An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

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!

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

33 thoughts on “Noodling Around

  1. You are crazy Hannah (in a good way), I love your creations. This looks yummy!

  2. 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! :)

  3. wow a nice and original dessert

  4. So Beautiful and Unique, I love it.

  5. Spectacular. I wouldn’t have imagined that for dessert, but I bet it was delicious.

  6. 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

  7. What an interesting idea for a dessert! It has photographed beautifully. I’d love to know more about how you made the noodles.

  8. These look interesting. I really want to make homemade noodles. The brioche croutons sound perfect. Wow.

  9. 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.

  10. I know what you mean about a never-ending to-do list! I’m glad you found time to make such a gorgeous meal to celebrate the new year. :)

  11. Wow, this is so creative. Very cool.

  12. 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.

  13. Beautiful! Happy Chinese New Year!

  14. Gorgeous pics as usual!!!


  15. Lovely idea, excellent presentation and great photo! And good grief the 26th is tomorrow. Gotta dig out those noodles!!! Thanks a bunch.

  16. Noodles are fantastic, they are always my favourite. But making them from scratch – yours look really great!

  17. Incredible – My first visit to your blog and I love it!

  18. this is looks so lovely. Noodles is a sign of long life. And I do miss using calamansi. Happy new Year!!

  19. neat! these sound yummy. i do so love noodles of all kinds.

  20. Wow, so pretty and unusual!

  21. 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 :)

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. Gorgeous beyond words!!!

    Happy Lunar New Year to you too!!

  25. 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.

  26. This is fabulous, Hannah!

  27. Hannah this was such a great idea! you are so creative!!!

  28. Very creative! Are you going to start making fruit caviar too?

  29. Thank you for the helpful information. I bookmarked your site, and I hope you keep up the good work on making your blog a success!

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