For me, this article is not just about my grandfather, his noodles, or my family. It is also about New York City’s Chinese immigration history of 1970s, and that we should continue to remember them of how they paved the way for today’s generation to prosper. So go ahead, and give your grandmother and granddad a big old hug!
Shorty Tang’s Sesame Noodles Are Alive and WellBy SAM SIFTON
Those interested in a taste of 1970s Sichuan cooking in New York City will do well to visit Court Street Grocers on Thursday afternoon, where Gilley and Casey Tang are preparing their family’s cold sesame noodles in honor of Chinese New Year. Their grandfather, Shorty Tang of Hwa Yuan restaurant on East Broadway in Chinatown, is thought by some to have cooked the best version of that dish ever to be served in Manhattan. And their father, Jerry Tang, had a long career in New York restaurants. Andrew Burman, the Grocers chef, has prepared red-cooked pork belly as well.
Jerry Tang was in the restaurant Thursday at noon, coaching Mr. Burman on the niceties of the dish’s preparation. He urged the use of more sauce on the noodles than you would think, though this was absolutely in keeping with his father’s tradition. The flavor was intense — peanut and tahini and scallion and chili all at once — and it cloaked the noodles with an earthen sheen. A pint went by quickly, as Mr. Tang reminisced about cooking in his father’s restaurant.
“We have a lot of sauce,” Mr. Burman said later.
But still, Mr. Tang remembered the old days. “We used to go through 500 pounds a day,” he said.