noodles penn appétit
MENU What We’re Reading 7 Books (and a podcast!) that we can’t put down
26 “Where Have You Fin All My Life?” Never be too intimidated to stare your fish dinner straight in the eye again
Make it at Home: Ricotta 8 Not for the lactose intolerant
29 Cooking as a Boy Scout Adventure is out there! Justin Yue found it in a ziplock
Greensgrow Garden 9
bag full of eggs
The urban garden that makes good use of its produce First Sips 10 Shake (don’t stir) up some bourbon cocktails that’re good to the last drop
30 Morning Glory Diner The heartwarming story of a diner that feels like home
The Future of Food: A Look at Soylent and Beyond 11
34 Avant Garde Noodles
The chalky milkshake meal replacement that has taken
If food had a fashion week, these noodles would be
Silicon Valley by storm is just the beginning Edible Flowers 12 Eating flowers might not actually make your insides
tearing up the runway 40 Hunt for the Best Noods Not all packaged noodles are created equal
any prettier, but you can pretend A Southern History of Fried Green Tomatoes 14 They technically aren’t Southern, but this story is Res Ipsa 16 Philly’s newest breakfast sandwich that speaks for itself Foodie Beauty 20 Turmeric is more than just the newest latte trend
42 Turkey Noodle Soup for the Soul Meet some grandparents who aren’t messing around with Thanksgiving leftovers 44 Nan Zhou Noodles: Stretched to Impress Watch out for flying noodles! (Just kidding) 46 The Clash of the Noodles A Chinese host family who takes their pasta with a dash (or two) of soy sauce
Short & Sweet: A Filipino Sticky Rice Recipe 22 Stuck in love with how easy this delicious treat is to make Craving a Family Meal 24
48 Noodles and Eggs An unlikely match made in heaven 50 Last Look
No, we don’t mean sitting around the table and fight-
Dan Tang of Sugar Philly tells us what he’d put on a
ing with your siblings over who gets the last roll
secret menu and the first dessert he ever mastered
“ WHAT’S THE
WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN?
Haggis (hagis?) AKA stuffed sheep's stomach and it was sah gud
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Parker Brown MANAGING EDITOR Kathleen Norton EDITORIAL STAFF Aneri Kinariwalla, Rachel Prokupek, Emily Rush, Zoe Schwingel-Sauer, Tiffany Wang, Sophia Yang CREATIVE DIRECTOR Leah Sprague DESIGN STAFF Valencia Fu, Edward Kim, Julia Schorr, Annie Su, Anna Tang, Michelle Terng, Tiffany Wang PHOTO DIRECTOR Isabel Zapata
Donkey dumplings. I accidentally walked into the donkey restaurant right next to a dumpling restaurant in China. It was kind of tough and smokey.
PHOTO STAFF Angel Fann, Jessica Moh, Juliana Sandford, Amber Shi, Leah Sprague, Alden Terry, Katie Zhao, Noel Zheng DIGITAL CONTENT DIRECTOR Jennifer Higa BLOG TEAM Aurore Gugliemi, Dhruv Jain, Rachel Prokupek, Juliana Sandford, Zoe Schwingel-Sauer, Leah Sprague, Sophia Yang, Justin Yue, Noel Zheng CULINARY DIRECTOR Rachel Prokupek TREASURER Chris Muracca BUSINESS MANAGER Liv Weis
Pickled duck tongue
BUSINESS STAFF Brittany Bing, Marissa Favano, Miranda Ribeiro-Vecino, Natalie Weil PUBLICITY & OUTREACH CHAIR Phillip Huffman PUBLICITY & OUTREACH STAFF Daniel Jacobs, Jessica Li, Tammy Tan, Olivia Teter, Rachel Zhou Probably chocolate covered crickets!!
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Sally Shin SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM Pearl Banjurtrungkajorn, Katherine Chan WEBMASTER David Ongchoco COOKING CLUB CHAIRS Ingrid Hung & Michelle Lyu VIDEO EDITOR Léa Kichler INTERNAL SOCIAL CHAIR Janie Kim SOCIAL IMPACT CHAIR Kate Kassin SOCIAL IMPACT STAFF Gina Kahng, Katie Simms, Melissa Sullivan, Katie Wasserstein, Karen Xiang EVENTS CHAIR Ben Blanco
Cuy (guinea pig) or alpaca in Peru - only ate tiny bites and felt like a terrible human afterward
letter from the editor One of my favorite meals as a six-yearold was instant ramen noodles (packaged, not from a cup) with a steamed artichoke. My mom only made this for me twice a year or so because steaming the artichoke in the microwave always turned out to be a lengthier process than we were prepared for. I’d sit on the living room floor, blowing on my steaming bowl of ramen, alternating every bite of noodle with a mayonnaise dipped artichoke petal. Looking back, it was a pretty simple meal, but it felt like the biggest treat in the world. That’s the great thing about noodles— they’re a humble food that feels anything but.
And that’s no secret. Seemingly every culture in the world has it’s own take on noodles. From the hand-pulled wonders of China (page 44), to the sweet casserole of kugel (page 34), it all comes back to the nood. When we were deciding what we wanted to put in the spotlight with this Spring’s edition, we kept coming back to the noodle. It seems like everyone has some memory of noodles that is inherent to their identity, be it the family tradition of homemade turkey noodle soup (page 42) or trying to introduce a host family to pasta (page 46). Besides that, noodles are just so much fun. They're fun to slurp, fun to cook (you really
can tell if spaghetti is done by throwing it at the wall), and fun to say— well, unless you're a PA staffer, then what you really can't stop saying is "send noods." I hope that this issue puts as big of a smile on your face as it does on mine. Keep on slurping,
want more? check us out at pennappetit.com
BACK TO BASICS What We’re Reading (& Listening To) PHOTOS BY JESSICA MOH
Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman Interwoven with interesting recipes and stories hidden by history, Eight Flavors describes the development of eight quintessential American flavors as seen by the author, Sarah Lohman. The book is at its best when it completely contradicts your thoughts about traditional American flavors by braiding together history, cooking, and narratives. After reading this book, you’ll come away with a greater appreciation of American cuisine and some out-of-this-world recipes.
Bread Revolution: World Class by Peter Reinhart I met Matt, the head “bread guy,” in the High Street on Market bread kitchen, and he gave me the low-down on their naturally-leavened bread program. I asked him what the best bread-baking books are, and he said, “Anything by Peter Reinhart. Peter Reinhart is the dude.” His most recent book is “Bread Revolution: World Class.” Thanks, Matt!
Gravy podcast This Southern Food Alliance production presents the culture of the ever-evolving American South through food. Each episode presents a personal narrative that reveals the deep importance that food has on culture and the development of a region. From stories of coal mining to the local and global history of the Vidalia onion, this podcast will speak to your heart and your stomach. Kathleen Norton
Make it at Home
Ricotta BY KATHLEEN NORTON PHOTO BY KATIE ZHAO I didn’t know what ricotta was until I was 12. When I discovered it’s creamy, versatility, my life changed forever. And when I realized that I could make it myself at home, I felt like a magician— pulling curds out of whey is just like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, right?
200 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir it occasionally with a wooden spoon to help prevent scorching.
to add additional acid. Set up a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour your curds and whey into it.
Follow these 5 steps for your own “housemade” ricotta.
Take the milk off the heat and splash in ⅓ cup of lemon juice. You can substitute any other acid for this step, like vinegar or maybe lime juice (let us know how that one turns out). Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
Let the curds drain for as long as you like— ten minutes will leave you with wet ricotta, good for spreading on toast, and sixty will give you a drier cheese, better for baking.
First things first, start by heating a quart of whole milk and a cup of heavy cream over medium heat. We’re looking for a rolling boil, but if you’re fancy and have an instant read thermometer, heat it until it reaches
Sit back, relax, and let your milk curdle for ten minutes. At this point, it’ll look pretty gnarly. You’ll see white curd clumps and yellow-ish whey. If a lot of the milk still hasn’t separated (i.e. it’s still milk), feel free
Dress this ricotta to impress with high quality olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and a few flakes of sea salt, form it into pillows of savory gnudi, or throw it into a batch of pancakes for a fancy brunch. Eating it straight out of the bowl with a spoon is perfectly acceptable too!
In Philly Spotlight
Greensgrow West BY ALLISON SCHWARTZ PHOTO BY JULIANA SANDFORD Nestled amongst West Philly’s many Ethiopian restaurants, coffee shops and murals is a little block of greenery called Greensgrow West. The second urban farm by Greensgrow, this space is dedicated to natural growth in an otherwise urban and overcrowded area. Every warm month of the year, Greensgrow hosts a volunteer day for locals to help around the farm. They pick up any assortment of the tasks needed that week that support the farm’s mission to, “engage our neighborhoods in cultivating social entrepreneurship, urban agriculture, and community greening.” This includes planting flowers, rearranging heavy blocks and cleaning a chicken coop in the back. The farm treats volunteers to breakfast and lunch, consisting of things like homemade vegetarian goat cheese lasagna, made from the garden’s unsold vegetables. In exchange for lending an extra pair of hands, you’re fed and treated to a Sunday afternoon playing outside in the dirt. Greensgrow opened the first urban farm in Philadelphia 20 years ago in North Philly, near Kensington, growing baby field greens for wholesale. A few years later, they registered as a non-profit, adding new crops and reaching further into the community each year. The organization does a lot for its surrounding communities, organizing a CSA (City Supported Agriculture), which allows residents to pay lower prices monthly for guaranteed local produce each week. Greensgrow even takes SNAP benefits for this program, increasing accessibility of fresh produce to all Philly residents. Recently, they started a program called Mary’s Community Fund that provides small grants to groups and individuals for community beautification projects. Greensgrow West is just 3 years old, and has already become an important community hub within West Philadelphia. Not only do they add much-needed greenery to an increasingly polluted city, but they ensure that fresh produce is accessible to all local residents. penn appétit
Bourbon BY KATHLEEN NORTON PHOTO BY NOEL ZHENG Bourbon doesn’t have to invoke images of rich old men standing around huge desks chuckling about their latest investment deal. After all, it’s just corn juice that’s been sitting around in charred oak barrels somewhere in (probably) Kentucky. The nutmeg, grain, and caramel notes of this All-American (literally, it has to be made in America to be considered bourbon) whiskey lend themselves wonderfully to a variety of cocktails that might make you feel rich, but certainly won’t turn you into a stuffy old man.
Ginger highball 2 oz bourbon 3 oz ginger ale lime slices Pour bourbon and ginger ale in a glass, top with a lime wedge. If you’re feeling fancy, layer ice and lime slices in the glass before pouring in the liquid. 10
Strain the mixture to get rid of chunks.
1 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup simple syrup 1 tbsp coconut cream 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract a pinch of salt 1 cup water 1/4 cup bourbon
Chill and pour in bourbon right before serving. You won’t know if you’re having a drink or dessert.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake until fragrant and toasty, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes. Put pecans, simple syrup, coconut cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a food processor and give them a whirl for about 3060 seconds (or until smooth). While the processor is still going, slowly pour in the water and turn the processor off.
New York Sour 2 oz bourbon 1 oz lemon juice 1 egg white (optional) 1/2 oz simple syrup .5 oz red wine Pour everything into a shaker* except the red wine and fill with ice. Shake it up! Get rid of the ice cubes and pour over new ice in a glass. Slowly pour in the wine to top off the cocktail. *if you don’t have a shaker, feel free to use pretty much anything with a lid to give your bev a good shake up
When you hear someone ask for a “straight bourbon,” they don’t just mean a shot in a glass. They’re asking for the kind without and added colors or flavors and that has sat in a charred oak barrel for two or more years. Anything else is technically a blended bourbon.
BY ALLISON SCHWARTZ PHOTO BY JULIANA SANDFORD
The most significant movement in modern food culture is the pushback against the processed, industrial food system brought by the sixties. For the past fifty years, we’ve been devouring microwaveable frozen TV dinners, Twinkies, and preservatives in everyday food. These were the futuristic foods of the time. Food became cheaper and more convenient, but these changes also made our nation fatter and sicker, as natural flavors were replaced by artificial sweeteners and fillers became prominent on ingredient lists. The farm-to-table and organic movements have pushed natural, unprocessed food back into the spotlight, pressuring companies like McDonald's to start introducing wraps and salads to their menus. A new wave of futuristic food has evolved in response to cries for health in the modern world, reflecting drastic needs for change within the industry. Livestock production accounts for 18% of greenhouse gases emitted, and about 40% of the world’s land surface is used for food production. And organic foods are still too expensive for the average consumer. Could Silicon Valley-based food creations solve modern environmental, economic and nutritional dilemmas? Impossible Foods, a startup based in Silicon Valley, recently rolled out what they call an “Impossible Burger.” This patty is 100% natural and made only of plants, yet somehow still smells, tastes, sizzles and
bleeds like real ground beef. It’s a lot more complex than a traditional black bean burger, containing potato proteins that allow for a good sear and coconut oil to mimic beef fat. The inventors claim the key is using a plant-based version of hemoglobin, the compound that turns blood red to make it resemble meat more closely than typical veggie burgers. So far, the patty has conWorried that meal replacements like soylent are going to do away with the community aspect of food culture? Fear not, for forums are popping up all over the internet where people connect over recipes for soylent and what ingredients to add to it to make it more palatable. Our favorite is CompleteFoods.co for it's DIY soylent recipes that come complete with in-depth discussions on best practices in the comments. vinced meat-lovers and vegans alike. NYC Michelin star restaurant, PUBLIC, is already serving it up, with cheddar cheese, horseradish aioli and beetroot relish. Impossible Foods is researching creating other plant-based meat substitutes, and if successful, could have tremendous impact on the food industry’s environmental footprint. To some, eating has become a burden in such a fast-paced world. Soylent, a liquid
meal substitute that has become wildly popular within the tech world, markets itself as, “food that frees you.” This drink is the tech world’s response to consumers’ growing demand for a balanced diet they don’t have to think about. The formula packs all the essential proteins, carbs, nutrients and calories into one $3 drink and makes filling up on the go as easy and cheap as ever. But others argue that Soylent takes all the joy and interest out of eating. Reviews online say it has the “after-taste of cheerios,” and a “yeasty, comforting blandness about it.” Flavor is one of the most defining pillars of culture, but it’s true that modern Americans are so busy some days that the flavor of food becomes an afterthought. In these moments, Soylent seems like a fair compromise, even if it is bland. Food trends of the past emphasized convenience above all else: microwave dinners, baking mixes, and fast food are just some examples. Now consumer preferences are merging convenience with simpler ideals. For the first time, engineering companies are working to bridge these needs - impossible burgers and Soylent are just two examples. 3D printed food, in-vitro meat, caffeinated gummies: could these be the foods of the future? Only time will tell how consumers respond to Silicon Valley’s creations, but we surely need new approaches to mitigate the economic and environmental concerns spawned from food trends past.
Edible Flowers BY JENNIFER HIGA PHOTO BY AMBER SHI
f he buds are opening up one by one, the green stems are stretching out to soak up rays of sunlight. Spring is here and the sweet scent of flowers is perfuming the air. Herbs are used to flavor dishes and sweets all the time: a sprig of rosemary to garnish juicy roast chicken, a dash of dried thyme to add zest to that oxtail stew, a sprinkle of mint on top of the strawberry tart. But people often forget that those flowers we see popping up around this time aren’t just for admiring—they can add just as much to a dish as herbs can. In Japan, sakura (aka cherry blossom) is used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes from chiffon cake to a savory rice pot. In France, lavender is blended into the famous herbes de provence to add a note of sweetness. In Persia, rose petals are used to infuse water that flavors crisp layers of filo dough pastries served at teatime. The often forgotten flower of the zucchini adds a subtle, delicate aroma and tastes delicious when stuffed with ricotta and fried to a crisp. So, gather your friends and welcome spring with these floral flavors brought by the blossoms that are blooming right outside your window.
Kansai Style Sakura Mochi If you go to Japan during the weeks when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, you’ll see dishes flavored with the flower in the glass displays of every restaurant and cafe. Some places start selling sakura flavored foods as soon as the weather indicates the beginning of spring. Starbucks even comes out with a seasonal sakura Frappuccino, only released in Japan.The sweet, floral, vanilla-y flavor of the flower complements nearly anything you add it to, but it’s most often added to cakes, rolls, breads, savory rice pots, and Japanese bean paste filled mochi. The flowers from the Ōshima cherry tree produces the softest and best sakura flavor which is brought out through a process of pickling in salt or vinegar.
¾ cup sticky or sweet rice 1 1/2 cup water 2 tbs. strawberry jam (or another pink colored jam) Anko (sweet red bean paste) 12 salt-pickled sakura leaves handful of pickled sakura blossoms (soaked in water to remove salt) Rinse the salt-pickled sakura leaves. If they’re still too salty, soak for about 30 minutes and then pat dry with a paper towel. Cut off the woody stalks. Soak the rice in water and drain the soaked
rice and cook with the water in a rice cooker. Mince the soaked sakura blossoms. Combine the cooked sticky rice, strawberry jam and minced sakura blossoms until the jam is evenly distributed . Pound the sticky rice until the size of the grain has almost halved. Divide both the red bean paste and the sticky rice mixture into 12 equal portions. Flatten the pounded sticky rice, place one piece of red bean paste, and wrap it around into a ball. Wrap the ball with one piece of sakura leaf and serve with green tea.
Rosewater Baklava Steeping the rose petals in water extracts the sweet, floral taste, resulting in rosewater that tastes just how it smells. This ingredient is used in a lot of Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine, especially in sweets such as nougat, gum drops, and Turkish delight. It is very potent so it must be used carefully to avoid overpowering the dish with a perfumey flavor.
Pastry: ½ lb. raw walnuts, almonds, or pistachios (or a combination) 6 tbs. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ lb. phyllo dough, thawed ½ cup melted butter (or coconut oil for a vegan variation) Syrup: 1 cup water 6 tbs. sugar 1 tsp. rosewater 6 tbs. honey Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x9 inch or 8x8 inch pan.
brushing butter between every two layers. Brush the top with butter and, using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes before baking so that it doesn’t fall apart afterwards. Bake the baklava for about 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove from oven when the top of the baklava is golden brown and allow to cool on a rack. Make the syrup by combining all the ingredients in a pan and boiling for 10 minutes. Pour the syrup over the baklava and coat it evenly. Garnish with chopped pistachios and let sit for several hours before serving!
Fiori di Zucca di Ripieni di Villa Elia Zucchini has recently gained popularity, with “spiralized” zoodles replacing noodles, but we often forget that the vegetable comes with a blossom that makes a colorful addition to the table. These squash blossoms originated as a “dolma”, or stuffed vegetable dish, in the Ottoman Empire. Today, in the Campania and Latium regions of Italy and the Catalonia region of Spain, making these blossoms into fritters has become a popular culinary practice.
12 zucchini blossoms 2 peeled potatoes 1 handful of grated pecorino 1 handful of grated parmesan 1 tbs. marjoram Olive oil Breadcrumbs 1 egg Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grind, chop, or smash the nuts of your choice. Combine nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
Lay two phyllo sheets on the bottom of the pan and brush with butter. Repeat this step two more times so that you have 8 sheets of phyllo in total.
Mash potatoes until smooth and let cool.
Pat on one third of the filling.
Stuff the potato mixture into the zucchini blossoms.
Lay two more sheets and brush with butter. Sprinkle another one third of the filling. Repeat one more time so all the filling is used.
Mix the mashed potatoes with the marjoram, grated cheeses, and egg.
Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and olive oil as desired and bake in the oven until golden.
Layer top with another eight sheets of phyllo, penn appétit
THE HISTORY OF THE FRIED GREEN TOMATO BY FAITH HENLEY PADGETT ILLUSTRATION BY RENEE HASTINGS Since I was small, my mother has talked about Fried Green Tomatoes. The movie, not the food, although I always assumed the two were basically synonymous, as if the film elicited the same unique taste and feel of the real thing. I had never eaten a fried tomato, green or otherwise, though I had a long history with fried food. Growing up in suburban Texas, with parents more accustomed to the rural south, I was almost raised on the battered and breaded. During dinner at Zeke’s recently, one of three catfish dive joints we frequent, my mom recalled the time she boosted me into a high-chair in that restaurant. I ate so many hushpuppies that my affably worried parents were certain I would puke. For readers unfamiliar with the hushpuppy, it is like a corn fritter had a one-night-stand with a fish stick, and the result is delicious. My family on both sides have plenty of stories to tell about our gatherings and the inevitable involvement of all things fried: okra, catfish, onions, pickles, chicken, steak, green beans, stuffed jalapeno’s… the list goes on. Tomatoes, however, remained mythical and absent from our table in my youth, like an enigmatic symbol of adult, womanly cooking prowess. In the matriarchy that forms my extended family, to cook is to acknowledge your birthright, to come into your own. The recipes are old and scrawled in cursive, they call for ingredients no longer sold in supermarkets, and they
ask one to “bake” for undetermined times at unknown temperatures. With love, sweat, and some determined stomping about the kitchen, though, one can earn this kind of respect, a humble and soft recognition. The tomato has always been, for me, the mystery at the heart of this whole concept— we always talked about it in ways that placed it on a pedestal, contriving it to be the vessel of true southernism, even more than the chocolate merengue pie or the sweet potato casserole, both things I have nearly mastered. The Fried Green Tomato was a goliath monster I had yet to conquer, but I began to face it as I had all other recipes: with family. Visiting my great aunts in Tennessee, tomatoes are skinned, sliced, and served plain with pepper at most meals. This brought me closer to the famed FGT, but not all the way there. I remembered my dad telling me about my grandfather, Sid, a man I never met, who cultivated a garden in the backyard, one of many in his generation who did so to survive the 1930’s. I began to wonder how it was that my relatives, who had lived through the Depression, World War II, and host of other famishing events had let this legendary food fall from our plates, relegated to salad and hamburgers, never outstanding in its rightful place. So I researched it. It turns out the fried green tomato is, in fact, not southern in origin. It’s northern. However, the movie and the ease of growing tomatoes in southern locales made the FGT hugely popular in diners and the aforementioned seafood
bars. It was a quick and easy serve-up for Sunday morning crowds and late-night noshers. Despite being a transplant, it became a southern staple in no time. Frying unripened tomatoes is a quick-fix for vegetables that need to be eaten, and a valuable way to use the otherwise unusable— a perfect waste-not want-not archetype. After this foray into the past, the FGT was becoming less intimidating, but it still seemed to be such a monolith of culture that to cook it, or consume it, would mean amassing all of my heritage into a single forkful. I have never felt ready for that responsibility, never felt adult enough to take on the lineage so many have left for me. It was in Philly that I bucked my fright altogether and tasted my first Fried Green Tomato, off of my friend’s plate. The hulking mass of it was perfectly firm, fried without retaining grease, and excellent by all accounts. More than that, though, it tasted to me of generations of folk whose blood runs through me, and whose simple, often hard lives contributed to my privilege, whose purposes have given me purpose, here, in such a place of immense opportunity. For some, the fried green tomato is a foreign delicacy, for others it’s an unheard-of oddity. For me, though, savoring my first FGT was like finding all the ancestors I will never meet in a mouthful. Inside this strange and perfect food, which has gone from a way to dress up less-than-desirable veggies to an expensive specialty-item in high class restaurants, I found my way home. penn appétit
“the thing speaks for itself” 16
BY CHASE MATECUN PHOTO BY LEAH SPRAGUE
one point or another, usually sometime in the depths of midterm season, the urge to question what we are doing overcomes us all. Escaping to a sunny beach in Italy and opening a seaside cafe, taking a semester off to take art classes, learning to bake— whatever it is, we are all primed to second-guess our own decisions. To feel that what we’re doing isn’t quite right. To worry that our meticulously laid plans might not be leading us in the right direction. When those doubts creep into our minds, most of us stay the course. We follow the norm and choose not to rock the boat. But for those that do make a change, as risky as it may be, well, sometimes it does work out. That mid-stream shift is exactly what drove Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti to open Res Ipsa— a new Rittenhouse BYOB serving Sicilian-inspired food from dawn ‘till dusk. Corpus and Capriotti—long-time friends from their college days at Drexel— found themselves itching to make a change in their lives just a few years after graduating. Corpus, who worked in corporate finance, and Capriotti, an engineer, dropped
everything to start ReAnimator Coffee— one of the first of Philadelphia's third wave* coffee roasters. Within a few years, the pair had opened a flagship roastery on a bustling corner in Fishtown and a second coffee shop and cafe in Kensington. Corpus and Caprietti had always thrown around the idea of opening a restaurant together, but their plans for Res Ipsa grew only in the last 18 months. Approached with an offer to open a new ReAnimator space near Rittenhouse, the two decided to seize the opportunity and take it one step further— turning the proposed daytime coffee shop into an allday BYOB. Partnering with their friend Tyler Akin, the owner of Stock— a renowned Fishtown BYOB focusing on the cuisine of Southeast Asia— the three set off to develop a space where the dinner would draw you in just as much as a hot mug of ReAnimator coffee with breakfast. And, oh, that breakfast. As the sun first peeks through Res Ipsa’s floor-to-ceiling windows, trays of steaming hot baked goods are already coming out of the kitchen. Fluffy rounds of focaccia, topped with
salty pancetta or the tangy combination of pomegranate and lime leaf, sit next to flaky crescent hand pies stuffed with pear and thyme. Come lunchtime, the menu evolves. Composed salads and rustic sandwiches— again, served on freshly baked bread—are added to the mix. But dinner is really where Res Ipsa flexes its muscles. As the sun sets, the coffee shop transforms into a pint-sized BYOB. Flaky pastries are replaced with glossy homemade pastas, and salads and sandwiches give way to elegant plates of roasted beets and squid laced with preserved lemon and parsley. With only 24 seats, Res Ipsa is inherently an intimate space— but it never seems to feel cramped. The warmth of the place doesn’t come from the piping hot coffee, or the griddled English muffins, or even the steaming plates of house-made pasta. No matter what time of day you arrive, it’s clear that the foundation of the restaurant is built on friendship. *Third wave coffee roasting refers to the treatment of coffee beans as artisanally crafted rather than as a mere commodity. Great care and thought goes into every stage of the coffee making process, from the growing of the beans to how they are ground and brewed.
Res Ipsa’s Breakfast Sandwich
With a perfect square of fluffy baked eggs and a crisp sausage patty cradled in a craggy house-made English muffin, Res Ipsa’s breakfast sandwich is a meal worth getting out of bed for. Chef Michael Ferreri broke it down for us: Bun: A house-made English muffin— fluffy on the inside with a toasted exterior. Cheese: A layer of creamy asiago fresco cheese (think sharp provolone and cheddar) adds richness.
Salsa Verde: A punchy blend of garlic, herbs, and lemon juice, with a long hot pepper thrown in for some classic Philly spice.
Ferreri whips eggs and bakes them low and slow so they don’t get any color. The result? A moist and fluffy masterpiece.
Sausage: A crisp patty of well-seasoned ground pork laced with fennel and sage—towing the line between breakfast and savory sausage. penn appétit 19
BY ANERI KINARIWALLA PHOTOS BY ISABEL ZAPATA
If you’ve recovered from the trauma caused by being fed tumeric milk as a child or never had to endure it in the first place, try a tumeric latte for the same healing benefits. Marketed as "golden milk" by your favorite hipster coffee shop, warm your choice of milk, a teaspoon of tumeric powder, a teaspoon of sugar, a dash of ginger, and a pinch of nutmeg and kosher salt for a healthy hug in a mug that Gwenyth Paltrow herself would approve of.
Saffron colored floral garlands, canary yellow salwar kameez outfits, the honeyed sunlight pouring over the scene-- all matching the first golden tracks of haldi on the bride’s cheek. These will soon be joined by many more, each handful of powder lovingly applied to her face or playfully smushed into her hair until every family member and friend has had a turn. By the end, she is covered from head to toe with the bright, cheerful, auspicious yellow of turmeric. It’s not quite as charming an experience when you find the same yellow staining your fingernails after every Indian meal. Now becoming trendy in the western world for its plethora of health benefits, turmeric has been a staple of Indian cuisine for 4000 years. Before the research, studies and clini-
cal trials of modern science, the spice’s power was common knowledge in India. Hence, its sharp, bitter flavor was incorporated into lentil soups, curries, and, to the chagrin of sick children all over India, a cold remedy of milk and turmeric. Just as its use in cooking was not baseless, neither was turmeric’s position in the pre-wedding haldi ritual. It’s basically a panacea when it comes to skin and hair issues. Acne? Turmeric is a natural antiseptic. Dandruff? It’s been proven to rejuvenate scalp health and combat itchiness. Discoloration? Turmeric evens out skin tone and lightens pigmentation. Plus it promotes skin elasticity with antioxidants, moisturizes dry skin, and balances oily skin. And with its exfoliating properties, a bride won’t be just
metaphorically glowing on her wedding day. Turmeric is not the only food staple to make the transition to the realm of beauty and cosmetics in ancient civilizations. Rice water has been used in Japan and China as a skin toner and hair rinse since the time of the geishas. Notoriously beautiful Cleopatra bathed in milk and anointed herself with honey in ancient Egypt. Native Americans owe their long, straight, jet black hair in part to a hair wash made from yucca root. Varna datri (enhancer of body complexion), tamasini (beautiful as night), gauri (to make fair). These, just three of its 53 Sanskrit names, reflect the cosmetic benefits that has made turmeric so integral to not only culinary tradition but also beauty customs. penn appétit
short & sweet a Filipino sticky rice recipe BY SHAE CHAMBERS // PHOTO BY ALDEN TERRY
lmost every Sunday, I can count on walking downstairs into a living room full of aunties and uncles (blood relatives or not). The atmosphere is relaxed and blissful. The sounds of a dozen conversations occurring at once, some in English and some in Tagalog fill the space. On the lawn outside, the grill heats up in anticipation for the plates of marinating chicken and kalbi (barbecued beef shortribs) sitting on the counter. On the dining room table, a crowded bingo game reaches
the peak excitement as the winning number is announced. Laughter permeates the air as plates and plates of food are placed on every unoccupied surface. If you’ve ever been to a Filipino family gathering, you’ll know that the terms “gathering” and “feast” are interchangeable. As always there’s a table crowded with plates and dishes displaying the best of Filipino cuisine. The aroma of freshly fried egg rolls surrounds me, and I can almost taste the sweet and sour sauce on my tongue. Be-
fore the mad rush toward the paper plates and plastic cutlery, we take the time to join hands and say a short prayer, thanking God for good health, good friends, and, of course, good food. As soon as the words “amen” are uttered, the feast begins. People line up and serve themselves buffet style, taking a healthy portion of everything. Such a display overwhelms the senses: at every turn, vibrant bowls of pineapple, numerous trays of garnished noodles, and multiple rice cookers (what Filipino gathering is complete without rice?). With countless savory delicacies like lechón (spit-roasted pork) and pansit (thin rice noodles fried with soy sauce and citrus) , and sweet dishes like flan and biko, the options are endless. Although I’ve inevitably grown to love a great number of these Filipino delicacies, I’ll be the first to admit that I have a preference for sweets. My personal favorite, biko, is as simple to make as it is delicious to eat. With minimal preparation and few ingredients, you too can indulge in this treat.
5 cups glutinous rice 2 cans coconut milk 3 cups fine brown sugar 1 tbs. anise seeds Fresh mango, coconut milk, and/or dark chocolate sauce for topping Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 5 cups glutinous rice in 5 cups water on stovetop set to high heat. In a separate pan, combine 2 cans coconut milk and 3 cups fine brown sugar and mix over high heat. This will create a thick, syrup-like mixture. Add 1 tbsp anise seeds to the syrup and stir. Set aside half a cup. After the rice is cooked, pour in the syrup and mix thoroughly. Spread mixture into baking pan. Pour reserved portion of syrup on top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (or more, if you want a crispier top). Enjoy plain or topped with coconut milk, dark chocolate sauce, or fresh mango.
Craving a Family Meal BY RACHEL PROKUPEK PHOTO BY LEAH SPRAGUE It’s bittersweet to recall the memories of externing at Restaurant Daniel last summer and completing my culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu, considering how much kitchen withdrawal I’ve had these past few months. I miss the heat, having my steelhoned knives in my calloused hands, and even brunoising* the god awful cucumber skins for hours on end at Restaurant Daniel– nothing I can truly recreate in the Quad kitchen, that’s for sure. I also miss the daily family meal. It was the meal that the staff eats together before24
lunch and dinner service starts, the one time everyone could relax without the pressure of firing tickets to order. Chefs, cooks, and externs alike sat in the hallways, practically inhaling our homemade food while indulging in our daily dose of kitchen gossip. It was the chance to learn more about each cook outside of the kitchen. Everyday, family meal connects the back of house and front of house staff over some pretty damn good food. I mean, cooks know how to cook for themselves, right? These few minutes seemed so trivial during my time at Daniel, but they are the ones I miss most. I want that time in a kitchen again. In order to satiate my kitchen craving, I
recently buttoned up a chef coat for the first time in what felt like forever and walked into the shared kitchen of High Street on Market and Fork to have family meal with their staff. High Street and Fork are part of the larger High Street Hospitality Group, which has a few other concepts in Philly and New York. I spent time with Ana, the production and purchasing manager who is in charge of the staff meal. She received a Master’s degree in food sustainability in Italy and now uses her knowledge to make High Street more efficient and sustainable. Cool, right? As we explored the kitchen, I saw how important individual ingredients are to
High Street; their hyper-seasonal menu reflects their commitment to locally-sourced, high-quality products. Ana told me that “every product has a lifecycle”, and I couldn’t agree more. Each ingredient must be cared for and handled with respect. That’s what marks a passionate chef, a passionate kitchen, and a passionate team. When I worked at Restaurant Daniel, I learned about the importance of respectfully utilizing each ingredient to its maximum capacity. Each morel mushroom must be washed with precision; each heirloom tomato must be handled at its peak ripeness; each guinea fowl must be used in its entirety. In the kitchen at High Street, I saw the same respect for food. Every day, Ana makes sure each product is being used correctly, and systematically designs a family meal menu that reflects the lifecycles of different ingredients. She puts a particular emphasis on High Street’s byproducts from their in-house
projects. Homemade butter produces a lot of buttermilk, so she’ll put buttermilk pancakes or chilled buttermilk soup on the menu. Their whole roasted turkey produces juicy scraps, so there will 100% be delicious turkey sandwiches using their naturally leavened bread. The family meal for the day I was there was hand-fried tortilla chips with locally-sourced beef and a cheese sauce (aka fancy nachos), a savoy cabbage slaw, and cayenne-paprika tomato soup. Fork has a savoy cabbage-wrapped duck confit dish on the menu, so the cabbage hearts are used for the slaw. The entire kitchen helped produce this meal for their staff of 30 or 40 people, under the guidance of Ana and Executive Chef John Patterson. I sat down with the staff and enjoyed family meal at 3:30 PM before dinner service. I loved seeing the process of making the meal, and how the kitchen selected which ingredients to use when creating the menu. While I had only met the staff just a
few hours before, family meal allowed me to connect with them as people, not just as cooks. The food, of course, was delicious, and made me wish I could have been one of the cooks heading back into the kitchen to start service. It felt so natural to me, but as the meal came to a close, it was time for me to unbutton my chef coat for the day. As I walked out of the kitchen onto Market Street and headed back to Penn, I couldn’t help but think about my time at Daniel and my glimpse into what it would be like to work at High Street and Fork. Their family meal reflects what their kitchen creates for their customers, and their respect for the staff and what they eat is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed. My kitchen craving was satiated for the day, but I know I’ll be craving turkey sandwiches and chilled buttermilk soup for quite some time. * Brunoise: a French knife-cut, typically diced 1mmx1mm cubes. penn appétit
all my life? BY MELODIE GIBSON
BY MELODIE GIBSON
I’m not going to lie— crispy salmon skin is better than sex. If you say otherwise, you haven’t had really good salmon. I’m not talking about the skinless salmon filets your grandma smothers in butter and obliterates in a 500 degree oven (bless her heart). I’m talking about salmon that literally snaps in half like some sort of life-changing, fishy potato chip giving way to a flaky, pillowy middle. But unfortunately for those of us that weren’t born with innate Gordon Ramsay searing skills, getting that crispy skin at home can be a challenge. I tried trout, catfish, bass, tilapia. But no matter how many times I tried, or how sweetly I sweet-talked my salty suitors, I always ended up with charred, hard, and over (while simultaneously under) cooked fish. Eventually I gave up— I figured there’s a point when you have to accept that they’re just not that into you. It wasn’t until I was in a Wegman’s this past summer and found myself in a staring contest with a whole Branzino, that I thought maybe it was time I got back in the game. I got my fish home (eyes, head and fins intact) and just stared at it for a solid 10 minutes. What was I thinking? What was I going to do with this? The fish had been gutted (thank god) and deboned, so my game plan was to just stuff it with stuff that sounded good. I salt and peppered it, shoved lemon, garlic and parsley up its gut, and thew it in the oven hoping for the best. When the timer went off, I opened the oven and audibly gasped. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but this fish looked Ramsay-approved. Maybe it was the look in its eyes, or maybe it
PHOTOS BY ANGEL FAN was the Barry White playing in the background, but this fish was Insta-ready in a big way. This is when I converted to the whole-fish fan club. Tasty fish with minimal effort: where do I sign? My baked Branzino wasn’t on par with the sexy potato chip I made you lust after earlier (let’s be real), but it was a close second— crispy on the outside, flaky and and flavorful on the inside, all while managing to look incredibly impressive. Thus, my message to the masses: cooking whole fish is fool-proof. If you can set your oven to the correct temperature and operate the timer app on your phone, you can’t screw it up. But at this point you’re probably saying “But Melodie, I live on campus and I don’t know anything about fish and where do I even get it— does Wawa sell Branzino?” Well never fear my friend. With the help of my buddies at Ippolito’s Seafood, I’m going to break down everything you could ever possibly want to know about picking and preparing your newest salty sweetheart— whole.
So, you’ve decided to cook a whole fish. Now what? Josiah Andrews and the rest of the gang at Ippolito’s Seafood are the goto guys for all things fishy. Ippolito’s has been a Philly staple since 1919 and has everything you could ever need to make fish great again (not that it ever wasn’t). First step: go to a reputable fishmonger and ask questions. The idea of cooking a whole fish can be intimidating, and looking fish-illiterate amongst fish pro-
fessionals can be even more intimidating. But, take my word for it, these guys are awesome, and they’re there to help! Josiah said he usually likes to ask first-timers what kind of fish they’ve eaten before and how many people they plan on feeding and go from there. “Branzino, Black Bass and Snapper are three great options. They’re easily accessible and easy to work with. Branzino is going to have a more succulent and fatty flavor, while Black Bass has a stronger flavor, and Snapper is sweeter.” Now if you’re thinking, “But Melodie, fish tastes like fish,” I feel you. Luckily, all of the fish at Ippolito’s is labeled with easy to understand flavor and texture profiles. And if
get to know your
you’re still stuck, take advantage of Ippolito’s try before you buy policy and try a few different cuts before you put a ring on it. As far as picking your fish out from the rest of the bunch goes, your fishmonger knows best. They’re there to set you up with the ultimate babe— a fish with clear, dark eyes, red gills, and flesh that when poked with your finger, quickly springs back (swoon).
You’ve picked your fish— what about the bones? You have a couple of options. For the convenience of a bone-free whole fish (pin bones are sneaky), there are two cuts that
you’re going to want to ask for: butterflied or French cut. These are essentially the same cut but inverted. A butterflied fish is slit from head to tail along the underside, gutted and then de-boned. A French cut fish is also gutted and deboned, but with an incision made along the spine. Both will yield similar results, and both will leave your fish scale and fin free. But here’s the big question: head on or head off? “Some people don’t want their meal to have eyes. But on larger fish, you can usually get some meat off of the cheeks,” Josiah explained. Pro tip: Josiah saves the head and bones in a ziplock bag and uses them later to make fish stock.
How long have you been working as a monger? “Two years this April. I have a background as a chef and marketing manager, so it makes for an interesting combination.” What do you love about your job? “FISH! Obviously. But I find the whole process really interesting. When something new comes in that I haven’t ever tried before, I immediately try it. I also enjoy teaching other people about our fish — where it comes from, what to do with it.” Any pro tips and tricks? “Don’t be scared. Experiment! And if you don’t know, ask!” What is your spirit fish? “I’ve been thinking about it... and I don’t think it’s a fish, it’s an oyster. The Glacier Point Oyster from Kachemak Bay in Alaska. It’s got that really salty feel that you get from East Coast oysters, with the cucumber vegetal notes that you get from the West Coast stuff. Without the creaminess. I HATE creamy oysters.” penn appétit
-3You’ve brought your new beau home and it’s time to get it done. Look deep into its eyes and think of all the different ways to say “I love you.” Then preheat your oven. As a rule, the fresher the better, so plan on cooking your fish as soon as possible. Lay it on a parchment paper-lined pan (there will be juices, so make sure it has sides) and grab the olive oil. Brush a thin coat of oil (don’t smother it) all over the inside and outside of your fish and then season all sides with salt and pepper. The oil will allow the skin to crisp up and will help the flavors from the stuffing to penetrate deeper into the flesh on the inside. Let’s talk stuffing. You can stuff a fish with just about anything, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s stick with a classic combo:
lemon, garlic and rosemary. After prepping your fish with olive oil and seasoning, stuff the cavity with slices of lemon, whole peeled garlic cloves and sprigs of fresh rosemary. If your stuffing is spilling out, tie a few pieces of kitchen twine around your fish to keep things secure. If you want to get really fancy (we do), bake your fish on top of a bed of sliced onion and olive — BAM: bonus side dish! Josiah’s handy rule for baking your fish is weight (lbs) x 20 minutes at 400 degrees. If you don’t have a kitchen scale handy, look at the sticker on your wrapped up fish. Josiah recommends getting your hands on a meat thermometer and to pull your fish out when its internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. 145 degrees is to fish what 165 is to poultry (i.e. it’s done), but remember, your fish will continue to cook after being removed from the heat. And I
know you’re probably feeling that new-relationship-spark with your gorgeous new piece of bass, but you know what’s not sexy? Dry fish.
So, you’ve successfully cooked a whole fish! Now what? Pat yourself on the back— you just cooked a whole fish and it looks great! And you know what? It’s going to taste even better. Untie your twine if you used it and remove the stuffing. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty (go ahead, take a few thousand pictures) and then dig in! Because your fish was either French cut or butterflied, it should be easy to separate the filets from the head and serve. But we understand if you choose to forgo the plate and just fork it.
lemon, garlic, rosemary
Branzino with onion and olives
Ingredients Whole Branzino (French cut or butterflied) Whole garlic cloves (to taste) 1 lemon thinly sliced Fresh rosemary (to taste) Olive oil Salt and pepper 1 large onion, thinly sliced Halved kalamata olives (to taste)
Gently rinse your fish with cold water and pat off the excess with a paper towel. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on the inside and outside of the fish and season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish in a pan on top of thinly sliced onion and kalamata olives.
Stuff with lemon, rosemary and garlic cloves. Bake for approximately 20 min at 400 degrees. Once the fish has reached an internal temperature of 140 degrees, remove from oven. Serve.
BOY SCOUT GOURMET BY JUSTIN YUE PHOTO BY AMBER SHI
this day, I get confused looks from others when I tell them I was a Boy Scout who hated camping. I just didn’t buy the whole “embrace the great outdoors and go pee in the bushes” logic. However, throughout my years as a Boy Scout, I have come to realize that there is one aspect of camping that I truly enjoy— cooking outdoors. Making breakfast omelets during a car camping trip was one of my first outdoor cooking experiences. My mornings are not magical. So, when the group of khaki-clad suburban dads, aka Scoutmasters, said we would be making omelets the next morning, I was ready to bark out my order and peace out ASAP. But instead of asking me what I wanted in my omelette, a Scoutmaster just handed me a Ziploc bag. I was pretty sure that food was supposed to come out of the packaging and not put back into it. Puzzled and frustrated, I tried to see what the other scouts were doing. Naturally, the older Boy Scouts led the way. Before I could even begin whining about how tired I was, one of them gave me a tomato to wash. Normally, sassy
eight-year-old me would have thrown a fit, but because I admired the older scouts so much, I moved quickly to the water spigot. I carefully cradled the tomato in my hands, trying not to make imprints in its skin. After I came back with the washed tomato, the older scouts took what I had and began to dice, chop, and mince until the table was covered with plates of prepared ingredients. Following the guidance of the other scouts, I used a Sharpie to scribble my name on my bag. Then, my clumsy, chubby hands tried to carefully crack two eggs into the bag. I walked down the table, picking up tons of sausage and much smaller amounts of vegetables. After completing the assembly line, my sealed bag was filled one third of the way up with golden-yellow liquid. I rocked the bag back and forth, watching as the liquid and ingredients swooshed from one end to the other. Then, I handed my liquid pouch to a Scoutmaster who submerged my bag into a pot of boiling water. While I waited for my omelette to cook, I almost wanted it to turn out badly so I could give my mom another reason
why I shouldn’t have gone camping. But, my grumbling stomach said that I needed to put my pride aside. When I saw my pouch emerge out of the water with a solid, light yellow omelette, I was caught off guard. The first bite of my omelette revealed it to be true to appearances—it was quite soft and tasty, like a regular omelette but a bit spongier. Even though there was still a little yolk in some parts, after poking with my fork, everything was well-mixed. Maybe it was so good because I had to work for it, but regardless, it passed the taste test. Oddly enough, this ziploc omelette was the turning point in my camping career. I turned into the passionate camp cook, spearheading food planning and preparation on future outings. From Dutch oven apple cobbler to pan-fried quesadillas, the food the other scouts and I made became more complexly flavored. For me, cooking made camping a little more bearable. So, even though you’ll never see me wearing an “I love latrines” shirt, I can say that my camp experiences will always have a special place in my heart. penn appétit 29
BY EMILY RUSH
PHOTOS BY NOEL ZHENG 30
It’s an unremarkable brick building, tucked between 10th and Fitzwater. A mural of morning glories rises from the roof like a landmark. Inside, it’s painted a deep blue, the walls covered with paintings, award plaques and more murals. It’s packed with tables and plush, vinyl bar seats, clamoring with people who order stacks of ‘Glory Cakes’ and laugh with their servers. They all leave full and warm and happy, knowing they took part in something special. Walking into Sam’s Morning Glory Diner feels like coming home. The diner was opened in 1997 by Sam, but today it’s owned and managed by her mother Carol. I met Carol on a warm January afternoon. It’s after-hours, so the diner is clean and empty. She is joking with a burly man behind the counter. When I open the door, she smiles. She seats me in a cushy booth against a big, bright window and we begin to talk. Carol is a social security lawyer who helps low income Philadelphians get the benefits they deserve. She splits her time between her practice and her diner. The diner opened before Philly was overrun with trendy brunch joints, and it quickly earned loyal customers who loved the homey feel and fresh food. Then, in 2012, Sam passed away from brain cancer. With melancholy acceptance, Carol says that part of the diner
seemed to suffer with Sam’s passing. It just wasn’t the same without her, so after a year, the employees called Carol. “They called me and said to get over here,” she says. Since then, Carol has run the diner with a mother’s love. It’s not hard for Carol to honor Sam’s wishes because the two were extremely close. Carol was a single mother to Sam, so they shared a unique bond. Determined to make a better life for Sam, Carol put herself through Temple law school while working and raising her daughter. She says this nonchalantly, but I feel a deep admiration for her strength. She tells me how once, back in the 70s, she was passed up for a managing position at her restaurant job. Her boss soberly told her managing was no job for a woman. Carol and I joke about his rampant sexism, but again I feel another wave of respect . She stands her ground. Her daughter, she tells me, did the same. “We were best friends, but she had a knack for pissing me off,” laughs Carol. She says Sam had a mind of her own. She promised her mother she’d never go into the restaurant industry, yet she opened the Morning Glory anyway. No hardship was too great for Sam, no challenge offputting. And as Carol tells me her own story, I sense that this was an inherited trait. “Sam was a good person. At her me-
morial service, people told all these stories about how she helped them,” Carol tells me. I can feel pride and affection in her voice. Sam’s kindness still lingers in the atmosphere of her diner. It’s abundantly present in Carol and in the current employees. Sam’s one rule was “be nice or get out,” and it applied to customers and employees alike. Carol laughs a little, assuring me that her daughter's rule is always enforced. There’s no tolerance for rudeness, anger, or prejudice. Carol is a bleeding-heart liberal who marched with Civil Rights activists and fought for abortion rights before Roe v. Wade. After the election the windows were completely covered with anti-Trump signs, and several remain. There’s something innately motherly about Carol. Like she wants to protect everyone who walks through her door. The day after Trump won the election, the diner was packed. She shakes her head slightly, remembering how a couple at the bar told her the diner was the place they came to feel better. It’s like she sees the diner as her way of nurturing people; she’s created a safe-haven, where, no matter who you are, who you love, what you look like and what you believe, you’ll be treated with kindness and served a delicious breakfast.
noodles penn appĂŠtit
BY SOPHIA YANG PHOTOS BY ISABEL ZAPATA
For those of us from the U.S., when we hear “noodles,” what comes to mind is probably a steaming bowl of ramen (with some scallions to add a little kick) or chicken lo mein, faintly gleaming with oil, from our good ol’ American Chinese restaurants. If you’re one of those people who counts pasta as a noodle, maybe it’s the classic spaghetti and meatballs, smothered liberally in tomato sauce, that you think of. But for all my fellow noodle aficionados out there, you’ll be thrilled to know that wheat and rice aren’t the only way to make our favorite slurpable dish. In fact, I’d say we’ve been pretty inventive when it comes to creating noodles of all shapes and sizes, out of almost anything. You might be wondering, how else could noodles be made? Well, let’s start with something pretty tame: egg noodles. German spaetzle are fried pillows of spongy egg dough, resembling dumplings. The dough is pressed through colanders or large-holed sieves creating compact pieces. If you think that’s a lot of effort, it’s much easier than the traditional method, which calls for the chef to roll out thin logs of dough, cut individual chunks, and shape the dumplings by hand. Then there’s the zhú shēng miàn from China, usually made from a duck egg. For this, traditionally the chef sits on one end of a bamboo pole to leverage their weight to blend the ingredients. Pretty crazy, what we put ourselves through for the perfect consistency. Next up are some starches you might be
more familiar with: potato and yam. Similar to the spaetzle, the Austrian schupfnudeln, also known as finger noodles, is known for its oval shape, which is achieved by pinching off pieces of kneaded starchy potato dough, followed by hand rolling. Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam are known as shirataki noodles. Termed the “zero-calorie” noodle, these are vegan and gluten free. The drawback is that they have no flavor, but on the bright side, they’ll easily absorb whatever flavors or spices that you add to them. They’re especially appreciated for retaining their slippery texture. So season them well, and you’ll be all good! If you’re looking to get a quick fix of greens but actually want some noodles, the spiralizer is your answer. This contraption, which shreds food into ribbons, is best used on vegetables with flesh firm enough to hold their shape. Zucchini is its most famous pairing, but it also works well with squash, broccoli, carrots, beets, and rutabaga. Whether you cook the end product or just eat it raw, the satisfying experience of twirling noodles around your fork can now be replicated with pretty much any veggie. Back before we had rice and flour and potato noodles, we had acorn noodles. Yes, you read that correctly. Acorn. Noodles. Korean in origin, the acorns from red and white oaks (each with their own distinct flavor) are bleached and peeled before being ground into flour and going through the normal process. The resulting noodle resembles soba and adds a nutty kick to soups and salads. I’m not saying you should squirrel away the acorns on College Green, but it might be worth taking a page from our rodent friends and making these a staple of your diet. Popular in Japan and Korea, kelp noodles can be eaten raw and are uniquely crunchy. It’s starting to get radical in here. They are fat and gluten free, as well as being absurdly rich in calcium and iron. Can they do no wrong? Well, I guess the neutral taste might be somewhat of a bummer, so there’s that. And how do you feel about transpar-
ent noodles? Called fěn sī, meaning “powder thread” in Chinese, these are generally made from mung bean and are commonly used in soups to imitate the mouthfeel of shark’s fin. In English, they are typically called cellophane or bean thread noodles. They start out powdery white, but once cooked or soaked in water (that’s right, you don’t even have to cook these babies!), you can see right through them. My first foray into the world of avant-garde noodles has me thoroughly intrigued, especially since avant-garde noodles have existed practically since the beginning of time. Plus there are still so many possibilities out there. And so, my fellow noodle connoisseurs— ask not what noodles can do for you, but what you can do for the future of noodles.
Beet noodles with Whipped Chèvre 1 red beet 1 tsp minced garlic 4 oz. fresh goat cheese 3 oz. cream cheese ⅓ cup heavy cream 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for the pan Coarse sea salt (like Maldon) and cracked black pepper 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar Microgreens Use a spiralizer to form “noodles” fom the peeled beet. Heat olive oil in a pan and sweat garlic until soft. Add spiralized beets and apple cider vinegar and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until al-dente. Meanwhile, whip the goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, heavy cream, and olive oil until light and airy. Serve beets with dollop of whipped cheese. Top with microgreens, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. penn appétit
Kelp Noodles with Avocado Miso Dressing
cold cellophane noodles
Kelp noodles Dino kale 1 very ripe avocado 1 clove of garlic, minced 2 tbsp miso paste Â˝ lime juice Sesame seeds
1/2 cup chicken broth 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp fish sauce 2 tsp sesame oil 1 scallion, chopped 12 oz cellophane noodles 1 cucumber 4 hard boiled eggs (optional)
Rinse noodles under water. Meanwhile, whisk together avocado, garlic, miso paste, and lime until smooth and creamy. De-stem kale and cut into thin ribbons. Toss noodles in avocado dressing, add kale, and top with sesame seeds.
In a large bowl, whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, and scallions. Set aside. Cook the noodles as directed on package. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Remove the seeds from the cucumber and thinly slice longways. Serve noodles in a bowl. Top with cucumbers, egg, and broth mixture.
Cellophane Noodles 36
Kelp Noodles penn appĂŠtit
Sweet Potato Noodles
sweet potato Noodles 2 medium sweet potatoes 3 tbsp olive oil kosher salt + pepper 1/2 pound thin spaghetti 1 1/2 cups day old sourdough bread finely torn 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano 1 tsp fennel seeds 8 tbsp butter 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves 2 ounces prosciutto finely diced 6 ounces crumbled goat cheese Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F Using a spiralizer, spiral the sweet potato into noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, cubing the potatoes works just as well. Toss noodles with olive oil, salt, and pepper and lay on the baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Take out of oven and set aside. Boil a large pot of salted water and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Drain, but reserve a cup of pasta water. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add bread crumbs, chopped oregano, fennel, salt, pepper and cook until toasty, about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Transfer breadcrumbs to a dish and set aside.
Cook butter, 1/2 cup oregano, and prosciutto in the same skillet over medium heat. Once the prosciutto has transformed into crispy little bits and the butter has browned, remove from heat. Combine butter and prosciutto with pasta, and sweet potato noodles. Toss to coat. Top with breadcrumbs and goat cheese and serve.
Shirataki Noodles Shirataki noodles ¼ cup soy sauce 2 tbsp sugar 1 tbps minced ginger 2 tbsp rice vinegar 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil 2 tbs water Scallions Peanuts Sesame seeds Carrots, julienned Cucumbers, julienned Red pepper flakes Rinse noodles in water, and boil in water for 1 minutes. Drain and dry fry in a pan until the liquid is evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and water. Toss with the cooked noodles.
Top with scallions, peanuts, julienned carrots and cucumbers, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes to your liking.
Schupfnudeln 1 lb starchy potatoes 1 egg ⅔ cup flour Salt Nutmeg Knob of butter Sage leaves Place potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil until soft. Peel the potatoes while warm. Place on a baking sheet and dry out in 300 degree oven to evaporate remaining liquid. Press through a food mill or mash well. Add in flour, egg, salt, and nutmeg. Combine well and knead with flour. Roll dough out into logs and cut into 1 inch strips. With hands form into finger-shaped dumplings. Cook dumplings in salted, lightly boiling water until they rise to the top. Take out with a skimmer and let cool. Heat butter and sage leaves in a pan until hot and add cooked dumplings to pan fry. Sautée by rotating the pan constantly until golden brown and the butter is browned. Serve immediately. penn appétit
Hunt for the best
BY RACHEL PROKUPEK ILLUSTRATIONS BY RICHARD LEE
When I think of noodles, I think of ramen. My favorite meal is a hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen, but sometimes I need something quick and affordable. That’s where instant ramen comes in. Not the cup-of-noodles shit you can pick up at any supermarket, but the brands that you find only if you wander into a market in Chinatown.
I decided to go on a noodle hunt to find the best instant ramen. My Chinatown excursion ended with me picking up 9 packages of noodles with names I couldn’t read and flavors ranging from “black pepper beef ” to “spicy flavor”. Eating 9 bowls of ramen over the course of a few days is more than a bit overwhelming, but anything for Penn Appétit, am I right?
Here’s the lowdown: The first axis is what haters call MSG and I call umami. Deemed the “fifth flavor”, umami is that rich and savory “deliciousness” in food. It’s a sensation that stays a while in the mouth, and provides that extra oomph in every bite. Some people associate umami with a meaty or earthy flavor, often found in mushrooms, soy, and meats. The second axis is measured based on “Q-iness”, which is a term people, particularly the Taiwanese, are using to describe food. Something with a “Q” texture has a little bit of spring to it, but isn’t squishy. Think of mochi or a marshmallow. In terms of noodles, it’s not al dente pasta, but it’s not mush either. Texture is just as important as flavor for our noods!
BLAND Broad Noodles
I expected a lot more because the package promises “black pepper beef”, but it’s literally just beef.
Black Pepper Beef
Doll House Noodles
I’m a newbie to this whole “Q-iness” thing, but damn these noodles are pretty Q. Definitely some good umami going on here, too.
Shin Ramyun Real Kimchi
Noods are good, my tongue not so good. I like spicy, but this soup overdoes it a little bit.
UMAMI Not technically ramen but these were the best noods by far, and the soup had a fantastic flavor. 10/10 would recommend and it costs less than a dollar.
Hot and Sour Vermicelli
Pickled Cabbage Fish
SO NOT Q
The lack of Q-iness in the noods was definitely made up for in the soup. Lots of citrus, a good amount of spice, and a creaminess that I don’t quite understand because I literally poured hot water into the bowl. Magic.
MAMA Shrimp Creamy Tom Yum
Turkey Noodle Soup for the Soul BY ZOE SCHWINGEL-SAUER PHOTO BY ALDEN TERRY ILLUSTRATION BY EDWARD KIM
Turkey Noodle Soup 6-9 lbs turkey 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. marjoram 1 tsp. basil 1 tsp. kosher salt 2 garlic cloves 1 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. parsley 2-3 bay leaves 1-2 cups of chicken broth 2 tbs. cooking oil 2 onions 3 carrots 4 stalks celery
Turkey To prepare the turkey, cover in a mixture of olive oil and fresh herbs. Combine the herbs and the olive oil to marinate the turkey. Once you are done coating the bird in this mixture, stuff it with 2-3 bay leaves and garlic.
a chilly fall day, there is nothing better than a homemade bowl of soup and that delicious aroma it fills your house with. In my family, soup is always the go-to food right after Thanksgiving. After indulging in Thursday’s turkey, gravy, and pumpkin chiffon pie, Friday is when the restoring soup gets to shine. There is a lot of cooking pride in my house. While my dad and mom are masters in the art of food, I can always count on my grandparents for the best, comforting noodle soup. They make the trip down to Philadelphia from Boston every Thanksgiving weekend, and along with their arrival, we eagerly anticipate the noodle soup that is to come. We use a turkey, but a bird is a bird. On Friday morning, my grandparents assume their positions in the kitchen bright and early, adding herbs and veggies to a steaming pot before I’ve even made it out of bed. The smell of the veggies sautéeing wafts into my bedroom, luring me downstairs. I watch as my grandpa stirs the broth, and my grandma keeps an eye on the carrots, onions, and celery. The onions sizzle away, turning from stark white to a golden brown. The kitchen is normally freezing, but the warmth of the soup and family chatter fill the room. As the stewing herbs release their tantalizing smell, the clock seems to slow down the closer we get to lunchtime. By the time it’s finished, everyone is anxiously waiting in the dining room with empty stomachs and high expectations. As we take our first look at the soup, there is a moment of appreciation accompanied by audible “oohs” and “ahhs”. In the minutes that follow, everyone is silent as they slurp the turkey noodle soup. The saltiness is perfectly complemented by the sweet notes of the tender veggies, and the leftover turkey, carefully marinated by my dad the day before, certainly does not disappoint. Once the soup has been slurped up, my entire family sits, grinning with satisfaction after the divine moment of food bliss.
Roast with the breasts facedown for 1 hr in the oven and turn over for another 45 minutes. The key is to have the meat falling off of the bone. Use breasts, legs, thighs, and any leftover white meat for the soup, chopped into bite sized pieces.
Soup In a large pot, bring broth to a boil. Add turkey meat, reduce heat and simmer. Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the package. Take them off the heat 2-3 minutes early and drain for a very al dente noodle. Set aside. Heat oil in a large pan. Chop vegetables and sauté in pan until soft. Add vegetables and noodles to the pot with broth and turkey. Simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
n a N s ’ u Zho BY TIFFANY WANG PHOTOS BY JESSICA MOH
ou probably first heard about Nan Zhou Noodles from a friend, who raved incessantly about their noodles and said you absolutely had to try it. You decided to give it a shot but twice walked past the partially hidden sign. You finally found it, and now you’re standing there ready to have the best noodle experience of your life. As soon as you walk in, you’re met with the sound of clinking glasses and the chatter of dozens of people. A waitress walks by and sets several platters on the table next to you . You see beef floating above plump noodles in a clear broth. You’re suddenly ten times hungrier than you were just a minute ago. Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House is a quintessential hidden gem. It’s tucked away in the heart of Philadelphia’s Chinatown, located between a dim sum place and a beauty salon. Its specialty is– as the name implies– hand drawn noodles, which have been served in China for over 160 years. The Nan Zhou Noodle House is famous for them, and its combination of savory broths and rich flavors attract customers from all over the city. I sat down with one of Nan
Zhou’s chefs, Gu MingFei, to learn more about the restaurant, hand-drawn noodles, and his experiences working here.
(Questions and answers have been translated from Mandarin and edited for length and clarity) When did you first start working here? “I came to the United States in 2001, where I immediately began working here at Nan Zhou” What’s the process like to make these hand pulled noodles? (Laughs) “It starts with rolling out the dough every morning. The most important part is to prepare everything fresh– if not, you can really taste the difference. For every dish that’s ordered here, we prepare the noodles on site, so that everything is as fresh as possible.” Any special tips or tricks? “How long and thick the noodles are depends on how many times I fold the dough. That’s why all the noodles are made on the
spot– so the customer can choose to customize his or her dish.” Wow. Where did you even learn to make these? “I learned when I was still in China. It took me about 20 or so years to perfect the technique.” So how would you compare here to China? “The most interesting thing I’ve had to do is adjust the flavors of China to meet the flavor palette of the United States. It’s the little changes that make the biggest difference. This way, I can combine the tastes of the East and the West” What’s your favorite part about coming into work every day? “I love seeing the regular customers come in. A lot of them will comment on the flavors of the noodles and how good they taste. That’s really what tends to make my day– knowing that what I’m making tastes delicious enough that it keeps people coming back.” penn appétit
Clash of the
BY ANERI KINARIWALLA ILLUSTRATION BY KAREN ZHANG
It’s common knowledge that pizza isn’t actually Italian. And sadly, it’s time to strip away another honor from the Italians— that of inventing pasta. Was it the German and Hungarians with their spaetzle? Nope. The Russians with stroganoff? Nah. The Polish with pierogis, the Ashkenazi Jews with kreplach, the Greek with orzo? Nie, lo, óchi. The Chinese? Yep, that’s it— and there’s proof. Archeologists discovered a tangle of four thousand year old dry noodles sitting beneath an overturned bowl in northeastern China, putting the debate of who noodled first to bed. A Venetian explorer setting sail to a mysterious land, returning with piles of treasures, piles of noodles. It’s a glamorous story, and maybe that’s why it’s become such a popular myth that Marco Polo brought noodles from China to Italy, where they became pasta. In his book, Livres des merveilles du monde (Book of the Marvels of the World) there’s even a passage that mentions several pasta-like dishes, including one called “lagana” (lasagna). But given that this original text no longer exists and pasta was already spreading through Italy before his 13th century voyage, this is just another fantasy. Marco Polo might not have
brought noodles from China to Italy, but I sure as hell tried to bring pasta from the West to China. And I had about as much success as he did (i.e. none). Like any good host student, I tried to introduce my family to the cuisine of my home. Which to any New Yorker is pizza, maybe pasta. So, after a lot of convincing, they finally let me cook dinner one day… though I’m pretty sure it’s mostly because my host mom wasn’t home and it was easier for my host dad to give into my nagging than to figure out something else to eat. So I went to the exotic, ‘foreign foods’ market (a.k.a. Wal-Mart). As I toiled over my pasta with tomato sauce (not a real dish, just a weird amalgamation of what I could find), my little sisters curiously peeking into the tiny kitchen, giggling I tried to differentiate between the containers of MSG and salt. Finally I came out with the bowls of pasta, complete with the tiny toy forks my host family had scrambled to find at a novelty shop when I arrived. With tentative, hesitant smiles, my host family tried their first bites of my dish… and struggled to keep those smiles from slipping. After a few minutes of pushing the food around, my tank of a host father, not one for soft emotions and social niceties, said something quickly in Chinese. He got up from the table and
within a blink of the eye gone were the forks, replaced with chopsticks. The bottle of soy sauce was passed around, generous splashes going into each bowl. In shock, I stopped eating. My little sister took this as a sign that I didn’t like this weird food either, so she started insisting that it was better with soy sauce. When I didn’t give in to her coaxing, she playfully poured some into my bowl too. But I guess even then, better didn’t really mean good. We all ended up hungrily waiting for mom to come home with leftovers. The meal may not have been what I imagined but that image of a bowl of a soupy broth of tomato sauce and soy sauce with bow-ties floating on top is permanently burned into my brain. Cooking in the tiny kitchen-come-laundry room has ended up being one of my most treasured memories from my time in Deyang, China. Gazing out the kitchen window at the lush greenery juxtaposed with busy street-life and hawkers shouting about the daily specials, it wasn’t hard to imagine the wonder, awe and bafflement Marco Polo must have felt upon arriving in this country. Sure, maybe he had already been introduced to pasta, but noodles are merely a westernized gateway into the world of Chinese cuisine and culture. penn appétit
Eggs & Noodles BY KATHLEEN NORTON PHOTOS BY KATIE ZHAO Eggs are what truly make noodles great. Think about it— what would Pad Thai be without the little nuggets of scrambled egg that soak up the sweet sauce? Or carbonara without the egg that gets cooked by the hot pasta, binding itself to the noodles in the most scrumptious way? Tuna casserole without egg noodles? Can you even imagine ramen without the boiled, poached, or sometimes fried, egg? No, you can’t. Still aren’t convinced? Cook up one of these egg-y noodle-y dishes. It’ll be all the evidence you need.
Raviolo al Uovo Pasta dough: 4 cups flour 4 eggs ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil (freshly made store-bought pasta sheets can also be used) Filling: 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained (check out our recipe to make from scratch!) ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (plus extra for serving) ½ cup blanched and drained spinach (frozen works) Small pinch of nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste 7 eggs 12 tbs. butter Combine ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, spinach, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. Dump the flour onto a work area and make a well in it. Crack the eggs into the well and begin to beat the eggs into the flour. Once half the flour has been combined with the eggs, begin kneading the dough with your hands. 48
Add more flour if it is too sticky. Once the dough has been formed, continue to knead for five minutes. Then, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for twenty minutes. Roll out the pasta as thin as possible and cut out twelve circles, six inches in diameter. A pasta machine is extremely useful for this step. Put six on a tray dusted with flour and set aside. In the other six circles, spoon out equal amounts of ricotta. Make a well in the filling. Crack eggs into a bowl and gently spoon one yolk and little bit of white onto each ravioli. Be careful to keep the yolk intact! Cover with other six circles and seal with fingers. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a spatula, place each ravioli into the water to cook for 2 minutes. Gently remove from water and serve with melted butter and cheese.
Ramen with Marinated Soft Boiled Egg Ramen Seasoning: 2 tbs. onion powder 2 tbs. garlic powder 2 Chicken or Pork bouillon cubes 2 tbs. ground ginger 1 ½ tsp. salt 1 ½ tsp. black pepper Marinated Egg: 6 tbs. warm water 1 tbs. sugar ½ tbs. ground ginger 2 tbs. sherry vinegar ¾ cup low sodium soy sauce ¼ cup chili oil (optional) 6 large eggs Ramen: 18 oz dried ramen noodles Scallions Jalapenos, sliced (optional) To make homemade ramen seasoning, begin by crushing the bouillon cubes in a bowl with a spoon. Add the rest of the spices and mix well.
Boil a large pot of water. Carefully add the eggs and hard boil them for precisely 6 minutes and 50 seconds. Once they are done, immediately run cold water over them or give them an ice bath. When they have cooled off, carefully peel the eggs. (Pro tip: peel eggs when submerged in water to help keep them whole.) Dissolve the sugar and ground ginger in a bowl of water. Add sherry vinegar, soy sauce, and chili oil while stirring. Submerge the eggs in the marinade, ensuring that they are totally covered. Allow them to soak for 2-6 hours (the longer they soak, the stronger the flavor). Leftover marinade can be saved to make more eggs. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ramen noodles and cook till a little shy of al dente (about thirty seconds less than package directs). Add two teaspoons of homemade ramen seasoning to a serving bowl. Ladle two cups of boiling water into bowl and add noodles. Stir. Top with jalapenos, scallions, and a marinated egg.
Noodle Kugel 12 oz wide egg noodles ½ cup (1 stick) butter (softened) 2 cups sour cream 1 cup cottage cheese ½ tsp. salt ½ cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp ½ cup golden raisins (dried cranberries may be substituted) ½ cup lemon juice Zest of 1 medium lemon 1 tbs. cinnamon Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cover raisins with lemon juice. Let soak for at least twenty minutes. Cook egg noodles for four minutes (they will be very al dente, that’s okay!). Drain noodles and combine with butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, ½ cup of sugar, soaked raisins and lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Mix to evenly incorporate. Pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Bake until noodles are set and top is golden brown, about 60 minutes. Let sit for at least ten minutes before slicing. penn appétit
LAST LAST LOOK LOOK A written interview with Dan Tang, the head chef and co-owner of Sugar Philly
What is the first dessert you mastered?
Do you have a secret menu?
What’s the most number of macarons that you’ve eaten in one day?
If you could only cook yourself one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
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