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Here Are 7 Soup Alternatives.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Jeanh, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. With the rainy season upon us, we’re sure that there’s nothing more you’d like than to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a bowl of steaming hot noodle soup.

    A popular choice seems to be ramen. The ramen trend has lived through 2013, 2014 and soon, 2015, without any signs of slowing down. It seems like every ramen noodle house in Japan has at least one branch in Manila!

    Now, don’t get us wrong, ramen is great. But there is such a thing called as saturation of the market.

    Luckily for you, there’s more to noodle soups than just this Japanese favorite. Here’s a list of seven alternatives for those who find themselves getting sick of their usual shio ramen order.

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    Pho
    This humble noodle soup from Vietnam has made it to the diets of many Pinoys, with most malls having at least one Pho Hoa branch in its premises.

    But did you know that pho doesn’t refer to the dish but rather the noodles? Pho noodles are made out of white rice flour and are shaped similar to Italian linguine.

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    Photo from Margareth T.’s Please or Register to view links

    Names and noodles aside, the real star of the dish is the broth. Made out of either chicken or beef stock, pho broth has a clear appearance, similar to that of our very own nilaga. A good broth has the distinct beef or chicken flavor of the stock, mixed in with the kick of the spices (cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and cardamom) and a light onion and ginger taste.

    Before going to town with the garnishes set before you, make sure to taste the broth first! A subpar broth can usually be saved with the right amount of lemon juice, basil, bean sprouts, hoisin, and chili sauce. A really fantastic broth doesn’t even need anything else.

    And yes, much like what your pretentious foodie friend has been telling you, it is pronounced as fuh.



    Laksa
    A longtime staple at Singaporean hawker centers, laksa has finally found its niche in Metro Manila.

    There are actually two types of laksa. The one you’re probably most familiar with is the red curry laksa. This laksa’s soup is made out of coconut milk, mixed in with chili sauce, lemongrass, and a variety of spices. It’s topped off with a generous fish sticks, sliced fried tofu, and shrimp.

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    Photo from Denise Dominique A.’s Please or Register to view links

    The less common variant is the assam laksa. It’s made with a sour tamarind-based broth, just like our native sinigang.

    Much like pho, laksa is characterized by its noodles. Laksa noodles are long and thick vermicelli noodles, cut into much smaller, bite-sized pieces. A good laksa place won’t even need to provide you with chopsticks, as you can easily slurp up the noodles with a spoon.

    Grab a bowl of laksa at Please or Register to view links, Please or Register to view links, Please or Register to view links, or Please or Register to view links.

    Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
    This dish is the pride and joy of Taiwan, with the city of Taipei holding an annual Beef Noodle Festival to determine which restaurant has the best one in the country. But don’t worry, you don’t need to book a flight ticket to get a taste of this famous beef noodle soup, as there are a couple of places in Manila that offer this dish.

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    Photo from Kwokie K.’s Please or Register to view links

    The piece de resistance of the noodle soup is, of course, its beef broth. The beef is stewed with a mixture of soy sauce, herbs, and a variety of spices anywhere from three to 24 hours, until it’s extremely soft and tender. Some add in beef fat for a sweeter broth.

    The broth is ladled onto egg noodles, then topped off with bok choy and green onions. It’s always served piping hot, so try not to burn your tongue off when downing the delicious soup.

    You can find a bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup at Please or Register to view links, Please or Register to view links, or at Please or Register to view links.

    Dandan Noodles
    It may have a cute name, but trust us, dandan noodles are anything but.

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    Photo from Crichelle F.’s Please or Register to view links

    A popular Chinese street food, this dish is characterized by its spicy red broth, made out of preserved vegetables, chili oil, scallions and red hot Sichuan peppers. What comes out is a soup that’s the color of an angry sunset. It’s then garnished with some crispy minced pork and even more green onions.

    If you’re not a huge fan of spicy stuff, you may want to ask if they can add in some sesame paste or peanut butter to tone down the heat. But you still might want to bring a gallon of water with you, as Sichuan peppers are no joke.

    Try out the dandan noodles at Please or Register to view links, Please or Register to view links, and Please or Register to view links.

    Khao Soi Gai
    If you’re looking for a unique take on the classic chicken noodle soup, why not try Khao Soi Gai?

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    Photo from Please or Register to view links

    With its chicken and coconut curry broth, the Thai Khao Soi Gai may be easily mistaken as a knock-off of the Singaporean laksa. But don’t be fooled, this broth still has that distinct Thai flavor, thanks to the use of ingredients like lime, cilantro, coriander roots, shrimp and Thai curry paste. The result is a soup that’s very creamy, with just the right amount of spice.

    Khao Soi Gai is served with egg noodles cooked two ways. In the broth are perfectly tender egg noodles. On top of the dish are crispy egg noodles, deep fried to just the right amount of crunch.

    You can garnish the dish with cilantro and lime juice, depending on your liking.

    Check out Please or Register to view links take on the Khao Soi Gai.

    Udon
    In case you didn’t know, there’s more to Japanese noodles than just ramen.

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    Photo from Caroline C.’s Please or Register to view links

    While it may not be as popular as its cousin, udon, a type of thick noodle made with wheat flour, is certainly a lot more versatile. It can either be served chilled or with a hot broth, depending on the season.

    The broth udon is served with is relatively simple, made out of dashi (a type of Japanese stock), soy sauce, and mirin, a type of rice wine. The udon is then topped off with tempura, thin slices of fried tofu, or just plain old scallions.

    A popular variant is the curry udon, which comes with a Japanese curry broth. It’s notoriously messy to eat though, so make sure to come with a bunch of napkins.

    Try out the udon at Please or Register to view links, Please or Register to view links, and Please or Register to view links.

    Janchi Guksu
    Usually reserved for special occasions like weddings, graduations, and Korean grandmothers’ birthdays, janchi guksu (which translates to feast or banquet noodles) has found a place in the menus of some Korean restaurants in the Metro.

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    Photo from Please or Register to view links

    This noodle soup is made out of a light anchovy or beef broth, topped with thinly sliced fried egg, slices of beef, and vegetables like carrots and zucchini. It’s served alongside a spicy sauce made with Korean soy sauce.

    Unlike the other noodle soups on this list, which are teeming with spices and herbs, janchi guksu is relatively simple, making it perfect for the days when your tummy just isn’t cooperating with you.

    Grab a bowl of this Korean noodle soup at Please or Register to view links and Please or Register to view links.

    Special Mention: Mami/Batchoy/Lomi/Misua
    Of course, we can’t forget about the Philippines’ own take on noodle soup. And there’s plenty of them to choose from.

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    Photo from Carla M.’s Please or Register to view links

    There’s the simple and easy to make chicken mami, the exotic batchoy made with pork organs, the thick noodles and warm broth of lomi, and Chinese-inspired misua. But whatever your favorite is, there’s nothing more comforting than cozying up with a bowl of Pinoy noodle soup on a cold, rainy day.

    Get your Pinoy favorites at Please or Register to view links, Please or Register to view links, and Please or Register to view links.
     
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