Matzo ball soup turned into ramen? It’s not mashugana, it’s the new Rabbi’s Ramen at Rice & Gold, Dale Talde’s new pan-Asian restaurant in Chinatown.
“To me, Jewish deli food is one of the cuisines that most defines this city, so what better way to represent the holidays in New York than a matzo ball-ramen fusion dish?” says Talde. “Only instead of being made by your Jewish grandmother, it’s made by a few Filipino and Korean chefs.”
Talde is known for his fusion dishes — not to mention writing the cookbook on “proudly inauthentic” cuisine — and Rice & Gold may be his widest-ranging project yet, with a menu that borrows influences from Mexico to the Philippines and everywhere in between.
For the Rabbi’s Ramen, Talde uses creamy emulsified chicken soup for the base, loads it up with pulled chicken, fresh veggies and a soy-marinated egg, with a finishing touch of lemon, dill and garlic schmaltz for extra richness (in this case, not excessive sentimentality but rendered chicken fat).
The dish also nods to the special connection between Jewish and Asian communities. In many cities (though not New York, #blessed), only Asian restaurants are open on Christmas Day, so many Jewish families spend their day off seeing a matinee movie then having an early dinner of dim sum, sushi or pad thai.
And because it’s a dish for the holiday season, Rabbi’s Ramen is as much about replicating a feeling as the taste.
“The combination of flavors in this dish really invoke that level of comfort you’re looking for in both a ramen dish and a matzo ball soup,” says Talde.
Rabbi’s Ramen is $16 and available only during the eight days of Hanukkah (Dec. 12-20) at Rice & Gold, located at 50 Bowery.