Alligator Chicken Noodle Soup

Don’t worry, this soup doesn’t have any alligator meat it in, just alligator noodles. When Mike was young, he was obsessed with eating Lipton’s Alligator Soup, an instant chicken noodle soup with alligator shaped noodles. They’ve discontinued the soup, but Mike craves it in that way you crave food from your childhood.

I thought it would be fun to make a simple chicken noodle soup with home made noodles in alligator shapes. The alligator noodles I would make would be 1000 times larger than those in alligator soup, but much like I like mini food, I like giant food as well.

I’ve never made noodles before, but I have fond memories of my dad making noodles when I was a kid. Noodles were my dad’s speciality. Almost every weekend, there’d be flour flying everywhere and piles and piles of noodles on every available surface.

Sometimes my dad would let my brother and I roll out the noodles, but mine usually turned out uneven and strange looking. I should have took that as a sign: I’m a noodle eater, not a noodle maker.

When I decided to make the noodles, I didn’t want to go out and buy a pasta machine, so I went to my parents’ place in hopes that they still had the pasta roller from my childhood. Of course they had it; my mom doesn’t throw away kitchen gadgets. She pulled it out of a cupboard, still in it’s original packaging.

When I opened up the box, I found the credit card slip receipt from Canadian Tire. The pasta machine was on sale from $24.99 for $14.88. For a machine from the 80s, it was in amazing condition. It’s too bad my pasta wasn’t amazing.

I tried an egg yolk pasta recipe that I’m not going to reproduce here; it was that bad. It’s funny though because essentially all noodle recipes are the same. While at dinner the other day I asked my dad what his noodle recipe was.

Dad: I tell you my recipe, it’s easy: flour, eggs, water.
Me: But how much flour, how many eggs, how much water?
Dad: You just look at it and you know. You mix it up and that’s it.
Me: Oh. Thanks Dad.

Of course his recipe would be one of those recipes. I can’t complain too much though, I’m kind of like that too; if I’m just cooking for myself I hardly ever measure things. I did measure everything for the noodles I found on All Recipes, but the noodles still ended up tough and really not that edible.

I guess I’ll have to try my dad’s “recipe” one of these days.

20 Comments add yours

  1. I too had bad luck with noodles. My problem was not knowing what “knead until dry” meant.

    I ended up taking a class at Quince (on Burrard) taught by the chef from La Quercia (4th and alma, delicious) on pasta making. What I thought was “dry” was still wet. It was useful to have to knead the dough, walk up to the chef and ask his opinion, get denied, and go back to kneading. Knowing what it was supposed to feel like (which doesn’t come across well from a book) was very useful.

    I definitely think it was an issue with dryness. I’m not used to working with dry doughs.

    steph on May 6th, 2010 at 10:05 am
  2. I never knew there was an Alligator noodle soup. Those are so cute?
    I started making noodles from Michael Ruhlman’s book “Ratio”. Worked out pretty well. I can roll them thin enough to read through, but that is quite a bit of work with a rolling pin.

    I don’t use any water, just flour and salt mixed with egg and olive oil. For a richer egg pasta I cut the amount of whole eggs, but add egg yolks and maybe some water.

    It all depends on how you like your noodles. Most Asian noodles aren’t as rich as Italian noodles.

    Ruhlman’s recipe is easy – by weight, 3 parts flour to 2 parts egg.
    In practice, that is like 1/2 cup flour to 1 large egg. That is enough for a person, handily enough. Unless they are big eaters.
    I put in maybe 1/2 teaspoon of salt, max. Maybe up to a tablespoon of olive oil. Remember that you want to form gluten.

    If working in small amounts, work in a bowl. Combine flour and salt, then add egg and oil. Mix to combine, give the flour some time to hydrate so it won’t be so sticky, then knead.
    Let it rest a bit before rolling. Well, you have a machine, so you may not need to.

    Lipton’s Alligator Soup was only in Canada I think. The alligators were tiny!

    Thanks for Ruhlman’s ratio for pasta, I’m going to have to give it a try!

    steph on May 6th, 2010 at 10:07 am
  3. OMG… this is such a great idea. Especially if one has kids. But still I will eat it. I am a big kid

    Heehee, if you can get your noodles to taste good, it is a great idea! I’m a big kid too!

    steph on May 6th, 2010 at 10:08 am
  4. What a cute soup! fantastic idea.

    sorry you have problem with noodles…. The magic formula that I use is 100g flour, 1 large egg (58g each). have yet to fail. you would find it to be too dry in the beginning…. but push on and it would be fine.

    I find it so magical that noodles are only made with flour and eggs. I guess you just have to keep kneading to make sure it comes together.

    Thanks for the tip!

    steph on May 6th, 2010 at 10:09 am
  5. Cute! I have one of those pasta rollers, and I think the trick to making nice al dente noodles is to roll the pasta through a MILLION times. OK, not really a million, but at LEAST 10x, and maybe more. Roll it through, fold in thirds, and roll again. It’s a great work out on the arms, and you can eventually end up with nice supple pasta. :)

    Thanks Jen!
    I vaguely recall my dad rolling his noodles over and over and over again so I’m going to have to try that trick!

    steph on May 6th, 2010 at 10:10 am
  6. Amazing! I would always get alligator soup when I was sick. Now I can finally fill that craving again.

    I feel sad that I never experienced the alligator soup. Everyone talks about it!

    steph on May 7th, 2010 at 10:41 am
  7. It’s too bad this didn’t turn out so well, but at least be consoled by the fact that it looks great.

    Hahaha, thanks Dan. Alligators make everything look better!

    steph on May 10th, 2010 at 2:20 am
  8. LOL I asked my dad the same thing about how to make chinese fortune cake (fatt goh) and he said the same thing to me!

    I think all Asian parents are like that; it’s their ploy to get you in the kitchen with them!

    steph on August 3rd, 2010 at 10:31 am
  9. Oh my gosh you have no idea how happy this post made me. I grew up eating alligator soup too and miss that stuff like crazy! I am going to venture one day and try to use your recipe! Thank you!

  10. OMG I love tiny and giant foods too!

    It’s so much more fun eating them, isn’t it?!

    steph on September 20th, 2010 at 1:50 pm
  11. Fool-proof noodles: 2 1/2 cups of flour + 3 large eggs …

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