Monday, February 12, 2007
Joe's Shanghai - Pork and Salted Vegetables Noodle Soup
Usually two things come to mind when anyone thinks of Chinese food. Rice and noodles. For today’s entry, we’re gonna talk about noodles. Noodles are cooked in a variety of ways in China, from stir fried, fried, boiled, to even being made an integral part of soups. Noodle soups are great and simple meals, especially on a cold winter’s day.
Joe’s Shanghai offers a great selection of noodle dishes, and they’re all extremely delicious. One simple dish tends to often stand out for me, and is full of very standard ingredients often used in southern Chinese cuisine. It’s a noodle soup with pork and salted vegetables.
First off, it’s in a clear soup broth. The ingredients are of course the noodles, which tend to be of a thick variety, which become very soft and absorb the water and flavor from the soup. Accompanying the noodles are slivers of pork, which have been marinated and tenderized so that they remain very soft and have an almost springy texture to it. The vegetables are what seem to give this dish most of its flavor. Small slivers of bamboo are used, and if you’ve never had bamboo before, it’s a very unique taste. It’s often firm and crisp, but is also very sweet in its flavor. The salted vegetables are the dull dark green olive colored additions to the soup. They’re often small pieces of pickled radishes or other cucumbers, and are called salty vegetables for a reason. They’re really salty! It’s not advised you eat them alone, or you might not like it. They’re often eaten paired with rice or noodles, or often placed into soups to add a unique flavor to the soups like it does in this one.
To get the full amount out of this dish, you need not eat each element just by itself, but you need to take bites with all the ingredients placed juxtaposed next to each other. Use your chopsticks and get a nice amount of noodles into that soup spoon, and then sink it into the soup to get some of those vegetables, bamboo, pork, and most importantly, the soup itself. With it all nicely wrapped up in one nice package, go ahead and sink that sucker into your mouth and let the party in your mouth begin!
Spicy Beef Tendon Noodle Soup