I don’t get to eat ramen much anymore. For one thing, I’ve been trying to eat more natural foods, which ramen is certainly not one of, and also my wife isn’t the biggest fan. However, now and again I get the old craving and go pick some up. With that in mind, I read through the ramen rater’s top 10 US instant noodle list to see what my next buy should be.
Out of that list, here are my choices:
1) Maruchan. Ubiquitous and cheap, I love to have this on hand. I’m a simple man, I like beef and shrimp flavor. Add some red pepper flakes to give it some spice. This is not the best on the list, but its so cheap and easy to find, I’ll list it first.
2) Nong Shim Bowl – I really like this one. It’s complex enough that you don’t need to do anything to it. I love the spicy broth in this one too, enough to almost make you cough when you sip it, which is perfect.
3. Nong Shim Black – I like the bowl, I love the black. The broth here is very rich and the vegetables are actually large enough to distinguish and tasty. This is worth the extra price to treat yourself.
Ramen Party is a cartoon collection of characters based on the ingredients in a bowl of ramen. This is a small teaser video for a planned series of videos that will introduce young kids to “hip trends”. It’s basically a teaser video for ramen based educational websites and games for kids. The site, indiegogo, is a crowd-funding site, similar to kickstarter, where the creators of the concept accept donations so that they can pursue the concept further. Early funders of this concept get some pretty cool schwag, like trading cards, a tote bag, and even your very own character.
Rather than me rambling on, I highly recommend you just go check it out, the video is cool and so is the concept. A blurb from the site:
Ramen Party is a collection of characters that introduces preschool children (and their parents) to hip trends in culture, music and food.
We’ve created six characters based on ingredients found in traditional Japanese ramen. Each of them have a distinct musical theme that matches their quirky personaliities, and when you mix them together, you create a catchy tune! Let us introduce them to you…
Paul a fellow UMR/MS*&T alum, sent me this gem. It’s so simple, but so fancy.
1 bag of beef ramen
1 heaping tablespoon of sour cream
1 teaspoon of white truffle oil
Cook the noodles as instructed by adding them to boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain all of the water with the exception of approximately 1 tablespoon of water. Next add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Enjoy.
Paul notes that the sour cream, beef flavoring, and truffle oil really give it a very heavy umami taste.
Personally, I don’t like sour cream that much, but I’ve found more and more than when it’s mixed in to things it tastes good. Just don’t put a big spoonful on top of my nachos.
Kevin sent me this variation on the standard “Break” recipe, taken made by the inmates at the Northern Correctional Facility in Moundsville, WV. Moundsville is a dreary town as I remember it and I bet the prison isn’t much better. He says, “the prison’s inmate store sold all of the ingredients. Sometimes upwards of six or seven inmates would contribute an ingredient so all could enjoy a good, filling meal, with a small investment. Since we weren’t allowed knives, we used the pull-top can lids to dice the cheese and pepperoni. It was a hard job and your hand would be cramping toward the end.”
This recipe makes two decent sized portions, or one for a big eater. Double recipe for more portions.
1 bag of Ramen noodles, beef flavor preferred, but chicken will do
1 can of chili with beans (we used Castleberry’s brand, individual size. You can also substitute a can of beef stew)
1/4 to 1/3 stick of pepperoni, diced (which can be bought already diced on the street)
1/2 cup of diced Longhorn or Cheddar cheese (about 1 cup shredded on the street)
1 deli pickle, diced (optional)
1 small onion, diced (optional)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Follow the microwave instruction on pack using whole flavor pack, but crumble noodles. Drain excess water from noodles when done. In a separate bowl, microwave the diced pepperoni on several layers of paper towels for a minute at a time and stir between heating, to cook off the grease. This makes the pepperoni crunchy, but don’t cook it too long or it will burn. Heat chili (or beef stew) for two minutes and stir in diced cheese. Stir in cheese and heat longer to melt cheese if needed. Pour all ingredients into a big bowl (sometimes a trash bag was used if it was a big break) and mix well. Serve with sliced bread or crackers.
Most people are visual about food, for example, I almost always end up picking something off the menu that there is a picture of. Even better are pictures in recipe books, and topping that are videos of recipes. The Huffington Post has a slideshow and series of videos on how to make some good (and some bad) ramen recipes. My personal favorite from this list is the Kimchi Ramen Grilled Cheese Sandwich and the Asian-Style Ramen Noodle Pancakes. For the videos, the Ramen with Peanut Butter is my favorite, peanut butter and sesame oil are a good and cheap ingredient to add to your noodles.
Chinese restaurateur and chef Cui Runguan is selling robots that can hand slice noodles into a pot of boiling water called the “Chef Cui”. I’ve never seen noodles made this way, only spun and sliced and stretched, so this is interesting. The video mentions a “windshield wiper” motion, which is apparent as you watch the slicer move back and forth. Also interesting to note, I could hire a chef in China for $4700 per year! I’ve posted about noodle bots here before, but this one is a bit different in that it’s just slicing the noodles into boiling water.
Sandra writes in with this interesting recipe. First of all, I didn’t know that canned tamales existed. I’d never even had a tamale until I was about 25 and living in Texas and I found that I really like them, the canned ones though? Who knows. I do like Wolf Brand Chili. I highly advise you to not real the nutrition label on either can.
4 pkg Ramen noodles (no seasoning packets)
1 15 oz can of Wolf Brand Chili
1 15 oz can of Hormel canned tamales
grated cheddar cheese
Open chili and tamales. Remove paper from tamales add the tamales and chili to a saucepan. Heat them together, slowly. Cook ramen noodles until done and drain. Pour chili and tamales over ramen and add the cheese. Stir together and serve. Makes enough for 4 people.
I was pretty excited to try this new Korean ramen from orderramen.com. The Ottogi Kiss Myon is a spicy, brothy, chicken flavor which I found really lived up to the description. First, I cooked this one exactly 3 minutes as the website recommends, not the usual 4 or longer for other “gourmet” noodles. I found the broth to be rich and flavorful, it was not a thin watery broth, it was hearty and full flavored. The spice level was enough to keep me interested, but not eye watering. The noodles themselves were a great texture, but be careful not to cook too long, I think these were thinner than usual. I think this would be a great one to add green onions or thin sliced carrots to, in order to bulk up the dehydrated vegetables, and perhaps an egg too.
My mom is from the south (technically I am to, but I left when I was 17), and so she has Southern manners. So, when presented with a super hot bowl of soup and given a pair of chopsticks and a soup spoon, she wasn’t sure how to get the noodles into her mouth. I picked up the noodles, waited a few seconds for them to cool and them slurped them into my mouth. My mom, refusing to slurp, put them on a side plate until they cooled and them pushed them onto the spoon. These were the thick udon noodles, my favorite kind, served with vegetables, seafood, and an egg in a pork and seafood broth. The net result is that I don’t think she’ll order noodles with me again.
I’m sure there’s a worse way to eat the noodles, in a restaurant I mean, can you come up with a better one?