It’s no wonder why there has been such an influx of noodle houses popping up in downtown New Haven, CT. They offer a tasty and satisfying product at an extremely affordable (down right cheap) price. My husband and I decided to give one a whirl about a year ago on a cold, gray February day. We settled on the York Street Noodle House, which once housed a coffee shop. Walking up the stairs remnants of the coffee shop were still apparent; there was even a sign, which read Java over the entrance. Once inside the small café, we were presented with a menu that highlighted all types of noodle dishes, encompassing many flavors in the Asian repertoire. I decided to go with a spicy chicken noodle soup with peanuts, while my husband ordered a noodle soup with fish cakes. Huge caldrons of steaming hot soup were set before us with a side tray of chili sauce to add at our liking. It was love at first bite. Lime, chilies, peanut, and cilantro all melded together wonderfully, in a rich chicken broth filled with bok choy, chicken, bean sprouts, and thin vermicelli noodles.
The York Street Noodle house has become a mainstay on our culinary radar. Whenever we go there I order the same soup, while my husband is a little more adventurous. The other night I was craving that soup, but instead of trekking down to the city center I decided to try my hand at recreating it at home. We have a freezer full of homemade chicken broth, and we just happened to have some ginger, cilantro, limes, peanuts and Thai noodles. All I needed to purchase was chicken, bean sprouts and some bok choy. I sautéed together some shallots, ginger, and chilies until tender. Added my chicken broth, and brought it to a boil. I then added thinly sliced chicken and bok choy. After the soup had simmered for about 20 minutes I stirred in my precooked Thai noodles. I ladled the soup into the largest bowls I could find and topped them with chopped peanuts, bean sprouts, plenty of cilantro and a side of chili sauce. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but my god was it good. However, this doesn’t mean that I am abandoning the Noodle house, especially since I had to clean the kitchen after.