Noodling Around

Food is so central to most celebrations, and especially auspicious times like the Chinese New Year. Falling on the 26th this year, it was a scramble to figure out some way to celebrate, after getting caught up in so many different classes and events. Considering how hectic these past days have been and how much I still want to accomplish, it only made sense to make noodles. Long noodles are meant to ensure a long life, you see, and I’ll need all the time I can get to finish my never ending to-do list!

Not just any noodles would do though, and not even homemade pasta seemed special enough this time. Cracking open Johnny Iuzzini’s book for the first time, I started in winter to match with the current season, and there it was: The first recipe of the first tasting, Citrus Salad with Calamansi Noodles. Having never even seen a real calamansi lime before, I fell back on Johnny’s suggestion to use a mixture of orange, lemon, and lime juice instead of the puree. All that was necessary was substituting a combination of agar and locust bean gum for the gelatin, and voila- Citrus noodles! A resounding success.

Plated with brioche croutons, segments of tangerines and blood oranges, plus a quick chiffonade of fresh mint (finding micro green shiso leaves locally was out of the question) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, it was such a light and refreshing dessert! So very different from any traditional noodle one might think of, but I think I might like it even more because of that.

Happy Lunar New Year- Here’s to a long, productive, and creative life!

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33 thoughts on “Noodling Around

  1. OOO la la homemade noodles in a cirtcis salad!? I need to get more festive about cooking all year round, even on the lesser noticed holidays! :)

  2. hannah!
    what a cool post. I love that you are adept at using agar and locust bean gum! Right on. Being an adventurous vegan is becoming a bit like being a food scientist. So cool. Also, I blogged about calamansi limes last year. They are amazing. I bought them at the asian farmer’s market in San Francisco, & hadn’t ever heard of them before. I really fell in love and I wish they were more readily available. I think I save some seeds to see about trying to grow a tree… but I”m not sure if I still have them.
    :) Amey

  3. That salad looks delicious! You make the most amazing things. Your photography is also incredible. I wish I could taste all of your wonderful creations. By the way, I love the chef you mention.

  4. Another awesome post Hannah!

    Okay, so please dish about the locust bean gum. Is it similar to using a starch with agar to slightly soften the crisp gel? I’m so curious about uses for it.

  5. Ooh, I’ve always wanted to try making noodles, but never actually have. I thought I’d just leave it to those fearless Italian cooks. But you have inspired me! One day (hopefully soon!) I shall attempt to make noodles :)

  6. Wow, this looks delicious and intriguing, and having just discovered the joy that is agar, this is definitely something I am going to be experimenting with in the near future!

  7. This looks so nice and colorful. I keep pushing back my desire to make noodles from scratch, and this sounds so unique. Thanks for sharing!

  8. hannah, your noodle are gorgeous but at first glance i thought they were those… what you you call ’em? (we don’t eat ’em)…. cheesestrings. do you know what i’m talking about, they’re marketed as kids’ snacks?
    i really see the need for citrus is the winter – we need those warm colours when the world outside is so much greyer.

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