Asian soups/NYC

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NYNM
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2009/01/12 12:34:13 (permalink)

Asian soups/NYC

 The NYTimes had a wonderful article last week on restaurants that serve Asian soup in NYC (mostly Manhattan and Queens): "Rapture in a Bowl"
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/dining/07laksa.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/dining/07blaksa.html?_r=1&ref=dining


apparently a cross between Chinese noodle soup and East Asia ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass, tumeric, "aromatics", names like curry laksa, curry mee, la sa ga, soto ayam,  and khao poon representing places like Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malacca, etc. 

One cute comment: "The difference between Singaporean and Malaysian versions of curry laska is completely different - like New York and New Jersey."

These sound delicious: has anyone tried them and/or any of the restaurants recommended in the article?
#1

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    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/01/12 13:00:29 (permalink)
    I live near Cincinnati OH and my favorite place for hot and spicy Oriental style soup is at Song Long Restaurant in Roselawn.  They make a spicy beef soup with lemongrass and rice noodles that is out of this world .  The place is run by a Vietnamese couple and their many children.  The dad (an ARVN colonel) came over with his family around  1975 from Vietnam  and they have had been running the restaurant for over 30 years.

    This is the kind of restaurant you want to go to for this kind of soup.
    #2
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/01/12 14:31:55 (permalink)
    A great article!
     
    The contrast between the mainstream "concept" of soup in America (that differs from many other places in the world) are vast.
     
    In many cultures, soup is an "appreciation"...an experience like wine. Not about the bounty of rich, heavy ingredients. It is much about what is not in the bowl. Some ingredients may have been in the pot during cooking process, at some point. However, ingredients that serve a great purpose, but  not meant to "eat". They lend a flavor, and can be akin to reading a great mystery novel. What is that flavor? Where is it coming from? I do not see it, but I can taste and "feel it".  Much of the "satisfying" aspects of soups of the world, are not about feeling "full", but enjoying the complex characteristics as an art, tradition, and tell a story, in a simple and uncomplicated form.
     
    Many times, it is very difficult to find such experiences, at restaurant level. For many cultures, it is only offered as a sign of "love & respect" and many view it as an offering of friendship, rather than a dish for sale, or profit.
     
    Some soups of many cultures, would never make it here, in America. Most likely because many would view it as a "waste" or a meal that does not include all of the protein, starch, and bounty of vegetables. Where are the big chunks of chicken, rice, carrots?
     
    The pricing aspect would leave many baffled, and unwilling to feel like they have experienced "bang for the buck". Would you pay $20 for a complex beautiful broth-type soup, that is beyond delicious? Maybe. Many would say "hell no" because this is not the soup they know. For the same money, they could cook a big ham, use the bone for split-pea soup, and maybe do the same with a chicken, for good ol' chicken noodle soup, and be stuffed. It is much about devoting time, using spice and the delicate flavoring "essence" of ingredients, in a simple way. When patron sense simple, they expect inexpensive. Sometimes, recipes are altered (addition of tangible ingredients) but that takes away plenty from the traditional aspect, and now you lose the attraction for a person seeking tradition, and you do not add enough to satisfy the people who are accustomed to "comfort" soup, with very filling ingredients.
     
    As different as New York and New Jersey, so are the differences of  the American soup concept, and some of  the elusive soups of the world. 
      
    It is much like the difference between chinese food that is found on the menu, and the food that chinese people really eat. They are usually not found eating the crab rangoon.
     
    If you find a GREAT restaurant, you can always request something "different", that is not found on the menu.. Many will appreciate the inquiry, and accomodate you, with "their" own food, that is unaltered, and has not been adapted for the American taste.
     
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2009/01/12 14:52:29
    #3
    NYNM
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/01/12 21:35:51 (permalink)
     Now, CC that is one good response! Thank U!
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    PapaJoe8
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/01/12 22:47:29 (permalink)
    CC, Yes... thanks!

    But... now I am REAL hungry for some Asian soup!!!
    Joe
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/01/17 12:26:42 (permalink)
    If given one food I could only eat for the rest of my life, it would be soup, and Asian varities would be right up there!
    #6
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/01/17 12:59:29 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    If given one food I could only eat for the rest of my life, it would be soup, and Asian varities would be right up there!

    ...you betcha sweet bippie...

    #7
    RedCup
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/05/12 13:52:03 (permalink)
    I'll definitely have to keep a lookout when I head over there soon! Sounds really good!
    #8
    ann peeples
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    Re:Asian soups/NYC 2009/05/12 18:47:23 (permalink)
    Sounds great, all;but who in he** is butterfly girl, and why dont I particularly understand the posts??????????????
    #9
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