We are a family of noodle lovers. We have stood in line outside many a ramen shop. We have had noodles in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Korea. Seemingly simple, the humble bowl of noodles usually belies the care that went into producing it. Tonkotsu ramen, our favorite kind, has a broth that requires hours and hours of cooking--distilling the porky/fatty goodness from the bones. Kal-guksu, literally knife-cut noodles is the Korean version of grandmother's chicken noodle soup with handmade noodles. Pho with its layered flavors of cinnamon, basil, anise has become another favorite, and more accessible than ramen here in Central Texas.
On a Friday night after spending nearly an hour getting home, even the 20 minute drive to the local Vietnamese restaurant seemed painful. So we improvised using some jarred Tom Kha paste, chicken broth and rice vermicelli. Topped with cilantro, lime basil, scallions and just a touch of sambal olek.
Chopsticks optional but recommended.