A Lesson in Nostalgia

Venus might have come out of a scallop shell…

Aww shucks!

Aww shucks!

but the clam is all nostalgia.

If you like your noodles prepared simply and on the subtle side, you might try this traditonal Korean noodle soup that Koreans call ‘knife noodle’ soup (칼국수).  They call it that because the noodles would be made by hand and cut with a knife.   You can make your own noodles or buy them fresh.  I wouldn’t use the Italian fresh egg-y pasta kind, but that is a matter of personal taste.

Clams go in noodles

Clams go in noodles

You can make your own noodles quite easily with this recipe.  Or this eggless way:  sift 2 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Mix in half a cup of water (a little more if needed) and mix until you form a ball.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes. Cover with a cloth and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to three hours. Roll out your dough as thin as you can, roll in a cylinder, slice, and unroll.  Of course this will be easier in a food processor or mixer, but I think you could do it by hand too.

It ain't Spanglish!

Beyond spaghetti

For the broth, you can use your favorite veggie broth and doctor it up with some dried anchovies, daikon, and ginger.   I like this broth recipe and will add a little bit of vegetable stock concentrate for extra savoriness.  The clams add another layer of flavor so I wouldn’t leave them out.  And add some julienned carrots and zucchini to the simmering broth for a nice touch.  I boil my noodles separately and add them to my broth with clams rather than boil them in the broth, but that is, again, a matter of personal taste.

Not a shell game

Not a shell game

I put this noodle soup in the same category of sujebi, the rough hand noodle soup that was the signature of my father’s hungry childhood.  Foods eaten during these times are a lesson in nostalgia for many Koreans who remember the Japanese occupation and lived through the war.  Their shared experience of a bittersweet time in their country’s history is the foundation of their modern success.

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