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Jul 11, 2006 05:00 PM

Tai-pi-en at Hana in San Jose

Gyoza no Hana in San Jose is now offering Tai-pi-en, a Kumamoto(Japan)-Chinese regional specialty. It is a chicken broth soup noodle with clear bean thread noodles (haru-same). Although it usually comes with a fried boiled egg, the ones at Hana come with a fried scrambled egg. It has an abundance of vegetables on top, making the noodles feel a little more healthful than regular ramen. The broth is very savory with little vegetable sweetness. The noodles remained firm throughout the meal. It was a decent snack-ish size, although I wouldn't drive to San Jose just for that.

This dish is so prevalent in Kumamoto that they even have it as a school lunch!

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