25 February 2011

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles

Wandering around Chinatown on a chilly Sunday afternoon, I stumbled into the (vaguely recalled as recommended) Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, and am glad I did. Unadorned entirely, with a short menu (about a dozen choices of noodles either in broth or fried, with a few supplementary appetizers and dumplings), the food was simple and perfectly delicious.

Roast duck with hand-pulled noodles in soup was intensely flavorful, with tender bits of duck hacked alongside the fresh noodles and tender greens in a rich broth. The cucumber salad to start was spicy, savory and delicious, the tea was served in styrofoam cups, and the bill for two ran to <$20, with tip.

The place is tiny and fills up quickly, so going for an early or late lunch (I did the latter) is recommended.

Food and Memory

An excellent comment from an open thread at Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog:

I agree that it's more than just the food or the convenience. It's a whole host of ancillary stimuli. I go to Popeye's, this specific one right across the Harrison bridge, when I'm feeling disappointed, which is about once in two or three months. It's just a place where I feel it's okay to be disappointed. It's that ambience, the people there, just something, I don't quite know what that allows for it. Man, after that first bite of Popeye's, it's all disappointment. If I wanted, I could make better chicken than they do and with less guilt attached. But that's not the point. I'd rather not take my disappointment home and cook with it, nor clean up after. 
Food is not just about eating.

13 February 2011

Sichuan Peppercorn Chicken Stir-Fry


  • 1 lb chicken breast meat cut into strips
4 carrots, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, sliced

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground or crushed Szechuan peppercorns

  • salt to taste


  1. Marinade chicken strips with ground Szechuan peppercorn and salt for 30 minutes.
  2. In a hot pan, drizzle some oil and pan-fry chicken strips until golden brown; remove and set aside.
  3. Add a little more oil to pan and sauté the garlic. 
  4. When fragrant, add carrots, red pepper, and onion; stir-fry for about 5 minutes, adding water when necessary.
  5. Cover, and steam for several minutes.
  6. Add mushrooms and cover for 2 minutes.
  7. Return browned chicken strips to the pan and continue stirring. 
  8. Add salt to taste and ¼ cup water to loosen brown bits in the pan. 
  9. Cook until combined.
  10. Serve, and enjoy!