Little Village Noodle HouseDigest Step Up to the Plate
April 28, 2013
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Leah Friel
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: HOT AND SOUR SOUP ($8.50)
Little Village Noodle House stands out among Chinatown restaurants for its modern take on Chinese fare presented in a fun, upscale setting. While the eatery has been located on Smith Street for 12 years, owner and chef Kenneth Chan brings more than 30 years of restaurant experience to the table.
With a never-ending fusion of flavors that represents multiple regions of Chinese cuisine, there’s something on the menu for everyone to enjoy. When it comes to the establishment’s Northern-style dishes, Hot and Sour Soup is in a league of its own. Loaded with healthy components and bursting flavor, this dish comes together with a keen balance of ingredients.
Black fungus, also known as dried fungus, is a commonly used ingredient in Chinese cooking, renowned for its crunchy texture and mild flavor, which is perfect for absorbing all the hot and sour goodness. It is said to have many health benefits as well, including improving circulation.
The soup base is the secret to this dish’s success.
Derived from three different soy sauces as well as rice vinegar, the broth is unique to Little Village. It also features pepper extract to give it a spicy kick, and a touch of sesame oil is added right before serving.
According to Chan, Little Village’s Hot and Sour Soup is a traditional dish made with a special touch that stems from an old family recipe. You won’t find this distinct flavor anywhere else, so it’s no surprise that the dish is one of the most popular items, and by far the most popular soup.
Lean, shredded pork and pieces of soft tofu are the soup’s main source of protein. The pork is blanched in hot oil, then added to the soup once it comes to a boil, while the tofu is added at the end of the cooking process, maintaining a nice firmness when you take your first bite.
Green onion, bamboo shoots and shiitake mushrooms diversify the flavor of the soup and give it a fresh, healthy spin.
Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St., Chinatown
Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.;
Friday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.