Do you know what? It is 5:22 PM on a lovely afternoon in New York City and all I can think about is eating ramen. Man, do I love ramen. Ramen ramen ramen. And while it's true that I do not like all ramen (Top Ramen certainly comes to mind), there are certainly some that spin into the realm of the divine.
I think it mostly boils down to the fact that I love noodles. Mom likes to tell me that when I was little all I wanted to eat, oh, ever, was plain noodles with butter. I still eat now one of the same concoctions that I used to make back in the day. (I'll spare you the details, but let's suffice it to say that it involves a can of tuna, some butter and salt, and some pasta.) If I have leftover chicken stock lying around, I'll boil some mini pasta stars in it and make myself a tasty snack. Or lunch.
Moreover, unfortunately for me, I have an exceptional weak spot for all Asian noodles: ramen, udon, pad thai...really, any noodle dish. And dumplings. But... it's not always possible for a girl to get them. Or make them. I suppose I could make my own noodle dishes, but after trying more than a few times I can say with much certainty that it's a lot easier, less time-consuming, and more cost efficient to pick up the phone and call for delivery. Also, I don't have a wok. I don't like woks. (Really, I don't like woks because they are built to go inside a ring of fire that disperses heat. I do not have a a fiery heat dispersing wok ring in my stove. Even if I did, my rogue fire alarm would go off, killing any and all enthusiasm I had for making something from said wok. But I digress.)
But let's talk ramen. The thing about good ramen, real ramen, is that it is delicious. Long, tender noodles with enough of a bite for good chewing reposing serenly in a porky broth, all scattered with bamboo shoots, scallions, thin slices of pork, and some greens. And if you're extra lucky, there's a poached egg along with it. Heaven. Less great ramen, though, has a special quality all of its own, namely that one is generally free from being forced to follow the directions on the package. Everyone, it seems, has his own method. When I was in college, my tried-and-true method involved boiling the noodles for 4 minutes (thus allowing them to get overly glutenous) and adding the flavoring packet during the last minute. Drain the noodles, eat. Brice used to make his with double the packets of flavoring. Hannah would forgo the flavoring altogether and mix hers with thawed frozen peas and some eggs (not sure about the preparation of those, though I seem to remember something about scrambling? Hannah?).
For more interesting news on the ramen front, check out this article. I haven't managed to find any yet, and would probably be kind of creeped out if I did, but do let me know if you see or hear anything.