4 Exciting Destinations to Experience Noodles Like Never Before
Over the years, noodles have come a long way making their way into the hearts of millions around the world, delighting even the most hardcore critics of food and foodies alike. Originally from the kitchens in South-East Asia, noodle delicacies now prominently feature as signature dishes at several top-hat restaurants spread across Europe, Australia, and the United States. Chances are that you have eaten more than a handful of noodle recipes till date; however, the recipes featuring in this post are nothing like you’ve ever eaten or heard of. So the next time you prepare an itinerary to visit the Asian subcontinent, be sure to take some time off to relish these bizarre, yet tasty noodle recipes.
1. Pad Thai, Thailand
Whether it’s an exclusive restaurant or a roadside vendor’s food stall, Pad Thai is easily the most recognizable and featured noodle dish in Thailand. This unique noodle dish, native to Thailand, is generally regarded as one of the most exquisite Thai recipes across the subcontinent. Its recipe comprises stir-fried rice noodles mixed with a variety of spices and condiments such as palm sugar, tofu, eggs, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, garlic, sun-dried shrimps, and meat in a traditional “wok”. To top it all, fresh garnishes such as fresh lime juice, chili, bean sprouts, and coriander are added to the recipe. Truly, Pad Thai is one noodle delicacy that evokes a complete sensory pleasure of eating and easily elevates that feeling to epic proportions.
2. Lo mein, China
Many believe that ancient Chinese civilizations excelled at inventing sensational noodle dishes and passed on their culinary wisdom, generation after generation. One such distinctive Chinese noodle recipe is Lo Mein that continues to create a tremendous buzz in the European and American food circles even today. The recipe might seem simple to you with its unassuming traditional wheat-flour noodles served up in a delectable ensemble of meats, seafood, vegetables, and soy-sauce; however, don’t be fooled by its simple demeanor as it is quite a flavor-bomb, packed with rich noodle-y goodness. Although, many of us are familiar with its cousin, chow mein; taste to believe the incredible, original Chinese version of lo mein, which is more creamy and less crunchy.
3. Naengmyeon, South Korea
Although the Naengmyeon is originally from North Korea, this exquisite variety of buckwheat noodles has withstood the ravages of time and has been a staple across menus in South Korea for decades. A word of caution though; Naengmyeon just loads up on hot chili paste, shredded cucumbers, Asian pears, and pickles, to pack an unmistakable heat and flavor with every slurp. Therefore, you better be prepared to take the recipe head-on. Also, don’t be surprised when the noodles are served cold to you and feel surprisingly light for a recipe that promises such a lip-smacking tangy profile. So, gear up your A-game with chopsticks because you’ll need them when eating these uncut, rustic noodles, and don’t forget to keep a glass of water nearby (if you can’t handle spices that much.)
4. Saimin, Hawaii
Maybe we are digressing from the Asian subcontinent a bit here, but trust us, if you’re in Southeast Asia, you don’t want to miss out on experiencing the Saimin noodles in Hawaii, which is easily accessible from here. Saimin noodles are originally from China, however, it is the version perfected in the Hawaiian islands that beats the original recipe by leaps and bounds, elevating it to the sensational dish it is regarded today. The recipe was introduced to the Hawaiian islands by the Chinese immigrants in the plantation era and is heavily inspired by the Chinese mein, Japanese ramen, and Filipino pancit recipes. The noodle soup dish contains a bowl-full of delightful egg noodles teamed up with a traditional Japanese broth called dashi and green onions, along with an eccentric ensemble of char siu (sweet, spiced roast pork), soy sauce, kamaboko, sliced Spam, nori, linguiça, and shichimi. Have a great time eating that Y'all!
Whether sauced or plain, served hot or cold, instant or handmade, noodles are always a delight to eat. Across the globe, millions consume noodles in one way or the other, and you can be sure that each version is a revelation in itself. The recipes native to Southeast Asia, in particular, are probably the most flavorful and surprisingly bizarre noodle delicacies to have ever existed and even today, are fan-favorites. Therefore, if food and drinks drive your passion to travel to exotic destinations around the world, be sure to visit Southeast Asia and indulge in the scrumptious cuisine of the region, especially noodles.