I love brothy soups. I believe delicious broth is the foundation of the most delectable soup. You can add vegetables, meats and starches such as dumplings, noodles and rice. You build a soup that can be a one bowl meal. Which can be a fast and simple way to a healthy meal for you and your family.
Dashi, which is made with kelp and bonito flakes, is the base of most Japanese broth. It’s simmered and skimmed to get a clear tasty broth. Nabe better known as Shabu, is where you cook meat, fish and vegetables in a dashi at the table. This is Japanese cooking. Shabu has hit the food scene and is now commonplace today.
Located in Central Square on Massachusetts Avenue is one of the best soup joints in town, Happy Lamb. This is Mongolian cooking. The difference is the broth. Their regular broth is a white broth which comes to the table seasoned with different Asian spices, garlic and scallion. It becomes spicy with hot pepper pieces and oil added to it. Unlike a clear broth that is simmered, a white broth is usually attained by letting the broth boil so that the fat from the meat become emulsified in the broth. This makes a rich, tasty broth. Try my version of a white broth. I use chicken backs and pork in mine.
I like to go in for lunch. For a nominal amount, you get a choice of meat (lamb shoulder, angus beef, pork belly, fish fillet, free range chicken or vegetarian), a bowl of vegetables, potato wide noodles, meat balls, assorted tofu, mushrooms and crab sticks. It comes with a choice of broth, which is the house (white), spicy or pickled cabbage as a vegetarian option. I usually go with my niece, so we get the combination—which comes in a split pot, is the white and the spicy broth. I like spicy! We put the meat and vegetables in the pot and simmer it until it’s cooked and ready to eat. The vegetables are clean, fresh and tasty, the meat is fresh. Besides the deliciousness of the soup, the place is comfortable and the staff is friendly. We usually go on Wednesday. Because on Wednesdays our server Eric is there. He always has a smile and is ready to serve. He remembers us and our order (after trying most of the menu, we started getting the same thing). Yet he confirms—the sign of a good server.
Happy Lamb is consistent. Every time I’ve gone, the broth, food and staff were the same. I’ve gone during the week for lunch and for dinner. Always, delicious. I would recommend them to anyone. If you have never tried this type of food, I would say, go there and you’ll get hooked!!