NOODLES: THE NEW WAY
photographs by Gus Filgate
(shortlisted for James Beard Award for Best Photography)
Quadrille, London; Random House, New York, 2000
German edition: Nudeln asiatisch! Mary Hahn Verlag, 2001
Dutch edition: Noedels nieuwe stijl, Bosch & Keuning, 2001
The top picture shows the British paperback edition from Quadrille. The lower one is the original hard cover edition. Both are at the moment out of print, but I have a few copies of the paperback edition (from the publisher's remaindered stock) which I am selling at bargain price. E-mail me for details.
'Noodles', unlike some of my other books, was primarily market-led; noodle bars were springing up everywhere, there was obviously a desire for a book that would show people how to make delicious noodle dishes simply and fast. Still, it wasn't a book that could be written in a hurry; I had accumulated a great deal of material on my travels - including my travels around London - but a great number of dishes had to be tried out, adapted, revised, and experimented with before a final list of recipes could be drawn up and serious development of each one could begin. So I enjoyed writing Noodles just as much as I did all my other books ...
Of course, in the Introduction I had to say ' ... but I still love rice as much as ever.' On the other hand, noodles, being mostly starch, are like rice and 'absorb and set off the flavour of any sauce, or whatever else they're cooked and served with.' And noodles are fun to eat, whereas rice - well, rice, for us Asians anyway, is rather a serious matter. You can't slurp rice, but you can certainly slurp noodles; remember that scene in the Japanese film 'Tampopo'. Tampopo in fact is about a noodle vendor who is determined to make the perfect noodle - so, for some people, noodles, too, are a serious matter.