NOODLE MADNESS: 1 week of noodles starts today!
Noodles are the ultimate comfort food. They come in all sizes (long, short, thin, thick, flat, round, helix, cubes, cut, etc.) and can be prepared in many ways (boiled, braised, sautéed, fried). Through all the noodle’s diversity, one fact remains unchanged: a well-prepared noodle dish will always fill the stomach with a warm feeling. Like a baby after drinking a bottle of milk, you’ll be happy and better able to relax and enjoy life’s pleasures.
Each region of the world has its version of the humble starch. Although derived from simple ingredients, the final product is (usually) better than the sum of its parts. It can be served hot or cold, Simple or intricate. It may contain multiple starches as its base ingredient (potato, wheat, buckwheat, yams, rice, flour, etc).
I profess my love of noodle dishes. Cold somen, or buckwheat noodles during the summer heat; Warm champon or ramen in the winter; Noodles for special occasions or to celebrate a birthday with some extremely long-stranded noodle dish such as Japchae, Lomein and Pancit. I remembered having to slurp long stranded noodles on my birthdays; you know, to live long and prosper.
Another interesting noodle note is its potential flavor profile. What other dish can be served sweet or sour, spicy or mild, as an appetizer, savory offering or even dessert? There is a noodle dish for every mood and every season.
Even noodle-eating culture is different around the globe. In Japan, you are supposed to show your appreciation for the dish by slurping loudly. In Korea, you don’t lift your soup bowl as you might in Japan or elsewhere in Asia. In Italy, you eat seconds, either because it was good or as not to offend your nona.
Noodles as a comfort food, never fails to satisfy. Whether simply served hot or cold with broth (like Somen, Udon or Ramen) or intricately with artfully cut vegetables and noodle shapes (like Chow Fun, Pancit or Japchae), it always hits the right notes. The possibilities are endless. The noodle is only limited by its cook.
This winter season when your bones have been chilled by the cold, look to a hot bowl of noodles to warm the soul.