NPR’s Ramen Nostalgia

NPR followed-up their ramen series with a set of ramen nostalgia stories sent in from readers.

This was my favorite of the stories:

It was gratifying to hear David Chang confirm for me that the pronunciation of the dish is “rahm-yen” as I learned it in Korea in 1967-68. At 50 won per package (about 7 cents back then) ramen was a staple. We could cook it in a canteen cup on the kerosene-fired space heater in the barracks or dispensary when it was way too cold near the Korean demilitarized zone to walk to the mess hall. Pop in an egg or a big spoonful of peanut butter from one’s mess hall “procurements.” Properly done, doctored ramen nearly always beat whatever mostly unidentifiable culinary delight was on the camp’s lunch menu.

Craig Marckwardt
Dallas

NPR story on David Chang’s New Ramen Cookbook

A friend pointed me to a NPR story on New York City chef and restaurateur David Chang and his new ramen cookbook called Momofuku. The book has non ramen recipes also and from the excerpt seems to be for the serious cook. Here’s one excerpt discussing David Chang’s ramen broth recipe:

Momofuku contains a recipe for his ramen broth that’s miles away from the salty foil-wrapped flavor packets that come with instant noodles. In fact, Chang’s broth recipe requires pounds of meat and takes hours to prepare. But, Chang says, the layers of flavor that result make the prep time pay off, especially if you think of the dish the way you would a hearty soup.

Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan is available from Amazon.com, currently it’s on sale about 40% off. If you buy it, use the Amazon.com link in the right hand column.

Note – The link also has the full audio from the NPR story which may be longer than the text story.

The Ramen Diary: 7 Days of the Noodle Follow-up

Well, it looks like she did it. Addie Broyles in Austin managed to navigate another week on the poorly designed interstate system and eat ramen for 7 days, with her family’s support! (I’ve never been able to get my wife to buy in to this kind of thing). As long as you ignore the opening sentence and the finger-wagging about nutrition this is a great article, including some of the recipes.

Great story with a nice photo collage as well.

Excerpt:

Ramen noodles aren’t exactly the pharaoh of the food pyramid, but at less than 20 cents a package, they are cheap and easy to make, which makes them a favorite among college students. Just the thought of opening the crinkly plastic package and dumping a block of noodles into boiling water might take you back in time.

But in a recession like this one, maybe it’s time to give ramen another chance.

With a few vegetables, an open mind and suggestions from ramen lovers on Twitter, could I turn that brightly colored package of ramen noodles into the base of a really good meal? To find out, I proposed a weeklong challenge to my husband: to make ramen interesting enough to eat for seven days in a row.

Win Ramen: Student Scavenger Contest 2009

ClassesAndCareers.com is hosting a contest where you can share your story about what you had to do to get free food. The winner gets several hundred dollars and a case of ramen, which is nice. Unfortunately the contest says “no stealing”, so if you survived off of sugar packets from the cafeteria, I guess that doesn’t count. On the other hand, if you committed arson in order to get free food in jail, I guess you’re in.

Crunchgear Presents the Wide World of Ramen

Crunchgear provides a nice newbie guide on how to maximize your ramen experience. The article is long and informative, and I saw a type of ramen that I’ve never seen before get mentioned (Nissin Yakisoba noodles).

I do object to the complaint about tossing a raw egg into your ramen (to make egg drop soup), this is the tastiest way to get some extra protein. I’ve never been a hard-boiled egg fan (the author is though).

The summary is right on point.


Be creative and find something you like

Ramen has a bad rap because people tend to just get a pallet of the cheapest stuff and eat it unmodified. But with a little extra work, you can make a real meal out of it. There are tons of recipes out there just for people like you and me. Instant noodles are a great base for a lot of different dishes, and if you just try a few different things, toss a few ingredients in there, and be creative with what you’ve got around the dorm or apartment, you’ll surprise yourself.

Ramen Girl Trailer

We mentioned this movie last year and now a trailer and poster are available and both are here. I don’t know whether the movie will be any good or not, and the site implies that it’s been released in a few countries over-seas but not here in the US. (I won’t be seeing it in the theaters anyway, with a 4 month old around the house, everything goes straight to my Netflix list.)