These Noodle Soups From All Over Asia Can Easily Be Made At Home
With the rainy season officially upon us, the colder and sometimes gloomier weather may have you hankering for your favorite noodle soup. Hot, flavorful broth, perfectly cooked noodles, and generous toppings; what can be more perfect to eat with the sound of the rain pitter-pattering in the background?
While it might be easier to reach for the nearest instant cup noodles in your pantry, there is something uniquely satisfying about making your own noodle soup recipe from scratch. Even if you don't make your own noodles, learning how to make broth from scratch and prepare the toppings you prefer doesn't only allow you to make endless variations of hearty noodle soups. It will also fill your home with a mouthwatering aroma that is sure to get everyone excited to gather 'round the dining table.
However, just because you're making noodle soup at home doesn't mean you can't add a little sense of adventure to your bowls. Here are hearty noodle recipes from all over Asia that you can make at home:
Batchoy - Philippines
Batchoy is a Filipino noodle soup dish that usually features a flavorful pork broth, topped with pork tenderloin ad liver strips, crispy garlic bits, crushed pork rind or chicharon, and a whole egg, all over miki noodles or fresh egg noodles. Depending on the recipe, the broth can also be made with both chicken and pork, while the toppings can sometimes include beef and chicken.
The most famous variation of batchoy is the La Paz Batchoy, which originates from La Paz, Iloilo City in the Philippines, but there is also a Tagalog version that uses misua or thin vermicelli noodles instead. Another variation is the Kapampangan batsui, which doesn't have noodles but is a hearty and filling pork soup.
Jjamppong - Korea
Jjamppong is a spicy Korean noodle dish that uses a seafood- or pork-based broth made red and spicy with Korean chili flakes or gochugaru. It can have ramen-style noodles or udon noodles and is usually topped with a variety of seafood like mussels, clams, prawns, squid, or baby octopus as well as vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms. It can also sometimes contain pork.
Jjamppong is considered by Koreans a Chinese dish and is usually found in Chinese restaurants in Korea. Jjamppong originated from the Chinese Shandong-style seafood noodle soup chaomamian, which has a white broth. During the Japanese occupation, Japanese soldiers called it chanpon as they thought it resembled another similar Japanese seafood noodle soup dish. Later, gochugaru was added to jjamppong, which added the spicy Korean twist that we all know and love today.
Kway Teow Gai - Thailand
Thai chicken noodle soup, or kway teow kai (pronounced "kwee-tee-yaw-kai"), is a flavorful noodle soup recipe that is bursting with Thai flavors. This kway teow or "noodle soup" is common street food in Thailand and is topped with chicken (kai in Thai) as its main protein. Some of the ingredients that make it "Thai" are lemongrass, cilantro, and sometimes galangal which are infused in the chicken broth.
Variations of the Thai chicken noodle soup recipe include using pulled chicken, which can then sometimes be called kway teow kai cheek (cheek in Thai means "to pull apart"). To add more flavor or to make kway teow kai in a quicker way, you can also use leftover rotisserie chicken to top it off!
Laksa - Malaysia/Singapore
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that is made with a coconut broth flavored with laksa paste, which usually contains dried chili, shallots, turmeric, lemongrass, tamarind, galangal, and shrimp paste. It can be topped with chicken, prawn, or fish. Laksa noodles or wide rice noodles are commonly used in traditional recipes, but it is easily substituted with any other kind of noodle.
While laksa is commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore, it is now a well-known noodle soup dish that marries different flavors together. It is spicy and tangy from the laksa paste which is balanced by the sweet and creamy coconut milk in the broth.
Lanzhou Lamian - China
Lanzhou Lamian (pronounced "lan-jow-lah-myen") is a Chinese beef noodle soup originating from Lanzhou, China. Lamian comes from la which means "to pull," while mian means "noodles". Lamian is made with soft wheat flour and is usually hand-pulled to make thin, springy noodles. The Lanzhou style of making beef noodle soup is said to have originated from the Muslim Hui (pronounced "hway") people, who don't eat pork due to their religion. Hence, Lanzhou Lamian is traditionally made with beef.
The soup is a clear but rich beef bone broth that is flavored with a spice mix that usually includes star anise, Sichuan and white peppercorns, bay leaf, cinnamon, ginger, and fennel seeds among others. It is then topped with sliced beef flank or beef chunks, white radish, and cilantro leaves.
Pho - Vietnam
Pho, pronounced "fuh", is a Vietnamese noodle soup dish that has a herby broth and rice noodles. It is called pho bo or "fuh-baw" when it is topped with beef (bo means "cow" in Vietnamese), and pho ga or "fuh-ga" when it is topped with chicken (ga means "chicken" in Vietnamese). It can also be topped with beef meatballs, which is called pho bo vien or "fuh-baw-veen". Pho has a light broth that is infused with lemongrass, as well as star anise, cinnamon bark, and fish sauce.
For pho bo, the beef is usually cut into thin strips and dipped in the boiling broth for a few seconds to cook, which not only keeps the broth flavor light, but also makes the beef soft and easy to chew.
Udon - Japan
Aside from the popular ramen (which is derived from the Chinese lamian), there is another delicious Japanese noodle dish: udon. Udon can mean the thick wheat flour noodles, which are soft with a springy texture, or the noodle dish, which is usually served in an umami-packed broth.
There are many different types of udon, but the most basic broth is made with soy sauce, mirin or Japanese rice wine, and dashi, a simple stock made from kombu or kelp and katsuboshi or fermented skipjack tuna flakes. Common udon dishes include kitsune udon, which is topped with aburaage or deep-fried tofu, kake udon, which is only topped with spring onions, and tempura udon, which is served with shrimp tempura or kakiage (vegetable tempura). Curry udon, which features a rich Japanese curry broth, can also be made with thin, sukiyaki-cut beef.
Which country's noodle soup recipe has you getting hungry to sip today? Cool, rainy days are the best times to experiment with something hot and comforting in the kitchen.
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