Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Put a Pork in Me, I'm Done - Lam Zhou Noodle

Diana knows better than anyone my immense adoration for handpulled noodles.  A Chinese specialty, noodles are pulled from exceptionally flexible dough, twisted into long ropes, lengthened by gravitational pull and twisted again until tiny strands emerge. 

This video, depicting Chef Kin Ying Mark best illustrates the concept of the handpulled noodle.  Chef Kin held the Guinness World Record for stretching 4,096 strings of Chinese noodles by hand in 41.34 seconds.  Uhh-mazing.

In New York, you can experience this twisting live as the chefs at Lam Zhou typically stand in the corner of the dining room, creating the noodles fresh with each order. 

My first experience with handpulled noodles was in Flushing, at Lan Zhou Handmade Noodles in Golden Mall.  This experience still remains my favorite, as juicy roast duck and soup are a match made in heaven.

The trek to Flushing is a tough one, so when I find myself craving a little handpulled noodle, I head over to East Broadway to eat at Lam Zhou. 

The noodle places' names are so similar, but they are a bit different.  For starters, Lam Zhou also has a duck noodle soup, but please do not order it unless you enjoy eating fleshless duck bones (biggest disappointment ever).  I've also tried the beef noodle soup, but the beef was indistinguishable and unappetizing. 

So this time, I decided to order the fried pork chop noodle soup. 
It was time for an adventure.

The pork chop was served separate from my soup as a fried, meaty blob.  There was at least two good sized pork chops bonded to the other in oily matrimony.  No forks or knives were provided with the dish, only chopsticks and plastic spoons available at this fine establishment, so I nestled the large pork chops between my chopsticks and took huge greasy bites. 

The pork was surprisingly moist and tender despite being heavily fried.  It was also well marinated.  The soup, had a nice flavor with star anise undertones, and filled with stringy noodles and slivers of bok choy. 

The chewy texture of the noodles makes them so fun to eat.  I ended up eating a third of my pork chops before my guilt got the best of me.  I finished the bowl of noodles though and felt like a champ.

Anyway, while the noodles are good, Lam Zhou's true claim to fame is in its dumplings. No pictures to prove it right now (I know!), but trust me, their dumplings are the best I've had in Chinatown.  Perfectly flavored pork chive dumplings in a just-the-right-thickness dumpling wrapper.  I prefer them fried (only the healthiest of course) but boiled is good too.  I bought a bag of 50 frozen dumplings to take home with me that night !  I cannot get enough of them dumplinz!

Lam Zhou is one of the best food bargains in the city.  A bowl of noodles will set you back $5 and a set of 12 perfectly fried dumplings costs $3.  Hello, date night!

Lam Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles
144 E Broadway
New York, NY

1 comment:

  1. whoa that video was SO COOL!!! and kind of like, unbelievable! he was so graceful the whole time. i'm seriously in awe.

    and hello, that pork looks scrumptious.