Noodle Bowls Are A Breeze with Oakland’s Nona Lim
Bowls of brothy noodles are the ultimate comfort dish. But you can work yourself into a tizzy in the time and care it takes to create one from scratch.
Oakland’s Nona Lim makes it easy to enjoy your favorite Asian noodle bowl in a flash. Lim grew up in Singapore, and worked as a consultant in the tech industry, all the while training competitively in fencing. After moving to the food-centric Bay Area, she knew she wanted to start a business built around healthful and tasty food.
I had a chance to taste a couple of samples recently. The broths are super convenient — all you have to do is warm them up in a saucepan. The noodles — wide Pad See Ew, flat Laksa ones, and thinner Pad Thai ones — are all made from rice, so they’re gluten-free. Just boil them in water for a minute, drain, then add to your bowl of broth.
Then, get as creative as you like by adding tofu, chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, Sriracha, green onions — or pretty much anything you like.
I paired the Miso Ramen Broth with the Pad Thai (or Pho) noodles, then threw in smoked scallops, spinach, enoki mushrooms, green onions and cilantro. The broth had nice color, but I found it lacking in flavor. Maybe it’s because it was strictly vegetarian without the kick of umami found in a traditional dashi made with preserved fish. I ended up doctoring it with extra miso paste from my fridge to add more bang.
The Thai Curry & Lime Broth was far more flavorful. Combined with the Laksa Noodles, it made for a soothing bowl full of zesty lime and gentle spiciness.
Do note that the packages of broth serve 2, while the packages of noodles serve 4. That means you either need to buy two packages of broth for every one noodle package — or be content with a huge heap of noodles with not so much broth.
The packages of broths and noodles keep well in the freezer, making it easy to have a noodle bowl whenever the mood strikes.