12/28/15 10:05am

Meet pozole’s spicier cousin, pozole rojo.

Pozole, the Mexican pork and hominy soup is a renowned hangover cure. Like many of the best such remedies—Korea’s samgyetang and seolleongtang come to mind—it’s a season it yourself situation.  Served with diced onion, cilantro, and lime as well as shakers of oregano and red pepper it’s a nice pick-me-up. I like the pork and corn concoction  well enough, but no matter how much seasoning I add it never has the incendiary heat I so often crave. That’s why I’m glad I happened upon pozole rojo at Taqueria Coatzingo. (more…)

11/30/15 9:47am

Bear’s Russian ramen sings with the flavors of Siberia.


When cold and flu season hit, chicken soup’s the order of the day. There’s a reason they call chicken soup Jewish penicillin. Lucky for me there are two places just a matzo ball’s throw from my house to get to an excellent bowl. In Queens every culture has its own version of chicken soup: Indonesian soto ayam hued yellow with turmeric and spiked with fiery sambal and  lime, Korean samgyetang enriched with ginseng and garlic, and Filipino tinalong manok singing with ginger are just a few of my favorites. Now thanks to Natasha Pogrebinsky’s Bear I can add Mother Russia to the list of cold busters. (more…)

10/26/15 9:14am

Asian Taste 86’s soto ayam topped with shrimpy-garlicky koya powder.

“Ah yes I remember you from last time,” the waitress from Asian Taste 86 said. “Soto ayam, with lots of sambal.” Last time was a month ago when I had a cold and had come seeking comfort in the form of the yellow Indonesian chicken soup known as soto ayam. When I have a cold I tend to subsist on matzo ball soup from Knish Nosh and gingery chicken and rice soup spiked with plenty of garlic and chilies from Eim Khao Man Gai. Usually I reach a point where I bring out the big guns, like a bowl of the Indonesian chicken soup, with plenty of fiery sambal and lime. (more…)

04/21/14 12:10pm

This tinalong manok rocks.

 During this year’s never ending winter I’ve turned often to soup as both comfort and cure. Last week it was tingalong manok, at Manny’s Bake Shop, one of my favorite Filipino restaurants in Queens. The gingery chicken soup always manages to clear my head and lift my spirits. And Manny’s tinalong manok is quite special indeed. For one thing it’s a ginormous serving that’s best shared, or enjoyed by one food writer trying to kick a cold. (more…)

01/22/13 12:19pm
Which came first the chicken or the shredded omelet?

Which came first the chicken or the shredded omelet?

It’s hard to say which of the many, many bowls of samgyetang—Korean chicken ginseng soupto be had in Flushing’s sprawling K-town is the best. The way I look at it is, the one that’s in front of me billowing chicken vapors toward my feverish brow while the broth still bubbles is the very best at that moment in time. This belief certainly held true at Bang Ga Ne a spot on Northern Boulevard where I stopped in for a $14.36 bowl of the medicinal soup on the recommendation of my friend Dian.

Chicken ain't nuthin but a bird.

Chicken ain’t nuthin but a bird.

Topped with shredded omelet and green onion the presentation is one of the more elegant ones I’ve seen. Beneath that flourish find an entire baby chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, garlic, Chinese dates,  and of course, ginseng. Be sure to add in some of the sea salt and pepper, as the broth itself contains little if any seasoning. Some places also use chestnuts as part of the stuffing, Bang Ga Ne does not. It was not missed at all. The broth was soothing and warming and the chicken itself was delicious. At the end I was left with a pile of chicken bones and a somewhat clearer head.  It was the very best bowl of samgyetang I have had this winter. I have a feeling it will not be the last.

Bangane 165-19 Northern Blvd., Auburndale, 718-762-2799