I’m always trying to think about that one moment in time where I had my favorite bowl ever, and I’m trying to recreate what that flavor is. My name is Richard Ho. This is my shop, Ho Foods. Ho Foods is a tiny, 11-seat eatery in the East Village of New York, and it’s best known for having one star dish on its menu: Taiwanese beef noodle soup. The reason we picked beef noodle soup is because as a kid, that was the one dish I would always ask my mom to make for me. Richard’s beef noodle soup is an homage to his Taiwanese-American upbringing in Los Angeles. This herb-based soup, sometimes called Taiwan’s national dish, can have very complex flavor profiles depending on how people choose to make it. There is no one set recipe, and the process can take days. Some shops in Taiwan are very medicinal. There’s tons of these different types of herbs. Some people put lots of orange peel. What I try to do is, I’m always thinking back on a flavor profile that I had growing up, when I had a bowl of beef noodle soup that I really liked. Because Mom’s beef noodle soup wasn’t exactly the same every time. She would tweak it. I’m always trying to think about that one moment in time where I had my favorite bowl ever, and I’m trying to recreate what that flavor is. The beef noodle soup at Ho Foods takes two days to create. It starts with the stock. The beef stock is just beef. Beef bones, lots of knuckle bones, lots of cartilage, beef neck, and tendons. And there’s some dried spices and herbs in there just to kind of bring out that beefy flavor. Then comes the braise. So we start off with a little bit of beef tallow, saute some aromatics in there, ginger, garlic, shallots, onions. And then we build our base with rice wine, different types of soy, and different types of bean paste. We put our shanks in there. With the shanks, what we found is that if you turn off the heat and just let it sit there for a long time, it kind of cools down and reabsorbs all that flavor. We then blend those two things with we save a little bit of soup from every day and carry on over to the next. And then when you combine them, you get a nice, well-rounded, balanced bowl of soup. We try to be very meticulous on our process. We try to weigh things out, measure salt content and sugar content. At Ho Foods, customers can choose between two noodle options: thin or wide. The shop that was really close to our house they had these kind of fat, wide noodles and these really skinny noodles. And my mom was like, “Oh, I like the skinny noodles because it’s more delicate and elegant.” Like she is. “And your dad’s like rough around the edges. He’s a hooligan, so that’s why he likes big chunky noodles.” She always said that, so it just stuck in my head. So that’s why we have two different types of noodles. I met so many Taiwanese people in New York City, not just from where I’m from, but from Maryland, from Maine, Georgia, Arkansas. And the funny thing was when they came over they would eat beef noodle soup. Everyone recognized the same flavor as that flavor that they had from home. And that’s why I thought that this was a dish that could translate to more than just my family and my friends, but something that maybe everyone wanted to have. Oh, hey! If you liked that video, make sure to subscribe to Goldthread for more. Are we done? Yo I got a date, man.