Clouds hover in the corner of Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, inside a narrow mini-mall in Flushing, Queens. A single rice noodle fills a steaming tray as big as a newspaper, one broad sheet, wobbly like custard and so thin that it’s nearly see-through. A brandishing of two bowl scrapers, and it’s peeled from the metal, rolled into a long tube, chopped and slipped onto paper plates.
This is Cantonese-style cheong fun, a street food and dim-sum perennial. The noodle is floppy and springy, with meat and maybe a fistful of bean sprouts and corn hidden in its folds, and a chef’s adjudication of the necessary sweet soy sauce — sometimes just a stain, sometimes a deluge.
You can buy it in its simplest form for .50 in Manhattan’s Chinatown, from carts that ply the sidewalks of Hester, Rutgers or Centre Streets, or from the Sun Hing Lung tofu factory’s takeout window on Henry Street, although you have to get there before it closes by midafternoon.
The versions at Joe’s, starting at , could almost be considered expensive. But they have an earthiness and elasticity that I haven’t found elsewhere. They flop but don’t droop; you can sink your teeth into them, and slurp.
Here, the rice for the noodles is ground daily, on-site, in two electric stone mills that Joe Rong, the 26-year-old owner and chef, brought from China when he opened the stand in 2017. “Ours is fresh,” said Mr. Rong, who was born in Taishan in Guangdong Province and came to New York as a teenager.
Ten pounds of rice are milled every 25 minutes. Fifty to 75 pounds of rice are milled every day, in Queens and, since November, at Mr. Rong’s second outpost, in the Canal Street Market in Manhattan. The resulting rice flour is mixed with water and augmented by a pinch of potato starch, for texture. “I tried every kind of rice, and it didn’t come out right,” Mr. Rong said. “I had to add something.”
First the batter is poured onto the tray, then the ingredients are scattered on top: a diner’s choice of pork, beef or whole shrimp, fresh or in wonderfully funky dried whorls; egg, which makes everything better; and an erratic punctuation of scallions and cilantro, bright pops of corn and beansprouts for crunch.
Sesame seeds are tossed in at the end, with their hint of must and tiny crackle; they matter. Chile oil awaits in a plastic tub, murky and sublime, hotter and funkier than the squeeze bottle of Sriracha also on hand.
The menus at the two locations are not identical. I wouldn’t hesitate to hop the train to Flushing for a roll studded with barbecue pork, which Mr. Rong gets from a neighborhood specialist but doesn’t offer in Manhattan.
Or for a Hong Kong favorite heaped with curry-laced fish balls in a gooey swamp of peanut butter and sesame paste, spiked with sugar, salt and vinegar. (It’s possible to recreate this at the Canal Street Market, where fish balls are sold as a side and the peanut sauce lurks among the condiments.)
Note that in Queens, the rolls are available in two sizes but are in fact the same size — “small” simply means less of the fillings, which is still enough — while in Manhattan, one size fits all.
The Flushing menu also includes Chinese pancakes, crepe-like jianbing and thicker shou zhua bing, with the likes of rousong (dried pork shredded until more air than meat) and butterflied hot dogs tucked inside. These are respectable, but cheong fun is what you’re here for.
Joe’s Steam Rice Roll might not exist if Mr. Rong’s mother hadn’t visited him in New York a few years ago and made him cheong fun for breakfast, the way she’d done when he was a kid. “It reminded me of home,” he said. Inspired, he headed back to Taishan and spent two months tasting rice rolls from local masters to get the right recipe.
A novice cook who never worked at a restaurant before, he now finds himself with a cult following — and investors. Among them is Alex Lin, 27, who, like Mr. Rong, has roots in Taishan but grew up in Flushing. With partners from the neighborhood, they’ve teamed up to run a stand-alone storefront on St. Marks Place, opening in the spring.
In the meantime, each Joe’s outpost lies conveniently within half a block of a subway stop, sharing a food-court-like space with other vendors. In Manhattan, it’s cavernous and skylit; in Queens, cramped. But at both addresses, on my visits, Joe’s was the only place with a long, snaking line.
136-21 Roosevelt Avenue (Main Street), Flushing, Queens; 646-203-7380; no website; and at Canal Street Market, 261 Canal Street (Lafayette Street), SoHo; no phone number; no website.
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“【苏】【姑】【娘】，【这】【个】【玩】【笑】【可】【开】【不】【得】！” “【哈】【哈】！【依】【柔】，【你】【怎】【么】【知】【道】【我】【在】【开】【玩】【笑】？【你】【抬】【脚】【看】【看】，【你】【知】【道】【你】【一】【脚】【踩】【死】【了】【多】【少】【蚂】【蚁】【吗】？”【苏】【小】【月】【自】【顾】【自】【地】【欢】【快】【着】【和】【云】【依】【柔】【说】【着】【话】，【完】【全】【没】【有】【注】【意】【到】【云】【依】【柔】【脸】【上】【的】【阴】【晴】【变】【化】。 【在】【一】【个】【陌】【生】【的】【世】【界】，【没】【有】【亲】【人】【没】【有】【朋】【友】，【她】【做】【所】【有】【的】【事】【情】【都】【胆】【战】【心】【惊】【如】【履】【薄】【冰】。【她】【想】【活】【着】，【可】【又】2019六合正版报彩图【外】【头】【的】【风】【雪】【似】【乎】【又】【大】【了】【许】【多】，【呼】【呼】【拍】【打】【在】【窗】【棱】【上】，【听】【着】【令】【人】【急】【切】【不】【安】。【两】【人】【缄】【默】【了】【良】【久】，【绵】【柠】【似】【乎】【从】【她】【身】【上】【看】【到】【了】【紫】【陌】【的】【影】【子】，【同】【样】【的】【一】【身】【傲】【骨】，【但】【不】【同】【的】【是】，【紫】【陌】【性】【子】【刚】【烈】【直】【爽】，【不】【会】【使】【阴】【暗】【的】【手】【段】。 【身】【在】【帝】【王】【将】【相】【家】【的】【嫡】【女】，【仿】【佛】【都】【是】【这】【般】【高】【傲】，【有】【时】【想】【来】，【这】【是】【不】【是】【她】【们】【自】【身】【的】【错】【呢】？ 【绵】【柠】【幽】【幽】【地】【说】【道】：
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