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!