Someone sent me a note about a new magazine called Lucky Peach. The magazine is a quarterly “journal of food writing”, and each issue will cover a single topic. We’re lucky to have the first issue be about ramen, 174 pages of ramen. From browsing the website, I see a cool looking recipe for fresh alkaline noodles, but unfortunately the image is too small to read, so I’ll have to try and find a copy of the magazine.
“No, this is 174 pages about ramen. Really.
It’s part-literary magazine, part-conversation between friends and a whole lot of attitude about the state of noodles and cooking, the first of what will be a sprawling quarterly mix of ideas, art and recipes in exploration of a single topic.
“We thought the first one that was fitting to talk about was ramen because there was so much that hadn’t been talked about in English,” Chang, the force behind New York’s Momofuku restaurants, told The Stew.
And from another story:
But here’s the thing. Lucky Peach is good. It’s so good that if I hadn’t received a free press subscription, I would immediately pay the $28 annual rate to receive four issues of maybe the most original and best new food magazine that will debut this year.
The website for the magazine is here: Lucky Peach and there are some good articles on it here and here.
Anneli Rufus, the “Comfort Food Freak”, wrote a column last week called “Ramen is Racist”. The headline mainly has to do with the naming of the noodles and Japanese imperialism in the 1930s and 1940s, but no matter what you call the noodles, I enjoy eating them! The article continues with some detailed history on the origin of ramen, the meaning of the Japanese and Chinese words for it, leading into the right way to eat it.
Ramen — although it wasn’t called that, then — first appeared in Japan in 1910, when Chinese cooks at Tokyo’s Rairaiken restaurant created a signature dish comprising broth and Chinese noodles, which were yellower and more elastic than Japanese noodles because — then as now — their dough was kneaded with kansui, a sodium-carbonate-infused alkaline mineral water.
A couple weeks back I was told about a new iPhone/iPad game from Moxy Games called “Me So Ramen” and I had to wait until my kid got back from vacation to put it on an iPhone and try it out. I finally installed it tonight and it was pretty fun! The most important part for budget minded ramen fans was the price, free. The point of the game is that you’re running a ramen shop and have to quickly fill customer orders. Level 1 starts out with just a few customers and a few ingredients, but it gets more fast and complicated from there. At level 1 you only have one type of bowl, broth, eggs, and seaweed (I assume it’s seaweed anyway). Level 2 added shrimp, and level 3 added a different type of bowl and more customers. Since the game is free, it has some ads at the top, but they were fairly unobtrusive. I played it for about 10 minutes tonight and was getting pretty good until my kid wanted the phone back. Hopefully they come out with a version for Android and webOS