Peel Noodles in Brooklyn (Plus Incredibly Cheap Dumplings!)
The amazing noodle-maker in this video is fashioning peel noodles, a specialty from China's Shanxi province. (Better to show you the video than to spend two paragraphs trying to explain how they're made, no?)
These fluttery, hand-cut noodles are very popular in Beijing, but New York didn't have any until 2006, when Our Man Sietsema slurped them up at Sheng Wang, a Fujianese noodle shop in Manhattan's Chinatown.
The other day, after eating pho for brunch in the Sunset Park, Brooklyn Chinatown, I came across Wong Wong Noodle Soup, a new Fujianese hand-pull noodle spot that also makes the elusive peel noodles. Our Man Sietsema had already sniffed them out, and he maintains that Wong Wong is only the second place in the city to make peel noodles, after Sheng Wang.
Today is a noodle soup kind of day, so I thought I'd check out Wong Wong. The incredibly good, incredibly cheap results--complete with noodle glamour shot and dumpling innards--after the jump.
Wong Wong is a spotless, no-nonsense spot, with about a dozen tables. In the back corner of the dining room there's a glassed-in area with a wooden countertop, where a cook makes the hand-pulled noodles on a floured surface. He pulls the dough like taffy, until it's about the thickness of spaghetti, and then he slips it directly into a gigantic pot of boiling water. I didn't see the peel noodles being made--but maybe that happens in the back.
I ordered the peel noodles in soup with roast duck ($5.50), pictured above. The noodles are irregular, with slightly serrated, wrinkly edges from the quick motion of the knife through the dough. They're almost transparent, and are thick in places and thinner in others; each slurp is chewy and delicate by turns. The pickled greens, roast duck and star-anise-scented broth are also quality, but the noodles are the point.
Then, because I am an incorrigible over-orderer, I also got the steamed dumplings. This turns out to be certified cheap eats--$3 for 13 dumplings. The delicate skins make it clear that these dumplings are homemade.
Nip through the chewy dumpling skin, you're rewarded with a juicy mixture of pork and scallions; a bit of golden-colored porky broth runs out with the first bite.
Wong Wong Noodle Soup Inc
5410 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn