Rich's Berkeley Blog

A blog about Berkeley and beyond. Social commentary, upcoming events, bargains, local restaurants, and more will be discussed. Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Yuen Hop Noodle Company in Oakland Chinatown, CA

The Yuen Hop Noodle Company is located at 824 Webster St.

They feature a wide variety of seasonal produce, various snacks, and noodles.

The main reason I visit Yuen Hop is to purchase fresh noodles. I've tried a number of the fresh noodles sold here and I've liked them all. My preference is for the Shanghai style wheat based noodles - the medium and thick Shanghai noodles are my favorite.

They also feature an interesting spinach noodle that turns your water bright green during cooking (I haven't figured out what to serve with these noodles yet). They also have a number of different egg noodles and wrappers for making wonton's (wonton wrappers also work quite nicely as ravioli wrappers).

The amazing thing about the Shanghai wheat noodles is that you can cook a pound of these and eat some for dinner. You can then refrigerate them and the following morning you can make a breakfast soup, reboiling the noodles for while in the process, and they don't end up stuck together in glutenous mass. You can pan fry them and make great pan-friend noodles and they don't lose consistency. They also seem to have a decent range (a couple minutes) during the cooking time where they are al dente and not a broken up and sticky mess.

The way I've cooked these...

I usually break the suggested cooking method and simply dump them in boiling water. Every thirty seconds you want to test a noodle to see if you've reached your level of done-ness. When they're completed drain them and rinse them lightly with cold water. Then you're ready to go. One pound of these fresh noodles really goes a long way - usually 3 meals for me.

The great part is that the Shanghai noodles ring in around .85/lb. Spinach noodles are the most expensive at approx. 1.95/lb. You can also purchase Yuen Hop Shanghai style noodles for a higher cost at Berkeley Bowl in the small refrigerator section. In the same aisle as flour/s, maple syrup, and other noodles (the first aisle next to the produce area).

If you want any cooking tips.. or have a review.. feel free to post a omment.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Day of the Dead is this Tuesday! Mission District, SF, Nov. 2nd

The Day of the Dead is upon us.

As usual, their will be a Day of the Dead parade happening in the Mission district of San Francisco. Every year they have a parade/procession that starts at approximately 7PM. It begins around 24th and Bryant, travels along 25th, and ultimately ends up at Garfield Park.

Prior to the event their will be events happening at the Mission Cultural Center and Garfield Park. Garfield Park always has a bunch of alters that are set up during the day by various volunteers. When you arrive there in the evening, after the procession, the alters have many candles lit and it's a very beautiful site.

You can expect about 10,000 people at the procession. Their will be numerous musical groups on the parade; typically percussion groups. Usually the theme at the parade is one of skeletons and the feeling is of honoring those that have passed before us.

It always has a great feeling. I go to this almost every year and I can't recommend it enough!

I'll be with Hadley Louden and friends singing/playing traditional songs/chants for Oya (the goddess of the cemetary in African diaspora). After the parade we gather up in the park and continue singing songs for Oya through the evening.

Here's a link with more information about Day of the Dead in the San Francisco Mission District.