SGV: Getting Noodles at Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
I’m really glad I don’t have any sort of notion of trying every single noodles house in the San Gabriel Valley. But if I did, I would have to start at the western most edge starting with the shops in Alhambra. One such shop in a plain strip mall is Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa.
I got my standard soda chanh (lemonade) to start and my friend had a fresh coconut which she practically destroyed getting all the young coconut meat out.
NNKH has quite the extensive spring rolls list. The sour pork and shrimp caught my eye. I reasoned it wasn’t really “sour” like it’s gone bad so I looked it up. It seems those two pinkish slices which I thought of as ham was really nem chua or Vietnamese sour/ fermented pork. The Ravenous Couple, my go-to-guide for all things Vietnamese dining, has a recipe here. Sour pork is made by combining pig skin and raw ground meat with seasonings like vinegar and fish sauce and letting it ferment for a few days.
I liked the contrast of the crunchy lettuce, crispy shrimp roll and smooth sour pork wrapped together. We ate this with a provided dipping sauce that wasn’t at all spicy. If you want to make it spicy, NNKH has chili oil, chili paste, Sriracha and another hot sauce on the table. Take your pick!
I wasn’t in the mood for pho since I saw they had other noodles available. Although it’s listed as udon, I knew these shrimp, fish and pork hock noodles were actually rice noodles. However, I thought they’d be little pieces like they kind you get at Chiu Chow places. I loved the broth and concocted a sauce with all the spicy goodness I found on the table. I dipped the shrimp and fish filets into this sauce rather than squeezing it into the broth. I didn’t want to muddy those flavors.
My friend had the shrimp pho (not shown) which had tons of shrimp.
I’d like to come back to try the banh beo, the little dishes of rice cakes. Everyone was very friendly at this small shop. It was busy and I would recommend arriving after 1:30 if you don’t want to wait for a table.
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa1700 W Valley Blvd., Ste C, Alhambra, CA 91803 — (626) 943-7645
© The Minty 2013