When chef Angela Dimayuga was eating her way through Singapore, she tasted a noodle dish at a hawker stand that was a cross between wonton soup and mazemen, Japanese broth-less ramen that’s mixed just before eating. A seafood and pork broth takes the place of sauce for the noodles and is served alongside for dipping. Dimayuga set out to create her own version, incorporating spices that traveled along the trade route through Southeast Asia.
The full effect of this composed dish is impressive and delicious — chile-laced noodles are swirled in a soup with nubs of herb-flecked pork. But each component is flavorful enough to stand on its own. The broth should be your new base for any soup. The pork soup feels light while satisfying with big flavors, and the noodles may become your go-to weeknight dinner when you’re craving spicy-snack-like intensity. The sauce is funky and salty from the shrimp paste and crunchy hot with chile crisp.
Spicy Shrimp Paste Noodles With Charred Onion-Herb Broth
15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
Charred Onion Broth
- 1 pound ground pork (80/20)
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup minced Chinese chives
- Asian fried garlic chips, for serving (optional)
- If the broth isn’t already at a simmer, bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a bare simmer.
- Meanwhile, place the pork in a bowl and season generously with salt. Add ½ cup cilantro and ¼ cup chives and mix with your hands until the herbs are evenly distributed. Reduce the heat to low and use your fingers to add jelly-bean-size bits of pork to the simmering broth. You want the pieces to be uneven with jagged edges.
- Simmer the pork just until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes after all the meat has been added. Taste the broth and season to taste with salt. Stir in the remaining ½ cup cilantro and ¼ cup chives. Sprinkle garlic chips over the broth if desired and cilantro over the noodles. Serve them together while hot, dipping the noodles into the broth.