Noodle Soup

Recipes, Techniques, Obsession
Author: Ken Albala
Spooning up dozens of fresh ideas for a comfort food staple
Paper – $21.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/16/2018
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About the Book

Every day, noodle shops around the globe ladle out quick meals that fuel our go-go lives. But Ken Albala has a mission: to get YOU in the kitchen making noodle soup.

This primer offers the recipes and techniques for mastering quick-slurper staples and luxurious from-scratch feasts. Albala made a different noodle soup every day for two years. His obsession yielded all you need to know about making stock bases, using dried or fresh noodles, and choosing from a huge variety of garnishes, flavorings, and accompaniments. He lays out innovative techniques for mixing and matching bases and noodles with grains, vegetables, and other ingredients drawn from an international array of cuisines. In addition to recipes both cutting edge and classic, Albala describes new soup discoveries he created along the way. There's advice on utensils, cooking tools, and the oft-overlooked necessity of matching a soup to the proper bowl. Finally, he sprinkles in charming historical details that cover everything from ancient Chinese millet noodles to that off-brand Malaysian ramen at the back of the ethnic grocery store.

Filled with more than seventy color photos and dozens of recipes, Noodle Soup is an indispensable guide for cooking, eating, and loving a universal favorite.

About the Author

Ken Albala is a professor of history and food studies at the University of the Pacific. He is the author of Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese and coauthor of The Lost Art of Real Cooking: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food, One Recipe at a Time. He blogs at

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"Noodle Soup offers recipes (often engagingly free-form) and techniques, as promised, but also a fascinating history lesson. It teaches us about the oldest known noodles (from 4,000 years ago, made from millet and found in northwest China), the evolution of the word “lasagna” (from the Greek laganon and Latin laganum, flat sheets of dough), macaroni as fashion statement, Thomas Jefferson’s handmade pasta, and more, citing recipes, poems, and medical treatises from the relevant eras."--Boston Globe

"The book is well researched and filled with personal anecdotes and observations that demonstrate the author's passion for his subject. Recommended." --Choice

"Albala has let his imagination run wild in this collection of soup recipes that propel the definition of noodle soup right into the surreal." --Booklist


"Ken Albala has spent years tossing ideas—and pretty much everything else—into a pot of water with homemade noodles rich in new flavors, textures, and colors. Now we all get to share the results. These clever, doable, delicious recipes thrill the palate and warm the soul. Let the choir sing out: soup's on!"--Nathalie Dupree, PBS host and author of Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking

"Ken meanders from classic Italian passatelli to cuckoo Cheetos Noodles with touchdowns in Malaysia, Japan, and many non-noodle-dense cultures along the way. He wrangles a slippery subject with his trademark academic precision, but delivers well-researched recipes in a colloquial, lively tone that has me slurping up page after page."--Linda Miller Nicholson,

"Ken Albala is a widely traveled food historian who knows his noodles, and a home cook who became obsessed with noodle soups. His wonderfully offbeat treatise brims over with history, culture, recipes from near and far, inventions both brilliant and crazy, and the sheer fun of playing with foods and traditions."--Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen