Monday, January 08, 2007

Farewell Sweet Ramen, And Thanks

The inventor of the instant ramen noodle, Momofuku Ando, passed away on the 5th of January 2007 from a heart attack. Faced with food shortages after WWII in Japan, Ando
developed his idea for a quick, convenient noodle product to help feed them masses. And feed them, and me, he most certainly has.

The 2 minute noodle, more commonly known as the "Pot Noodle" or the "Slag of Snacks" in Britain, has interwoven itself in my life as long as I can remember:

It was the 2 minute noodle that, as a 9 year old left at home during school holidays to fend for myself, was one of the first thing I remember trying to cook. I remember standing in the kitchen, with a bowl of noodles in cold tap water, trying to work out why they wouldn't soften. I'd prod them for ages, then give up, until my mum came home, and taught me how they were done. Then she started to cook me proper food to have for lunch, rather than "rubbish junk".

It was also the 2 minute noodle that got me through my final years in high school. Not because I couldn't afford to eat anything else, but because I was too lazy to find anything with more nutritonal value. It was directly due to eating a pack of these practially every day, that I got chunky, and developed a lovely stomach ulcer, which in turn led to the downfall of my guilty love affair for this most sinful of snacks.

So in memoriam of the Momofuku, whose fantastic invention has saved starving people in post war Asia, not to mention thousands of university students, I decided to lay aside the stigma that goes with having 2 minute noodles, and brazenly made one for lunch today, to the looks of disgust from my fellow co-workers. And here is my recipe for the best, most moreish, most delicious ways of 2 minute noodles. Try it once, and you'll be hooked.
  • 1 pack, 2 minute beef flavoured noodles (don't get excited about any other flavour. BSE giving beef is the best, though if you must, then don't blame me if you don't like it).
  • cheese, grated
  • tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 lemon (well, I like 1/2 a lemon, but that's probably a bit much)
  1. Break noodles in half, place lovingly and delicately in a china bowl. No plastic cups here thank you very much.
  2. Pour freshly boiled water over the noodles, and cover the bowl with plate, to keep as much heat in as possible.
  3. Whilst waiting, grate some cheese. Extra mature cheddar is good, though if feeling guilty about having noodles in the first place, the low-fat pre-grated, feels-like-plastic, never -seen-a-cow-in-it's-life, stuff works fine too.
  4. Fidget around until the 2 minutes is up. Don't be fooled, this is the most important step! Make sure that the noodles do not stand in the hot water too long, or else they'll turn into a soggy mush, which you might as well throw away, because then they are no good to man nor beast. You want nice, still slightly firm noodles.
  5. Strain all the water from the bowl, and replace with freshly boiled water, until the noodles are just covered.
  6. Stir in flavour sachet.
  7. Liberally shake, like a British Nanny, the tabasco sauce over the noodles. When you think you've put too much, add another shake.
  8. Squeeze liberally with lemon juice
  9. Mix noodles
  10. Add grated cheese to the noodles before each delicious mouthful, so that the cheese is just melting as you eat them.

Oh my god. This is soo good. It's not haute cuisine, but then again I'm not french. And everyone has to have a guilty secret snack, that they know is no good for them, but they can't resist anyway. This and pork scratchings are definitely mine. What's yours?

I'm hungry again just thinking about this, and it's almost 1am. Hmmm.. I wonder if we have any in the kitchen..


Not a Cookie Cutter said...

I love partaking in guilty pleasures, my number one vice is Diet Pepsi on the rocks, but a really naughty treat that I make on a rare occasion due to the enormous amount of calories and fat grams is people chow, also I am a big fan of my own homemade popcorn, any one trys it immediately declares it the BEST.

Trying to "Panda" said...

oh my lord. I just had a look at what people chow is. That looks delicious. At home in Oz, we do a similar thing called Chocolate Spiders that use ready to eat, already crispy noodles, instead of cereal.

I so want one right now. Or anything that has got peanut butter and chocolate mixed together.. Afternoon cravings are starting to really kick in. Thanks G!