Thursday, May 11, 2023


There really should be a place nearby where one could have a bowl of soup noodles early in the morning, especially when it's still so cold at first light. Red broth -- chicken stock with pork bones, lard, rice wine, sugar, and soy sauce -- wheat noodles, an egg, and lots and lots of scallion. One could snarf it down next to the Grand Canal, and have a dark shag cigarette with one's coffee afterwards. Rolled from that pack of 'zware' bought at the trainstation kiosk. But this isn't the Venice of the North, Zware Shag is totally unavailable. And there is no luxurious noodle soup kitchen.

One is bitterly disappointed. One looks blearily out over the street leading up Nob Hill, and grumpily laments the absence of many things. While smoking one's pipe.

As a Dutchman I demand canals and soup noodles.
Plus, optionally, sliced fatty pork.
Or fresh shrimp.
For the best flavour, the shrimp should be subjected to two different cooking methods. Firstly a quick blanch in lightly simmering water, then sautéed briefly on a low-medium flame till barely coloured. This will bring out their sweetness best, and yield a tenderness.

The stock should, ideally, have been simmering overnight.

The noodles must be al dente.

This is the way.

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