Eat This Now: Handmade Noodles at Frank’s Noodle House

Frank's Noodle House in NE Portland, serves up "the best handmade noodles in town."

By Rachel Ritchie January 14, 2011 Published in the February 2011 issue of Portland Monthly

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When Frank Fong claims to serve “the best handmade noodles in the town,” he’s not exaggerating—not about the “best” part, and certainly not about that little “handmade” detail. Unlike the noodles you’ll find at just about every other Chinese or Korean joint in town, Fong’s irresistible creations are “hand-pulled”—these noodles are quite literally stretched between fingers, cat’s-cradle style, until they achieve the Platonic ideal of length and width. More than a starchy vehicle for flavorful sauce, Fong’s noodles steal the spotlight every time.

Until last summer, Fong pulled his noodles at Du Kuh Bee, a tiny Chinese-Korean dining room he co-owned in Beaverton. Now, much to the glee of hoards of hopelessly addicted urbanites, he operates Frank’s Noodle House in a cozy, light-filled house on NE Broadway. Every morning, Fong and his wife, Ying Jun Gao, spend about an hour meticulously transforming a precise combination of wheat flour, eggs, and water into a tangle of fat, springy ropes of glutinous goodness. When ordered, the fresh noodles are quickly boiled and then stir-fried to perfection in a wok with cabbage, celery, onions, red and green bell peppers, a smoky-spicy house-made Korean chile sauce, and your choice of protein. We’re partial to the sweet, tender shrimp, the thick, sumptuous bits of pork belly, and the savory squid, but you can also opt for chicken, beef, or skip the meat altogether.

At lunch, snag yourself a heaping plateful for a mere $7.95—served alongside ramekins of crunchy pickled daikon and zesty kimchee, it’s a steal. And don’t worry if you can’t find a dining companion; most patrons here seem to find plenty of company in their mountain of glistening noodles.

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