The worst thing about Mike and Stephanie Le’s That Noodle Life is that it isn’t out until April of 2022. Everything else about it is fantastic. I love it. I’ve never wanted to turn a cookbook into a huggable plushie before, but I absolutely want to hug this book.
Cookbooks are becoming more challenging for me because there are so many foods I can’t eat anymore. But, I have always approached cookbooks and recipes as more guideline than rule. While I was a vegetarian, I adapted recipes all the time. Here, the authors make it easy by writing a cookbook that encourages adaptation and playing with your food. Mike and Stephanie Le are the creators of iamafoodblog and if you haven’t explored the site it would be worth your time.
That Noodle Life has a distinctly US fusion vibe that skews more towards East Asian influences. Which is fine with me. I was very happy to get a breakdown of bun (Vietnamese vermicelli bowls), because I can’t try any of the super cheesy recipes (3 different mac and cheeses I will never eat *sob*). They also have sections on instant ramen, homemade ramen, pho, lasagna, and others. While there are plenty of traditional recipes, they also play with ingredients. The Yakiudon al Pastor and the the Philly Cheesesteak Mazemen (a ramen without all the broth) are two of those recipes and they look like fun to make. Just so you see the range of That Noodle Life, the Philly Cheesesteak Mazeman calls for instant ramen and Cheeze Whiz on page 65. On page 73, The Double Lobster is a date-night worthy cacio e pepe style pasta topped with lobster in a white wine garlic butter sauce.
If you want to get deep into noodles, they have recipes for making your own Italian and Asian noodles, making your own chili oil, making your own XO sauce, and making your own laksa paste, all without ever making me feel like I have to do any of that.
I really appreciated the colorful photography and the playfulness of That Noodle Life. I’m looking forward to getting my sauce covered hands on a hard copy next Spring.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company. My opinions are my own.