March 23 - Yam Cubes, Noodle Bowls

Such donuts!

No, this post has nothing to do with donuts. I just had to pick up two dozen of them from Top Pot for a thing at work, and I'd never been in possession of so many donuts before. It was a little magical. I mean, just look at them!

Aaaanyway. . . . I've been a little preoccupied with sweet potatoes and yams lately. I blame this one on my dad. I don't think he likes them, so we never had them when I was younger. This was also the case with brussel sprouts. And music videos. So now, having discovered them as an adult, I'm completely OD-ing on them. I'm sure the sweet potato-related madness is setting in as I type this. It makes them no less delicious. Like, for instance, when I decided to dice, toss with rosemary,salt and pepper, and fry them in a little oil.

Cubes = 3D goodness

I liked how this cooked them faster - I've found that yams seem to take much longer to cook than regular potatoes. Or even sweet potatoes, which I guess are different. Who knew.

They seemed like a great side dish for the pork dish that I think I found on Serious Eats, which involved a pork tenderloin cut into medallions, seared, then finished in a sauce containing brandy, mustard, tarragon, and cream.

Are we tired of pork yet? Of course not!

It was pretty simple, although I misjudged and undercooked the pork slightly. I guess I still have to fine-tune my meat-ometer. Not to be confused with a meatometer. Still, after adjusting the cooking time they turned out quite lovely. Especially perched atop some fresh asparagus next to those lovely yammy cubes.

Presentation is half the meal. Um, right.

Having an entire international district at my disposal has proven to be one of my favorite things about this great city I live in. It provides me with the opportunity to indulge in lots of great food for not so lots of money. It's also great because there seems to be a never-ending supply of tiny eateries I have yet to check out.

On Saturday night following a stop at the Punk Rock Flea Market, a few friends and I decided to check out Szechuan Noodle Bowl. It's a tiny place with about 10 tables, but we were determined to sample their wares. It turned out to be pretty worth it.

Check it out! As we were awaiting our food, a couple of ladies came out to the dining room and starting making dumplings. By hand. This seemed to me a very good thing, and of course we had to order some of those dumples.

Discs? Chop chop!

And my god they were awesome. We had the pork dumplings, which were tender and lovely. They were swimming in a lightly spicy sauce which complimented the mildly porky innards just perfectly. Honestly, they were my favorite part of the meal. And I ate most of them. But I don't even care. Ha!


Mostly because of course, since I was there, we didn't have to worry about not ordering enough food. Aside from the dumplies we also got a green onion pancake for the table, which was also of superior quality. It had a nice light crisp to it, and it was thick without being too doughy or heavy. It also wasn't greasy as I've experienced other, lesser pancakes to be. Success.

Would it be good with maple syrup? I wonder. . .

Sean, who had suggested this restaurant to begin with, ordered the house specialty: szechuan beef noodles soup. It had a really nice flavor - deep and subtle with not super spicy overtones. I'd say this was a winner too.


That boy of mine ordered the pork noodles with brown sauce, which was accompanied by cucumber sticks. Man I love cucumber sticks. I'm not sure why I ever consume cucumbers any other way. The little cubes of pork had a nice flavor to them, and a slightly springy texture. I'm curious as to how they're made, but I find it's best not to question things like that. Just accept. And enjoy.


I think the best part of the meal (aside from those luscious, lovely dumplings) was the noodles. They were so chewy and soft and fresh tasting - it makes me want to make noodles from scratch all the time. Then I remember that I'm lazy. But it's okay, because I can go to Szechuan Noodle Bowl and enjoy them at relatively low prices. Mmmm. . . noooooooooodle. . . . .

And here's a picture of Moos looking silly. This is what fresh noodles do to people.



bunny said...

gahhh yummy!!! freshly made dumplings are the bomb and green onion pancakes.. mm and beef noodle soup. I'm eating lunch but wishing what I was eating was all those things in your pictures :(.

Cathy said...

Stir fried yams,oh yummo!!!How long do they approximately take to cook?
On a different note :such sartorial excellence on Moos'part!!!That sweatshirt is outstandingly becoming!Where in the world did he acquire such an attractive garment?

yen said...

bunny - if I still worked in International District it would be impossible to stick to my "no lunching out" rule!

cathy - the yam cubes were so easy I didn't even bother to time them. I just put them on med-hi, let them sizzle until the browned a bit, then turned them . . . repeat. I believe that sweatshirt is from a fine dining establishment in Fargo, ND. . .