The Random Writings of Rachel: Ode to Ramen

Ode to Ramen

For a good chunk of my life, I've had a natural aversion to most 'junk foods' or 'fast foods'. I don't like McDonald's or KFC or Burger King, I don't like cake, I don't like pie, I don't like bacon, I don't like candy bars. I like original flavor potato chips but not any other flavors. I don't like french fries unless they are homemade. And I don't like ramen.

At least, I didn't like ramen until I went to Japan in July.



And, obviously, happened to fall in love with real ramen there. I swear, I'd go back for the ramen alone.

Since returning from Japan, I've been on a quest to find Japanese ramen restaurants here in Malaysia. I went to one in KL that was quite good, and we've heard rumors of a very authentic place in our hometown here, and are planning to try that one out soon.

In the absence of amazing ramen restaurants, I've even been finding myself making instant ramen for the occasional meal. I was the college student who ate homemade sandwiches or salads, not instant ramen. The instant ramen isn't anywhere near as good, as what I had in Japan, but the fact that I'm eating it, and even craving it, after having never on-purpose eaten instant ramen for as long as I can remember...that's pretty weird.

I've discovered my perfect recipe for a beefed-up, healthified instant ramen which still isn't healthy, but makes the anti-junk-food advocate inside me a little happier. This is how I make mine, with my favorite variety of instant ramen (a spicy flavor):

1) Shred a whole carrot into the pot.
2) Add a couple chopped leaves of some green leafy veggie (bok choy, kailan, etc)
3) Add a spoonful of minced garlic and a couple stalks of chopped green onion.
4) Add in the water, about 1/3 to 1/2 of the ramen's flavoring packet, and bring to a boil.
5) Add noodles.
6) Drop in an egg.
7) Stir, and remove from heat when noodles are done.

We all have our weaknesses. I thought my only major junk food weakness was original flavor potato chips with french onion dip. Now I've discovered a new one...

What junk food is your biggest weakness?

26 comments:

  1. Oh wow! Sounds like pretty special ramen! I know my mom and sister have doctored up their ramen at times to make it a bit like pho. I just like plain chicken instant ramen.

    I think currently pop-tarts are my biggest junk-food weakness.

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  2. Authentic Ramen is my jam! So so good! Thanks for sharing this version. I may have to try when I need a fix!

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  3. I love ramen! These are such great tips to make a stellar bowl for a cold fall day.

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  4. AHHHHH! So easy and so versatile. My daughter is in college and lives on it I think. I try to dress up at home for an easy meal when in a hurry.

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  5. I have never heard about this food I don't know Japanese kitchen at all. But your version sounds very delicious so I will try it.

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  6. You are lucky that you don't crave junk food. That isn't the case for many people. Yes, the ramen flavoring is so bad for you, but the rest isn't the worst. If that is your only thing, I say go for it and enjoy. By the way that is one big bowl. :)

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  7. Wow!! Loving your add in ideas. We may have to try that and soon. :)

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  8. Believe it or not I've never had ramen! I'm more of a spaghettios kinda gal :)

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  9. Oh wow this sounds amazing! I am traveling to Japan in Dec so I hope to indulge in lots of yummy food!

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  10. Cake. All cake, any cake. Although gluten free bought cake is usually pretty disgusting, so does home made cake count as junk food? (It's pretty unhealthy, so I'm going with yes). I definitely go through phases with food as well, right now I'm in a chicken soup phase. Your recipe sounds great though, so I might have to give that a try. If I can find gluten free noodles, that is...

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  11. Yum that sounds so good! I haven't found a good one over in Seattle yet.

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  12. Wow! I'm going to have to try adding these things to my instant ramen. Though, it could be dangerous because I already really like instant ramen...

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  13. I discovered Ramen a few years ago when I moved to Chicago. Chicago still has great ramen, but it's nothing like the "real ramen" in Japan! You're lucky you got to be there for your first time :) I just got back from Japan, and boy, did I have soooo much ramen! I haven't been able to recreate it at home quite yet, but I'm still trying!

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  14. I'm so glad that you discovered "real" ramen! Within the past year, a ramen restaurant opened up in our city and the main chef there trained in Japan, so it's really, really good ramen. Such a vastly different world from instant ramen! Though instant ramen is pretty good-my husband and I always add extras to it, too, like eggs, nori or spinach, peas or corn, etc. Weirdly, we didn't eat ramen in college, until the end of our senior year!
    If dark chocolate counts as a junk food, that would be my top favorite junk food. My other big weakness is BBQ potato chips. I don't know what it is about them, but I could-embarrassingly-eat at least half a bag in one sitting if I let myself. They are just so good!

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  15. I love ramen, but the "real" version made from scratch just like you! That bowl looks delicious!

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  16. I totally agree with your sentiments about Ramen. I loved-loved-loved it when we ate it in Tokyo, and I would go back just for the Ramen. So delicious!

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  17. Please get me some of what you got! I wish I didn't love Junk food!

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  18. Ramen is a classic for me. I know it's considered to be very unhealthy, but I figure that there are plenty of ways to die which don't involve your diet...i.e. car accident or plane crash...so sometimes, you need to let yourself eat whatever. I use half of the seasoning packet to reduce the sodium. And you can make a lot of easy recipes with it!

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  19. I've never had authentic ramen, just the stuff that costs $0.28 at the grocery store, but it was a bit of a staple when I was in college. It probably helps that I LOVE noodles of any variety. Definitely trying your version!

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  20. I live on ramen noodles during finals week but these sound so good I am going to try asap !

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  21. Yum! This sounds delicious and perfect for this time of year. I'm trying it out.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  22. This looks amazing! And I love the pink streak in your hair!

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  23. I used to LOVE instant ramen...then figured out I have a soy allergy and can't eat anything with soy sauce, soy flour, soy protein, soy oil...and guess what instant ramen is chock-full of? So, on a very rare occasion I'll make it from scratch, it's not too difficult!

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  24. I used to love instant ramen until I started making it myself! I found a recipe that suggested adding crispy shredded pork right before eating and my mind was blown!

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  25. Ah, for the love of ramen!

    Even when I was stil living in London, I loved Japanese food, particularly ramen. But when I went to Japan last year, I loved ramen even more! Their 'authentic' ramen there is really different. Plus, you get to have more options too

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