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Condiments

Today for lunch the Mrs. and I went out for Japanese noodles.  She’s a big fan of ramen so while we were wondering aimlessly with empty stomachs and I saw the restaurant I knew it was supposed to be.  Well, at least once we got inside…and I saw the menu…because let’s be honest, I didn’t even push the floor on the elevator, it just happened to stop there.

 

ANYWAY!!!  This place had some pretty good noodles.  Of course I didn’t get a card so I have no idea what it was called but they were tasty.  The point of this story however would be my fascination with the condiments that they provided.  They had some of the typical things, chilis, soy sauce, and garlic…but this was no standard overly roasted/fried garlic crumbs stuff.  This was grade A raw garlic with a press so you could add super fresh garlic to you noodles at your will.

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Perhaps even more impressive than the garlic press, was the sesame seed dispenser.  They had toasted sesame seeds in this container.  And you could hold it over your bowl, and spin the wheel thingy…aaaaaaannnnd PRESTO!!!Image

A twist on the magical wheel would send cracked pepper sized toasted sesame seed powder clouds floating onto your ramen. Not only was it super cool but it actually added a great depth to the broth.

Somebody please find one of these things and send it to me asap! I’ll be adding it to everything!

What’s your favorite condiment?

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in food, Photography, Uncategorized

 

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Ramen

Ramen

In honor of nutrition month I would like to show everyone what I like to do with ramen.  For me, instant noodles aren’t a meal.  I wouldn’t even really classify them as a snack because 10 minutes after eating them I’m hungry again.

I started playing with ramen around the time I was in 6th or 7th grade.  At the time I realized I was no longer satisfied with 1 pack of noodles so the first thing I tried was simply eating a second pack.  This worked for a time or two, but then my mind began to wander.  Now, I don’t suggest eating a lot of instant noodles as they really aren’t that great for you.  Yet on the occasion when you find your self being drawn in to their simplicity keep this post in mind.

Now that I live in Hong Kong there are quite a few more options for instant noodles and I have found a new favorite, but this can be done with any pack you prefer.

My pack of choice is the Ajisen Ramen.  The flavoring packs have a deeper taste to them and the noodles tend to have a nicer bite.

They also come in a two pack so it’s great for couples!

 

 

We simply begin by ignoring all of the cooking instructions and boil a pot of water.  (For a healthier version boil a pot of your favorite stock instead and ditch all the flavoring packets!)

Dump out the flavoring packs into a good-sized bowl that you’re planning to eat out of.  When the water (or stock) comes to a boil add about 1/2cup to your seasonings and stir to combine.

 

 

Dump your noodles into the boiling water and cook them until they just start to get tender.  Trust me on this one, if you wait until they are cooked through by the time we’re finished here your just going to have a pile of mush in the bottom of your bowl!  Remove the noodles from the water but keep the water in the pot either using chopsticks or a noodle spoon.

Top your noodles with a handful or 2 or greens.  Dark leafy veggies are an excellent source of nutrition and they are darn tasty as well!  You and boil up some asparagus, broccoli, choy sum, or bok choy ahead of time and add it at this stage as well for an even healthier treat.

My favorite thing to do when playing with ramen is to add an egg.  Today I decided to poach my egg as I’m feeling quite lazy and don’t want to dirty another pan but you can scramble, over easy, or sunny side up if you’d like!  Another option would be to have some hard-boiled eggs on hand.  They make a great snack as well!

If you’re going to poach keep the noodle water, add a teaspoon of vinegar, stir your water, drop in the egg and let it cook for about a minute to a minute and a half.

Scoop out the egg, top up your bowl with water (or stock) and enjoy!

*Side note* You may notice my ramen flavor today is pork bone broth.  This is about as close as this lazy chef was getting to a roast crown of pork to celebrate today’s holiday.  Happy roast crown of pork day!

 

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Getting Lost

The other day I was shopping in a part of town (Mong Kok) which I am not totally familiar with.  I know a few streets in the area (Night Market, Ladies Market, Flower Market, and Shanghai Street) which are known for having good deals while shopping but this day I was on a mission.  I had to find small chalkboards and some baskets of a certain size for a work project so I was determined and just kept walking even when I reached as far as I had been before.  By the time I realized I had no idea where I was it was too late.  I had myself so turned around I didn’t know which way I had come from and by this time everything was in Chinese so there was no hope in trying to read a sign.  I was also becoming increasingly aware that I hadn’t eaten a very large breakfast and it was way past lunch time.  I made an attempt at getting back to where I started but when I get hungry all I can think about is the next meal so I wound up getting even more lost.  Finally I decided to just stop into the next restaurant I ran into and just point at something and hope for the best.

Lost LunchWhen I got to the restaurant they had the menu outside so I made up my mind the drink and food items I was going to point too and did so once inside.  Apparently I had 2 other choices to make with my food item and with a little help from the waitress I did so.  She brought me back this massive bowl of noodles and a delicious malty creamy beverage.  Since her English was pretty decent and the place was empty I decided to fess up and ask about the items I had ordered.  She told me it was traditional wide noodles in a spicy broth with veggies.  I asked about some of the veggies and she promptly brought me an English menu.  I felt pretty dumb but all I could do was laugh.  It turns out I chose the only 2 fermented vegetable options on the menu which isn’t something I would normally do when this hungry but I’m glad I did.  It was a terrific meal and a steal at only 28HKD.

Getting lost turned out to be a great reason to Live to Eat.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2009 in food, Lunch

 

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