I’m a noodle junkie. It is my ultimate comfort food, which is a bit strange because we, Pinoys, are more often than not rice obsessed. So every time I eat noodles (or pasta), it MUST be perfect.
So what defines the perfection of a big heaping portion of noodles?
The noodles. Most definitely, the noodles. It is the very foundation of the dish, making up more than 50% or sometimes even 80% of the entire dish. The sauce / the broth only comes second. It does contribute to the perfection, but it becomes moot and academic when you serve it with bad noodles.
Overcooking or undercooking noodles is like building your dream house on sand. A sandy foundation equals, the literal downfall of the dream house. No matter how heavy duty the materials are or fabulous your interior design is, the dream house is a goner when an Ondoy drops by. Your dream house will be reduced to a rubble if you build it on an unreliable foundation. Therefore, a great sauce or broth can NEVER EVER EVER save bad noodles.
So for me, it’s al dente or bust, baby.