Behind the Pop Up: Chop Chop
You might have heard that we’ve been dabbling in noodle cups lately, thanks to our neighbors at Chop Chop.
Every Thursday at South Congress, from March 18 to April 1, the very niche hole in your heart for Austin-based noodle cup companies is filled. Chop Chop is popping up at Neighborhood Goods and offering mouthwatering specials at our Prim and Proper restaurant while also selling their cups for preorder. Explore their menu here and preorder take-away and dine-in options for March 25 and April 1.
We caught up with Steve and Eugene, the founders behind this concept, and they took a moment to step out of the kitchen and tell us what they’re all about.
What’s Chop Chop?
“It’s an evolved take on the instant ramen format. Our collaboration with Neighborhood Goods has inspired us to lean into a plant-based approach to street food. We want Chop Chop to be known as a brand that not only creates great food that you’d find on the streets of Asia but one that evolves the genre.”
What’s something new Chop Chop’s bringing into the world?
“We make instant noodles that you don’t have to feel guilty about. In our opinion it’s the only authentically Asian ready-to-eat meal on the shelves that is bold in flavor, actually healthy, and super convenient.”
What’s your favorite part of crafting recipes for your noodle cups?
“For us, it’s the journey and not the final outcome. We’re self-taught, so for us, it’s about building an archive of food and places that we enjoy. We reminisce a lot about what made a certain meal so enjoyable and the foods we ate growing up, which leads us to learn different techniques from more capable people while also getting to know their story and culture behind the way it’s done.
The other part would be the science behind the food. There’s a lot of trial and error that goes into extracting maximum flavor without resorting to shortcuts like using artificial flavoring or additives. We have a space in our setup right now that we call the ‘Funk Lab.’ It’s essentially a safe space for us to experiment with fermentation and combine different ingredients to create the bold flavors that we want people to enjoy.”
What are resources you recommend for someone who wants to learn more about this genre of food?
“The Pok Pok series of books by Andy Ricker is a great place to start if you’re wanting to learn more about it. Parts Unknown from the late and great Anthony Bourdain did a lot to demystify that particular genre to American audiences. Other institutions that have elevated, but still retain the essence of street food, are Bao London and Yardbird Hong Kong. In America, Andrea Nguyen’s doing some amazing things to help open up Vietnamese cuisine beyond Pho: a variety of other noodle soups like Bun Bo Hue, Bo Kho, and Bun Rieu Cua.”
Stop by Neighborhood Goods on South Congress March 25 and April 1 from 5 - 7 pm to taste Chop Chop for yourself– just make sure you preorder!