stock and didn't add anything else to the broth. Assemby: after warming some cooked noodles in the broth, I placed the noodles in bowls, sprinkled some blanched bean sprouts in, then some of the duck meat, covered eveything with the heavenly broth, and then topped everything with some thinly sliced Chinese celery and scallion, some splinters of ginger, and a shake of the szechuan peppercorn salt. No photos because I didn't want to pause during the inhalation of this ambrosia.

Oh, man.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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So, Chris, where's the photo? Where's the food porn? Ambrosia over the needs of the many?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I actually did take part in this Cook-Off in January, during the time that most of it was going on, but I sure am late posting. I wanted to let Chris and you all know that I enjoyed it. Thanks for your planning for our Cook-Offs, Chris.

What was really different for me about making this Thai-style soup was that I used three prepared foods in it! I was going to make broth or stock myself as usual, but when I was doing the shopping at the Asian market, the owner highly recommended that I try these soup bases. She said she usually uses them, and I've always liked her suggestions, so I hesitantly bought it and used it. I was so pleasantly surpised; they are both really good products. For this soup I used both, and I've used them separately since.

I planned to use the soup bases, so what the heck, I used store-bought pork meatballs and store-bought fresh rice noodles (both of those from her frozen food section), too. The three "meats" were the meatballs, some octopus that we had in our freezer, and chicken. The photos are self-explanatory as to what else was in there. I didn't use a recipe -- just threw it together. It was a really good, tasty soup. My disappointment in it was that I overcooked the noodles and they got mushy by the time we were going for seconds.

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Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Ba Mi Nam at our house tonight:

gallery_6263_35_31826.jpg

(sorry that the photo isn't more in focus; I'm still learning about my new camera)

Chicken broth, unadorned. No anything added other than chicken meat and various and assorted whacked up bones.

Thin noodles that I get at the local asian market.

Some char su pork that was needing to be used up, as was some cooked chicken, and some leftover rare smoked prime rib.

At about 11:00, you'll see a white glob. It is a fish ball. It is what makes it for me.

Condiments includes the requsite scallions, cilantro, fish sauce and vinegar with sliced birds. You can see on this dish only a portion of the birds. We've all been sick, and as Peter said, "those little pepper slices really clean out the sciences."

But, back to the fishballs. I grew up in Thailand, and nothing pleased my sister and I more than my folks having some sort of business commitment in the evening. Which meant that we sat on the front stoop with our noodle bowls and our 5 baht, waiting for the bell of the noodle cart. Food memories are odd, and fish balls are a big one for both my sister and I. It just isn't a proper bowl of noodles without them.

Peter (age 10) can't wait to share with his friends that he ate them. Diana at age 15, probably won't advertise the fact that she ate them, but she did say she can't imagine eating this again without them.

Why don't I do this more often? It is the most comforting of noodle soups, and is a great vessel for odd bits of leftover this and leftover that. If I'd only had my old melamine lemon yellow noodle bowl...


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Ba Mi Nam at our house tonight: [snip]

Why don't I do this more often?  It is the most comforting of noodle soups, and is a great vessel for odd bits of leftover this and leftover that. 

It looks fantastic -- and I agree. I always have the basic ingredients around, and it's perfect for all of the stock I so steadfastly stockpile.

Why don't we indeed??


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I made Kao Soi for dinner tonight. You can read more about Kao Soi here.

The first time I ever had Kao Soi was in 1969 in Chieng Mai. I was visiting some family friends; I'll never forget that visit because not only was I introduced to Kao Soi, but they were living in a bank that had been converted into a private residence. Quite a grand residence, at that.

Anyway, I fell in love with Kao Soi, and it was a very uncommon dish in Thailand outside of Chieng Mai. And, I can't recall that I've ever seen it on the menu of a Thai restaurant here.

I basically followed the Pim's recipe. I did not top with fried noodles because I was feeling lazy, and the foot of snow prevented me from getting the ingredients for pounding my own paste, so it was Mae Ploy to the rescue.

I used the traiditional accompaniments -- shallots, lime and the pickled mustard greens. My local Asian market has home-made pickled greens in their deli counter, but for me, it's the lime that really makes the dish.

Although Kao Soi can be made with chicken, I most closely associate beef with Kao Soi. And, given that I have a glut of vension in my freezer, I used that.

Paul and Diana had never had kao soi before, and asked that it become a regular on the menu.

gallery_6263_35_23543.jpg

Best of all, there are enough leftovers that I know what I'll be having for breakfast in the morning!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Diana and I have been fighting over the leftover kao soi. I put the extra cooked noodles in a plastic bag, and the kao soi sauce/soup in a container. We've been (horror or horrors) reheating a combo of the soup and noodles in the microwave on the defrost cycle.

I've gotta make more of this soon.

We've decided that Kao Soi is Breakfast of Champions.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I don't understand the concept of excess starch in noodles, since they're a starchy item. Please explain.

Cooking the noodles separately then rinsing removes the surface starch that comes out in cooking and which would otherwise cause them to stick together.

It's the same with washing rice before cooking. I can remember my grandmother filling the pot or rice cooker with rice, adding water, whooshng it around and around with her hands. The water turns milky from the 'excess' starch washed off, she drains it away, fills again, washes, rinses and does it all again. Maybe five, six times until the water is clear. Then she'd leave the rice to soak for an hour or two before cooking. It's still the way I cook rice myself.

Anybody else wash and soak rice before cooking?

as with most seeds/grains there are natural protease inhibitors/antinutrients... soaking grains help remove these enzymes

i believe in the past they used to soak rice overnight

at home, my parents and i dont usually soak the rice, due to lack of time/thinking ahead

also... rinsing polished white rice is suppose to remove some of the nutrients, while rinsing brown rice shouldnt really matter as most of hte nutrients are still protected

interesting to note that white rice used to be for the wealthy, but it seems like brown rice is much more exotic now days

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Dinner tonight:

gallery_25849_641_292418.jpg

there really are noodles in there .... you just can't see them :blink:

come to think of it... you can't really see the broth either :laugh:

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This was lunch from a couple of weeks ago. Thought I should get the camera out.

Whilst we didn't have noodles as such, we did have Wonton's which are sort of like noodles right?

Stock was made from the remnants of a roast chicken so there were plenty of nicely browned bits of bone and skin plus the lemon and garlic which had stuffed the chicken. After boiling and skimming this for a couple of hours, it was strained and chilled. The fat was scooped off the next day and kept for frying potatoes (yum!).

To make the soup, a small amount of stock was heated in a saucepan, some soya added with some ginger. Later, wontons with bok choi, coriander leaves all roughly chopped were added.

It was a very simple soup but very tasty and very cleansing after a weekend of heavy haute cuisine.

AN1.jpg

Asian Noodles (Doc-G style)

Anyway, any excuse for a little bit of food porn!!

Cheers,

Doc-G


Edited by Doc-G (log)

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It does look cleansing. Speaking of which, we've got a stomach virus plowing through our house, so: chicken noodle soup.

I simmered a whole chicken a la Barbara Tropp, removed the meat and tossed the bones back into the pot, and cooked the stock down. Thinly sliced garlic and ginger sauteed with a bit of schmaltz, then the stock, then thinly sliced mushroom, red bell pepper, kale, and chicken. Blanched some thin egg noodles; plopped them in a bowl; soup on top; minced scallions and a few drops of sesame oil. I still feel lousy but, man, that was good.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have been working on ohnokaukswe lately or khao soi. So far, I've made it twice, and I'm making it for a third time tonight. I finally bought a digital camera, so I'll post pictures.

I am not positive, but I believe "khao soi" is the Thai name for the dish and "ohnokaukswe" is the Burmese name. In general, I've been working on learning about Burmese cuisine recently, so I go by "ohnokaukswe." I read through (and thoroughly enjoyed) the "Battle of Khao Soi" thread here on egullet. I also read through about half a dozen recipes in cookbooks, most of them from Thai cookbooks. However, Aung Aung Taik's recipe from Under the Golden Pagoda: The Best of Burmese Cooking, and Madhur Jaffrey's Burmese identified recipe (can't recall name of book) were similar to each other and shared subtle differences from the Thai-identified recipes. Some of the best research of all came from my trips to two tiny Burmese "markets" here in Toronto. These stores are basically little convenience stores, with a bit of Asian and Indian foodstuff. I could easily purchase any of the foods in more convenient locations, but then I wouldn't be able to glean info. about Burmese food from the people who work in the stores.

One thing I found particularly interesting was that the people in the Burmese markets did not recommend that I use fresh noodles. As I understand, the noodles traditionally used are very difficult to find, and flat chinese egg noodles (not round!) are an acceptable substitute. At both markets, I was told to use the dried kind, often labelled "instant noodles." I was not sure whether this is what people do in Myanmar, whether this is what Burmese people in Toronto do, or whether the proprietors of the stores were simply trying to sell me what they had on hand (dubious about this possibility, because both sets of proprietors were strongly against fresh noodles). Does anyone have ideas about this?

Anyhow, as I have today off, I had better use it wisely and get cracking on that ohnokaukswe. Will report back later.

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khadija: Good question--I'd be curious to know about the noodles as well. My guess is that the Burmese generally use the dried noodles. At any Burmese market I've been to in northern Thailand and Burma there are lots of packaged dried noodles, but I've never seen (or at least never really noticed) the fresh ones. Incidentally, the noodles used in khao soi are a bit of a mystery as well. I've never seen them for sale in markets or anything. Perhaps the vendors make their own, or as khao soi is not generally made at home, they're simply not commerciallly available.

I did an article on Burmese food in Bangkok for ThaiDay, a local paper, which includes a pic of a bowl of ohn no hkauk hswe. It can be found here. There's also lots of info on khao soi on my blog if you search around, and an article I wrote about khao soi for the Bangkok Post can be downloaded here.

Look forward to seeing your results!

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Venison khao soi again, but this time, I fried the noodles, which just made the dish. And, my local Asian joint does their own pickled greens. They are so yummy. I made enough of this that there is another meal in the freezer (sans noodles, which I will do ala minute).

Paul, Diana and I agreed that this is one of our favorite comfort dishes -- in this household, it beats out chicken noodle soup. Slurp, slurp, slurp. This takes me back to those days in Chieng Mai in the early 70's when things were sleepy...

gallery_6263_35_535895.jpg


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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is kuksu the same as gook su? I hate spelling out korean words, it makes absolutely no sense to me and makes me sound and look ridiculous :blink:

I wish I had a digital camera so bad, because I would make my version of gook su. It's alot different than marco polo's, because I use different noodles and use chicken or turkey stock instead of beef.

also, with your "kuksu", do you make an anchovy broth? I eat mine that way with a garnish of sesame seeds, julienned and blanched zuchini and some strips of omelet. I like the anchovy broth of course because its clear and because it is really subtle.


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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is kuksu the same as gook su? ...

I wish I had a digital camera so bad, because I would make my version of gook su.  It's alot different than marco polo's, because I use different noodles and use chicken or turkey stock instead of beef.

Hi Sheena, yeah, it's the same thing just a different transliteration. Would love to know how you make it. I sometimes use chicken broth. The anchovy sounds great, too!

Marc

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is kuksu the same as gook su? ...

I wish I had a digital camera so bad, because I would make my version of gook su.  It's alot different than marco polo's, because I use different noodles and use chicken or turkey stock instead of beef.

Hi Sheena, yeah, it's the same thing just a different transliteration. Would love to know how you make it. I sometimes use chicken broth. The anchovy sounds great, too!

Marc

very easy really: make your basic chicken stock with some chicken, garlic, and onions. You can add carrots and celery if you like, but I tend to stick with my basic version. Then after 2 hours or so I strain the broth, pick the chicken meat off the chicken and do the following:

I cut some potatos into strips and boil them in the chicken stock until cooked through and then I add some slices of onion and zuchini. Then of course you add the noodles, but I don't use the skinny vermicelli noodles.

I use these:

141775838_a5d4d3637f_m.jpg

I took that from a google search by the way...

then I garnish the soup with some soy sauce that has some go chu marinating in it. It basically makes the soy sauce spicy.

btw, kal gook soo is a great way to utilize that leftover turkey from thanksgiving dinner


Edited by SheenaGreena (log)

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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