Five Great Asian Soups That Are Not Pho

seolleongtang.jpg
abex @ wikimedia.org CC-BY-SA 2.0
Edwin posted today about the shikhye he bought that reminded him of the dessert at Jang Mo Gip. Any mention of Jang Mo Gip gets me craving a big, hearty bowl of seolleongtang (ox leg bone soup, pictured above). It seems like every culture has its soup made of long-simmered stock. As winter starts to close in on us, it's worth taking a culinary tour of Asia through their soups and stews. Join us as we travel to Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Korea.

tonkotsu.jpg
Hykw-a4 @ wikimedia.org CC-BY-SA 3.0
Tonkotsu ramen - Don't think of those depressing packages on the shelf at the store, the culinary refuge of the impecunious. Tonkotsu ramen is made with pork bones that have been simmered for hours and hours to impart a milky white color and a deep, marrow-y taste to the broth. Ramen noodles are wheat noodles treated with kansui, a naturally-occurring carbonate. They're quite chewy when done right, and they match well with the very tender pork belly and vegetables that accompany the broth. Add a little shredded pickled ginger to wake it up, and make sure to order the set with the delicious tea-cooked eggs.

Where to get it: Santouka Ramen, Mitsuwa Marketplace food court, 665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa; (714) 434-1101.

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Pinc @ wikimedia.org CC-BY-SA 3.0
Niurou mian - Dark, meaty and rich, with thick bites of tender meat and vegetables and a pile of al dente noodles, this is like an inspired Asian version of Mom's beef stew. Add a little bit of shredded preserved vegetable for a little bite, and maybe a little bit of chile paste to wake it up. You'll find yourself craving this when the rain moves in.

Where to get it: A & J Restaurant, 14805 Jeffrey Rd., Irvine; (949) 786-3585

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