There’s a little noodle restaurant in Temple City, Calif., open 3.5 hours a day from Tuesday to Sunday. It’s been around for three decades, and every day, like clockwork, a steady stream of patrons—usually Chinese—walk through the doors for a reliable bowl of noodles.
This is Dai Ho restaurant. Owned by May and Jim Ku, they specialize in fresh, small-batch bowls of mian (noodles) with an edgy kick. Both May and Jim are originally from Taiwan and have been at the helm of their restaurant since the beginning.
The beef noodle soup is a crowd favorite. Beef shanks are slow-cooked for four hours and then marinated overnight. Everything is made-to-order. There are wonderful sesame dry noodles or noodles with ground pork; May recommends a generous dollop of chili sauce on both.
When I walked through their doors one February afternoon and asked May for a recipe, she immediately sat me down and began listing out a string of dishes and their respective ingredients. We determined that most of the noodles and their respective sauces and broths would be too complicated for the home cook. May makes everything, even the chili and the peanut sauce, from scratch and in bulk—she says she doesn’t trust the store brands. We went down her menu and finally settled on a side dish—mustard greens with tofu skin.
I know. It sounds unimpressive, and it’s a small thing, compared to the fantastical bowls of noodles swimming in depth and flavor—for those, you’ll just have to pay Dai Ho a visit. And Dai Ho also offers a variety of side dishes that are equally tasty and much easier to make.
Mustard greens with tofu skin is an extremely versatile dish that can be used for noodle toppings, on top of rice, or just as a side dish. It’s easy to recreate, and if you make too much, it keeps well in the fridge. When I make this dish at home, I like to add in fresh chili peppers for an extra kick. Here’s the recipe:
Mustard Greens with Tofu Skin
Prep time: 1 day
Cooking time: 1 hour
Dai Ho Restaurant: 9148 E Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780