I love ramen. I grew up eating Cup Noodles which I still have a soft spot for (though I haven’t had it in years). My mom bought it by the caseload. I had it for breakfast before school. It was an easy afternoon snack that I could make unsupervised. My grandma would feed it to me when I was sick. We even took it on our annual camping trips with my extended family.
Sometime after college, when I discovered large bowls of freshly made chewy ramen and rich miso broth, I was smitten. Though I was intially bothered by the price difference ($12-16 per bowl vs. 50 cents), I got over it. I dream of going to Tokyo and stuffing my belly with giant bowls of ramen. I could eat ramen every day. It was one of the things I missed most while living in Chicago.
Dry/flash fried ramen noodles, while cheap and filling, don’t have the same chewy bite as the fresh ramen found in noodle shops such as KatanaYa and Ramen Dojo (dumb name, great ramen). Fresh packaged ramen noodles (should have taken a picture) found in the refrigerated section of the Japanese market has the chewiness I crave without the long lines of SF’s ramen shops. I’ve been experimenting with various brands of miso ramen and they have all been good so far…and not bad at $4-6 for two servings.
This particular bowl pictured above featured a boiled egg, spinach, pickled mustard greens and leftover pork ribs from Easter lunch. Last night, we had another package of fresh miso ramen with a boiled egg, sliced chicken thigh, spinach, pickled mustard greens, spicy bamboo shoots and red pickled ginger. Similar to what I’m getting at the noodle shops but at a third of the price. And the kicker–it is just as easy to prepare as Top Ramen (and lower in sodium)!
UPDATE: Check out this fun article on dressing up ramen. Definitely many things I used to do myself…