Saturday, January 20, 2007

jumping on the bandwagon

the Instant RAMEN Bandwagon, that is.
As per the internet, RAMEN RULES.

It didn't take very much online research to entice me back into the ramen fold. I was assimilated into obsessive ramen-eating far too many years ago to resist the call.

As a child growing up in SF's Chinatown, I ate my share of fresh-noodles-in-soup. Eating noodles is not only a cultural tradition, but a staple in the diet of my family-of-origin.
After the invention of instant ramen in 1958, preparation of tasty noodle soups became even less time-consuming, and my parents would keep the kitchen larder supplied with case after case of the packaged noodle treats.
Moreover, I could finally 'cook' it on my own.

As with all good food-related things, I overindulged. Instant Ramen everyday. Sometimes twice a day. Not necessarily as a meal, but as a snack.
Back then, as it is nowadays - it was fun to discover new ways to prep instant noodles. Here's one favored by my Mom:
Open package of ramen noodles and toss the flavoring packet.
Cook, then drain ramen of all but a tablespoon of the cooking water.
Add a bit of garlic-ginger infused peanut oil, curry powder, oyster sauce, ketchup and a dash of toasted sesame oil.
Use chopsticks to mix it all up.


As a young adult, like most others of my gen, I got into healthy, organic and vegetarian. It was then that I realized instant ramen was a fried food, probably full of MSG and WAAAAAAAY TOO MUCH SODIUM. And calories - mostly empty! Not the healthiest of foods. For the next few decades, I jumped on and off the Instant Ramen Wagon. I still loved the taste of it, but tried to be good. Really, I tried. At the market, a craving would overtake me and I'd pick up a few packages to savor as the occasional snack.
However, slurping down a bowl of fresh noodle soup (either homemade or in a restaurant) has remained a constant. It was the packaged ramen that I'd been trying to wean from.

In the last few years, I find myself succumbing even more frequently to instant ramen as a comfort (albeit guilty indulgence) food. As of late, I've been needing a great deal of comfort - and so damn the guilt is my new mantra..

The other week, older brother S-O e-mailed a ramen url to me. The link led to other ramen-based websites and ramen blogs (galore!).
Ramen-lovers of the world write so eloquently of their chosen food addiction!
And the accompanying photos!
Hot steaming bowls of ramen:
Plain or embellished - with additional meat, tofu, veggies, dried seaweed, etc.
That did it. My mouth waters for the stuff.

I'm officially back in the instant ramen ranks - with a vengeance!
ASAP, I'm heading to the nearest Asian market to buy an assortment...

HELLO 2007!
Life IS short.
Ramen does Rule!

Something else to look forward to in 2007: another very promising new movie with
ramen noodles as a key player.

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