Tuesday, September 06, 2011

the best thing i ever ate with chopsticks?

There's a show on the Food Network called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." The concept is that they choose a food category (like burgers, cheap eats, dessert) and interview chefs and food people about the best thing they've ever had in that category.

Not so long ago, we watched the episode about chopsticks. Giada De Laurentiis talked about drunken noodles in Las Vegas, Adam Gertler talked about slippery shrimp in Los Angeles, and Duff Goldman talked about crispy beef in Baltimore. But then Alton Brown came on the screen and talked about a dish called "Mock Eel" at A Single Pebble in Burlington, Vermont.

While he admitted that "mock eel" (or mock anything) doesn't exactly sound appealing, this dish was crispy, salty, sticky, and delicious. He said you'd never know it was mock anything and would certainly never guess that it was actually made of mushrooms. As the show implies, he said it was the best thing he had ever eaten...with chopsticks.

Since this restaurant was in Burlington, Vermont, we filed the information away for future use...and this weekend was when we decided to use it. Friday night, we went to A Single Pebble for dinner and one of the dishes we ordered (of course) was the Mock Eel.
mock eel and rice
The verdict? It was crispy, salty, and sticky. But the best thing I ever ate with chopsticks? I'm going to go with no. The first bites were absolutely delicious. But as I continued, it was just too salty. Definitely the kind of dish that if you get one order for a group of 4 or 5, you wish there was a little more per person but that when it is just two of you eating it, too much salt.
mushi with scallion brush for sauce
Obviously, we had a discussion as to what the best thing we ever ate with chopsticks was. While I didn't have a specific answer, I decided that it would most likely be something Japanese. I love Japanese food and I especially love sushi. A good piece of salmon sashimi is a little piece of heaven...
Jordan figured that for him it would be a noodle dish. He loves udon and noodle dishes.

All in all, a good meal at A Single Pebble, I'm glad we ordered the mock eel, and the Bejing Street noodles were delightful. But not the best thing I ever ate with chopsticks.

So that brings me to my question for you: What is the best thing YOU ever ate with chopsticks? Is there a style of food that is traditionally eaten with chopsticks that you love most?


Lulu said...

I love that show!
My pick would be something Japanese as well... maybe a perfect piece of tuna belly sashimi... mmmm

Laura said...

I love love love Japanese food. There is a great Japanese/Korean restaurant near us and I know I have never had a dish I haven't enjoyed there.

Heather said...

I think I'd agree and say a piece of sashimi, or a roll with tempura and fish in it, though I don't know if I've ever actually had one. Every time Matt and I go for sushi and he gets a tempura roll, my mouth waters and I want a bite so badly.

Marlene said...

Korean BBQ!

Michelle said...

Since I am completely incapable of using chopsticks I don't think I can answer this question : )

Leigh said...

I will be honest, I suck at using chopsticks, so I can't say I have an answer to that question!

Faye said...

Ginger beef from Silver Inn. Slightly sweet, spicy, crisp & yummy!