Day: May 31st, 2007

Chanoodle fried rice

Thursday, May 31st, 2007 | All Things, Eats

For today’s Chinatown lunch we met at Chanoodle on Mulberry — or “Chan Noodle,” as I’ve seen it referred to, as in the New York  magazine mention for best late night Chinatown “under the radar spot.”

The restaurant is known for its straightforward, simply-prepared Cantonese cooking; the head chef hails from Ping’s Seafood (itself named on New York  magazine’s late night Chinatown piece for “best blowout banquet.”)


We started with a plate of tender baby bok choy studded with fried chopped garlic. (Ming Tsai offers a similar recipe here.)

Chanoodle bok choy

The fried rice, usually not a standout dish, gets noticed here. The version with “two kinds of sausage” prompted Times  reviewer Eric Asimov “to re-examine a long-held distaste for fried rice, formed through years of takeout misery.” Robert Sietsema likes it, too; the Village Voice named Chanoodle’s “gold and silver fried rice” the city’s “Best Fried Rice” in 2004. “Salty fish tidbits, onions, golden raisins, and egg drops”… I may just venture to try this dish after being pleasantly surprised by a similar seafood/raisin rice combination last year. (This afternoon, we shared the vegetable version.)

Chanoodle fried rice

I prefer “Chanoodle” to “Chan Noodle,” if only because Chanoodle reminds me of “canoodle” — a fun word of indeterminate origin. William Safire noted in a 1998 Times piece, available now only to Times Select members, that the derivation theories fall into two disparate camps: the first from the German verb knudeln, “to cuddle,” which has an alternate suggestion of “to pat, or to knead,” as when making Knödel  dumplings; the second draws British origins from the Nottingham dialect for “to cuddle,”‘ or from a Somerset noun meaning “donkey” — used figuratively for “one who makes love [in the original sense] foolishly.”

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