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Ippudo NY
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For far too long Americans have treated noodles as the add-in instead of as the starring ingredient (it was always about this soup or that sauce). But now, thanks to noodle-happy chefs like Takashi Yagihashi, whose new cookbook, Takashi’s Noodles (Ten Speed Press, $25), hits shelves this month, the flour-and-water wonders are finally grabbing the spotlight.


One Arts Plaza
1722 Routh Street
(214) 220-2828

Learn the ways of all things soba -- served with dipping sauces, soups, and more -- at this Dallas favorite.

Ippudo NY
New York City
65 Fourth Avenue
(212) 388-0088

When a restaurant serves just one thing (ramen -- for the most part, anyway), they’d better do it well. And this NYC outpost of a Japanese chain does.

Sanamluang Cafe
Los Angeles
5170 Hollywood Boulevard
(323) 660-8006

Save your cash for shopping, because some of the best noodles in town are at this wallet-friendly Thai spot.


(Serves 4)

1/2 cup Dashi (soup stock made from seaweed)
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated ginger
4 obha leaves, thinly sliced
2 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced on an angle
4 sprigs mitsuba, cut into one-inch lengths
14 ounces dried somen noodles
1/2 cup ice cubes

1. To make the broth, first prepare an ice bath. Combine all the broth ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over high heat and bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat and transfer the broth to a metal container. Place the container in the ice bath until the broth is chilled.

2. Divide the garnishes among four small dishes.

3. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the somen noodles and cook, following package instructions. Drain and rinse well under cold running water.

4. To serve, divide the noodles among four plates and top each with a few ice cubes, which will prevent the noodles from sticking together. Pour 1/4 cup of the somen broth into four small cups. Serve the noodles and broth alongside the garnishes.

5. To eat, mix the garnishes into the broth and dip the noodles in with chopsticks.

Reprinted with permission from Takashi’s Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi with Harris Salat, © 2009. Published by Ten Speed Press.

From Japanese udon to German spaetzle to Italian fusilli bucati and beyond, it’s nearly mind-numbing to think of the number of noodles you can cook up.

Here are five to try:

Cellophane noodles:
Chinese noodles made from mung-bean starch and cooked with a quick soak in hot water. In Korea, they’re made from sweet-potato starch.

Egg noodles:
Both thick and thin, they’re the star of Jewish comfort cooking (from kugels to chicken soup) and should be a household staple.

Fusilli bucati:
An Italian pasta shaped like thin corkscrews; a good spaghetti substitute.

German egg noodles that come in a variety of thicknesses, from skinny to dumplingesque.

The thickest type of Japanese noodles. They’re made of wheat flour and often used in soup or served cold.