The thing about ramen shops near Sydney’s CBD is that most of them are tonkotsu ramen shops. Not that I don’t love tonkotsu but I know there are other ramen broths out there. There are days when tonkotsu broths just doesn’t work for me and I yearn for a light broth soup that’ll freshen my palate. Thankfully, Sokyo’s nice enough to offer me one of my faves from Japan, shio ramen.
When I was a teenager, my family partly lived in Kuala Lumpur. My father was sent by his company to Malaysia and our family shuttled in and out of that country. Living for a time in Malaysia opened my world to a different world of flavor. Suddenly, my father and I were experimenting with new cooking techniques and spices. There are some dishes which I am yet to recreate but with Malaysia so far away and with Malaysian food in Wollongong limited, I can’t help but recreate some dishes at home.
Alright. Alright. You’ve outgrown the ‘men’ pun. But I’ll be honest in saying that I do love ‘men’, the noodle kind. Tsukemenya Yasubee in particular came at such a perfect time in my life. I was out and about with my friend N in Akihabara and at this point I was exhausted from doujinshi shopping. My rule of thumb when I travel is to find a nice place that looks suspiciously good. Tsukemenya Yasubee was definitely suspiciously good.
I… overslept last Sunday and today was… I got busy, I daresay. I apologize for the delay but don’t worry! Our first noodle is here!!
The featured noodle for week no. 1: Koka’s Laksa Singapura Flavor noodle.
As some of you may know, Laksa’s my favorite noodle ever. So there’s a reason why this is the first and why this one caught my attention. God. This noodle had me by the red globs of oil on its broth. But that’s just the start. There’s a reason why this is the first noodle I featured.
Where to get it
I’ve seen Koka packets like these in groceries such as Landmark, Shoemart and Rustans. They are sold around 34-38 pesos, depends on which grocery you go to.
Preparing this noodle was easy. Instructions at the back were in clear English and granted that you have no problem reading English (or Malay) you should have no problem preparing this noodle. Sort of.
The noodle for Koka’s one of those noodles that get really soggy after the 3rd minute. I suggest you follow the instruction on the packet and leave it in the boiling water for 2 minutes. After that, turn off the stove and then add the soup packets.
There are two packets for this noodle. One has the seasoning and the chilli oil and the other is the coconut powder. Oh yes, this is one noodle that didn’t forget that all good laksa should come with the fresh flavor of coconut milk.
Once I added the seasoning and the coconut powder, I was immediately caught by the fragrant smell of curry and coconut. It really took me back to Singapore although once I bit some of the noodles, I had to remind myself that this ain’t the real thing and was just a good compensation for it. If you didn’t cook your noodles right, the noodles might be too soggy for you to enjoy the bite of noodle.
On the other hand, the broth is spectacular. I was too eager to have a taste of the broth that it was a test on my patience to try to cool the broth down with my breath. The laksa broth may not be as thick as those sold in stalls in Singapore but it has a nice refreshing zing to it. It might be due to the hints of lemongrass and kari leaves. The curry flavor was not too prominent on this one but the coconut flavor is and it’s quite amusing how it slightly thickened the broth. If you added too much water, it won’t taste as good.
The chilli only hits you when the broth has coursed through your throat and it has this leftover warmth enough to tickle you to a cough. With just the broth, it was almost as good as the real thing. Almost. When you realize that you don’t have the tofu or cockles or shrimp or fish cake or the slivers of chicken, it’s almost heartbreaking.
I must add though that while this had a good laksa broth, this ain’t the best yet and was just good enough to let the tongue remember what laksa even tastes like.
If you’ve got time to visit your grocery this week, it might be fun to try out this noodle. One thing I can say is that for it’s price, it’s a good cheap way to have a taste of laksa. If you add some fishballs and fried tofu in it, it’s almost like the real thing!
Last year, I said to myself that as soon as the new year starts, I’ll start on something that would get me to write more often in my blog. In a way, it will encourage me to share a lot of things with you folks and it would make my cousins abroad really envious of the things I leisurely have here in Manila.
Kidding aside, I realized that for a site that declares its love for noodles… I rarely talked about noodles. I know. My bad. ^^;; But I am a noodle person and I love noodles and I though I should really do everything in my power to share this love with you folks.
Hence, the 52 noodles at Punked Noodle.
This is my valiant effort to share my weekly instant noodle or pasta experience with you people. Yes. You heard me. This year, I’m going instant. It’s easy on my wallet and well… don’t worry, since I only eat 52 noodles, I’ll try not to stack up on the MSG.
What makes this easy is rather than going to restaurants, I’m going to groceries and hunt 52 awesome noodles for to try. These noodles should be well within our reach and I will also consider the cost of getting them (unless if they were gifts to me. I can’t do much about that.) as well as their flavors. This is awesome for my highly impoverished wallet and also easy to fix when I’m much too lazy to really cook something up.
I hope this will also encourage you to try out the strange noodles that line up our groceries. If you have any suggestions for me (from the cheapest to at least the pricier brands) I’d be more than happy to try them. If you want to give me the gift of instant noodle, I’ll be happy to receive them as well! Just leave me an e-mail!
I’ve pretty much done my noodle tasting ahead so that I’m ready to post by Sunday. The first noodle is… close to one of my favorite noodles ever.
There was a time when my late afternoon entertainment meant this cartoon called Cooking Master Boy. This Japanese anime showcased the story of Mao as he goes on a quest around China finding different methods and secrets to perfect his cuisine. In his journey, he met amazing people, some of which bore titles such as Dumpling King or the Prince of Mapo Tofu. Back then, I used to poke fun at the idea of meeting people like these, ‘Iron Chefs’ who are kings and masters of their chosen recipe. Until recently, an amazing experience by Chowking’s doors has shown me that it can happen, there are indeed cooks who become kings of their recipes.
A few weeks back, ((Yes, I have a terrible backlog)) I had my Cooking Master Boy experience when I crossed the Beef Noodle King of Taiwan, Chef Liu Zheng Hsiung of the Lao Dong restaurants. One thing interesting about this guy is he won first prize in the Traditional Beef Noodle Competition for his clear soup beef noodle. What is more interesting is Chowking is planning to bring in his epic beef noodles to the Philippines.