Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Bean Noodles

Pasta of a different kind and equally as good ... this one—the black bean noodles (aka jia-jiang-mein)—hailing from Eastern Paradise in Honolulu, Hawaii.

I love this dish, which is available at certain Chinese restaurants catering to Koreans—typically, there's even a second menu written in Korean. The umami-rich, soy-based sauce also includes chopped onions and zucchini along with diced beef and shrimp. Some versions have squid and sea cucumber or diced potatoes; this one didn't. The whole thing is then topped with a julienne of raw cucumbers. I like to spike my noodles with a good swig of vinegar to give it a tangy bite.

Eastern Paradise's version was pretty good. But I've gotta say that San Tung's (which makes its pasta in-house) in SF is better. Sadly, I avoid that place like the plague because it's mobbed day and night (and no wonder, the food is really that good). I guess I'll just have to suck it up and go back. Maybe if I go on the early side of lunch over the weekend, the wait, not to mention the din and roar, will be minimal? We'll see ...

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