I must admit that I’m completely addicted to asian noodle soups. It doesn’t matter the season or time of day. If I could have them for breakfast I would (that is, if I could get my act together on time). There are more ramen shops opening up and definitely no shortage of Pho houses in the city. Heck, even when we’re travelling we seek out noodle shops from little hole-in-the-walls to trendy spots. I’m eyeing Ivan Ramen on my next trip to New York, sorry Ivan, I couldn’t get there last time.
Have you been? Ivan Orkin is touted as the “ramen master” in a recent New York Times Review..and my friends who live there tell me that I MUST GO THERE. Like it’s the mecca or something. I’m so curious, since Ivan himself is not even asian. WHAT? Apparently he’s a New Yorker who became famous in Tokyo for his ramen, moved back to the city and opened his own restaurant. I’m sure the lines are long. Hopefully my BFF will be willing to wait when we go (my treat, Katya!)
Anyway, my love for noodle soups are steeped in my childhood. When my parents were too tired to make dinner, we magically had “Goong Jai Mein” – yes, instant noodles that took mere minutes to make. Well, back then we weren’t that aware of the overloaded MSG and sodium content and since mom threw in some vegetables and an egg we thought it was okay.
But who remembers Yet-Ca-Mein in that familiar long red box? Yet-Ca-Mein started production in the 1950’s by Wing’s (former Wing Hing Lung) a family business based in Montreal that started back in 1987 by Mr. Hee Chong Lee, an immigrant from China.
Yet-Ca-Mein main ingredients are wheat flour and egg. It’s a chinese style dry noodle that is often used in soups or stir fried with meat and vegetables. I had just recently discovered it on the shelves at my Loblaws…yes, I know, crazy right? I don’t even live in a prominent asian community so it’s a bonus for me not to have to make any special trips to an asian grocery store specifically for my cravings! So, as more and more of the brands I grew up with are becoming more mainstream, I’m declaring Yet-Ca-Mein as a comeback into our comfort food staples!
Here’s my quick (like super quick and easy) tips to make a deliciously fast noodle bowl.
Step 1: In a large pot filled half way with cold water. Bring to a boil and add your choice of soup base.
Soup base variations: choose one…
- 2 tbsp Miso soup paste
- 2 tsp Wonton Soup powder
- 2 tsp vegetarian broth powder
If you’ve got the time, make your own chicken broth by simmering left over roast chicken bones with a bit of salt and cook directly with the broth without adding any more water.
STEP 2: Add in Yet-Ca-Mein to the boiling broth (cook like you would spaghetti) follow instructions
STEP 3: Add your vegetables (I prefer bok choy sum and add directly to the broth while it’s cooking the mein to save time and an extra pot to clean)
STEP 4: In a large bowl, carefully place the cooked noodles and vegetables. Pour broth over top.
PROTEIN OPTIONS & Add ons…
- sliced pork or char sui, chicken, salmon (hint: I visited the deli counter at Loblaws and they had roasted pork belly, I simple asked them to slice a bit thicker which resembled the pork I get in ramen shops)
- hard boiled egg
- roasted seaweed
Do you have memories of food from your childhood that you’re craving?