Food For Thought: Open Kitchens And Bloody Good Noodles

Mar 1, 2017

"Stein," Nancy Leson asked me, "If you could spend a day at the elbow of a restaurant cook, what kind of restaurant would it be?" 

Well, a Chinese restaurant, natch.  But I don't want to be standing around getting in the way in any busy restaurant kitchen.  Fortunately, many eateries these days feature open kitchens where customers can enjoy their dinners while watching the cooks at work. 

One of my favorite spots for that is Tacoma's popular Primo Grill.   I'm not  alone.  Primo's co-owner/chef Charlie McManus tells me that guests make reservations to watch the show at the counter overlooking their open kitchen.

Nancy says that the one place where she'd really love to watch the kitchen action "would be the tiny little Thai place that opened about five minutes from my front door: Edmonds.

That would be Edmonds' Noodle Hut and it really is tiny.  Just three tables and seating for ten. 

"Their Thai Boat Noodles or as they call them, House Noodles are my new obsession.  It's a  noodle soup made with as many as 20 different spices and seasonings," she says.  

Plus pork and beef, meatballs, bean sprouts, Chinese broccoli, rice noodles, and plenty more — all thickened with pork blood.

Noodle Hut Thai boat noodles
Credit Nancy Leson

By now I know you're dying to make this yourself at home so here's a recipe.  And remember, cooking with blood is by no means unusual.  There's Polish duck blood soup, Irish black (blood) pudding, German blutwurst, and dinuguan, the Filipino pork blood stew, and that's just for starts.   Here's more on cooking with blood from Bon Appétit.

If you do want to try the boat noodles recipe but balk at a plateful of platelets, you can always sub with coconut milk.

"I'm thinking we have about 15 vampires and no blood."  – Rachel Caine, from "Feast of Fools"