Tuesday, December 14, 2010
When not in the mood to be satisfied by a bowl of some fatty pork over rice, let alone a simple bowl of beef noodle soup (with hopefully a complex broth), sometimes one would have to resort to the local bowl of noodles that hits the spot without being too filling.
Perhaps the rendition known as 蚵仔麵線 or Er (sometimes pronounced Oh) Ah Mi Sua in Fujian Taiwanese/Min Nan dialect. Fresh baby oysters, a special type of sun dried vermicelli noodle, an intricate simple yet deep secret broth (thickened probably with some cornstarch) with perhaps strong hints of turnip or daikon, katsuoboshi (shaved bonito flakes) to give it that smokey edge, meat bones. Then a little garnish, like chopped cilantro. Toss in some minced garlic, and you're all set.
Oh yeah...don't forget the chopped pork chitterlings/intestines....with a soft chewy casing and a bone marrow like interior! This is when access to a good oyster pancake 蚵仔煎 is somewhat restricted. And Ay Chung 阿宗麵線 is probably too far out of reach (Ay Chung's broth is spectacular, but he doesn't put oysters in his...doh!) http://beefnoguy.blogspot.com/2010/01/ay-chung-xiemending-taipei.html
I'm sure there are other places that do the oyster noodles much much better elsewhere, but it just so happens that this neighborhood vendor, known as "Hom's" (yes, same "Hom" as pretty boy pop idol Wang Li HOM but no relation) is just so down to earth, been in business nearing 30 years and is located at the end of a local market, almost to the point of obscurity, and delivers the bowl in quality, that I have no problems going back everytime.
You will find this vendor in the township of Yong Ho 永和市, virtually at the end of Chu Lin Road market 竹林路市場, touching the residential areas. Right across it is a 24 hour convenience store, and it is not that hard to miss.
NT$30 or pretty much rounded to US$1. So simple, so satisfying and light.
A taste of the streets. A taste of the neighborhood. Delicious fresh baby oysters (fresh off the coast of western middle Taiwan is truly unbeatable), alas not enough in the bowl most of the time. But for now it will have to do.
Don't forget to splash on some black vinegar to seal the deal.
And sometimes I cannot resist ordering this called Yu Su Gunh 魚酥羹, just to have the crispy chips, that are essentially dried fish puffs. The broth unfortunately is not as interesting as the oyster noodle's, and is also thickened with cornstarch. But the fishy chips are amazing.
宏麵線 (Hom's Noodles)
Taipei County, Yong Ho Township, Chu Lin Road Alley 225, #64
Tues - Fri : 8:00-18:00
Sat - Sun : 8:00-14:00