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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Asian Cooking / Help identifying something in a dish......
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    Help identifying something in a dish......

    Go to page 1, 2  Next Page >>
    Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:29 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hey guys/gals

    First post here and I come to out of frustration. Been googling for hours and can't seem to find what I ate at a Asian restaraunt recently.

    I went to this place during the NRA show in Houston, and honestly it looked like a hole in the wall but when I entered I surprised to find the place pretty lavish but calm ; had a sophisticated air to it. Anyways I looked at the menu and saw very traditional dishes...none of the Americanized touch to any of it. So I order something called a noodle bowl that came with a variety of meats in it and vegetables.

    Upon being served the dish I was happy to see an abundance of vegetables instead of meat as is more traditional...It was almost a soup, had lots of liquid in it, nearly half the bowl to be honest..The whole time I kept wondering where the heck the noodles were. I hit the bottom and fished up a small triangle cake looking piece...I'd say about 1/8" to 1/4" thick and maybe 2-3" long. It was very crispy, yet had absorbed all the flavor of the liquid without being too mushy to eat despite it being submerged in liquid the entire time. It turns out the whole bottom was covered with this "noodle cake" I finished the meal with alternating bites of the noodle cake and the veggies and meat. To this date one of the most flavorful meals I've ever had.

    Now I'm not exactly sure which portion of Asia this restaurant was catering to, sorry. But the majority of dishes were served in a similar fashion of bowl/soup style. My question is what is this wonderful cake I encountered at the bottom of the bowl?...It wasn't sweet or anything I just use the term to describe more or less the texture...I've never seen a noodle like this. Questions are welcome, I wish I had pictures to help out. I appreciate any feed back.
    Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:50 pm
    Forum Host
    Welcome to the forum! icon_smile.gif
    Stella Mae
    Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:08 pm Groupie
    Hi, and welcome to the Asian forum. I think what you've eaten is a noodle cake. It is not uncommon in the north, and it's simply Chinese noodles -- or any other kind of Asian noodle -- that's boiled, then patted into a shape and sometimes fried in a tiny bit of sesame oil with other seasonings. It makes it crispy. On top of this will be a form of Lo Mien -- meat mixture and noodles, sometimes in fermented miso, and assorted vegetables. I could be mistaken, but I think this is possibly along the line of what you ate that was so good.
    Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:21 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks so much Stella, after google imaging the noodle cake I came across this picture which is incredibly similiar to what I ate. Same style, lots of liquid but not a soup. I've circled in red the "cakes" that look exactly what I ate. Is this the same Noodle cake that you spoke of, or is this called something different? It nearly looks like bread to me, but was not at all textured like bread. Thanks again for the feed back, I look forward to hearing your reply

    Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:28 pm
    Forum Host
    I have never had this, but gosh, that looks really good!
    Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:37 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    It was incredible. Very veggie heavy which I like since we shouldn't really be eating all that much meat to begin with. Beside the table they had a small dish and spoon filled with a concoction I really don't know the name of either, perhaps some of you veterans can chime in? It had red pepper flakes and what looked like soy sauce and perhaps some sesame oil. I've seen this at a few restaurants. Now I normally don't like soy sauce all that much but a few spoonfuls of this stuff in the dish really added some flavor layering and spice which worked out perfectly. I'd love to be able to make this at home as most of our local Chinese eaterys in Oklahoma don't serve traditional dishes like this. All the best.

    Semper Fi,
    Stella Mae
    Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:49 am Groupie
    The photo looks to me like those are chunks of doufu -- the Japanese say tofu. Was it fried crispy on the outside and soft on the inside? The Chinese doufu is so very, very good, but hard to find in this country. It has a dense texture. It looks to me like that's what this is in the photo.

    The sauce you describe is quite common in restaurants. For jiaozi -- or Japanese gyoza -- they will serve white vinegar and red pepper flakes. Or, they will serve a mixture of soy sauce, oil, vinegar and pepper flakes.

    Whatever you had sure does look good! icon_biggrin.gif
    Leggy Peggy
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:59 am Groupie
    Oh wow, that dish looks sensational.

    Rinshinomori has a recipe for Homemade Tofu - Regular or Momendoufu,
    that might be a start for recreating the dish. I think she is travelling to
    Japan now or, at least, soon, so not sure when she can pop in with a
    Stella Mae
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:08 pm Groupie
    I think, from what you are showing in the photo, that is is doufu -- dense and delicious. Tofu is totally different in consistency and taste. But! It might also be tempeh. Google tempeh and see what you think.
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:16 pm Groupie
    I could be two things. Does it look something like these:


    The first two are deep fried tofu and it is sold commercially in Asian markets. I call this atsu-age which means thick fry.

    The last picture depicts many forms of fish paste made into different shapes and with different seasoning. These are also deep fried and excellent taste. Very popular amongst Japanese and Koreans.

    However, I've not seen soups with predominantly deep fried tofu in the bottom. It is often used with other vegetables, chicken, etc in stew like dishes.
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:36 pm Groupie
    Another possibility is what Stella said - tempeh

    But as you can see tempeh has very distinguishing texture.
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:41 pm Groupie
    I thought of another possibility. I was thinking of soups sometimes popular in Taiwan using what's called stinky tofu.
    Leggy Peggy
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:45 pm Groupie
    Stinky tofu -- what a great name! Maybe I'll call my next dog Stinky Tofu.
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:25 pm Groupie
    LOL - I like that name. icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif Reminds me of my parents's military friends. Their name was Steinkle. Mom could not pronounce the name and always called them steenky.
    Stella Mae
    Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:34 pm Groupie
    What a great name for a pooch -- Stinky Tofu. icon_lol.gif

    I'm wondering about that dish. Could it be a noodle cake on the bottom of the bowl and fried doufu or tempeh throughout? Gee, I wish I knew the answer!
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