Lately I have been seeing quite a few people on Facebook who like to thank President Obama for making them eat ramen for dinner. This is because their paychecks are less now that the Social Security rate has increased to 6.2% from the 4.2% it had been at the past 2 years. I’m not here to discuss whether or not this return to past levels is a good or bad thing, there are much better places for that. No, I just want to try and stick up for ramen as best I can. Eating ramen is not a crime.
You see, I have been a big fan of the ol’ soup brick for quite a while. By quite a while, I mean as long as I can remember. When my mom and I moved from Seattle when I was 4 or so, her ex-coworkers packed a backpack full of ramen for me. That’s one of my earliest remaining memories, so therefore, I have been eating ramen forever.
My favorite flavor was sesame chicken, I haven’t found it for years and years. It had a little packet of sesame oil in it, along with the
salt flavor pack. A lot of the non-Nissin and non-Maruchan ramen I get from the Asian market we go to have crazy flavors with multiple flavor packs per package, but I still haven’t found a sesame flavored one. I know I can just add sesame oil of my own, but it’s not quite the same.
But I digress, I did not come here to talk about flavors of yore. I wanted to talk about the great flavors you can find today in the kitchens of America’s finer cooks. You can make a virtually endless variety of noodle based meals with a simple block of ramen and some common ingredients.
First of all you need some ramen, there’s no argument that it’s cheap and suited to budgets that are 2% less than they were (lucky? for me I make so little I will hardly notice!). You can get a pack of 36 for $15.50-$19.75 (shipped) online, or even less than that in the grocery store. I think they’re usually 4 or 5 for a dollar.
You can go ahead and prepare it as the package indicates, or you can fancify it like I do. Here are some things you can put in your ramen to make it a delicious meal. Try choosing (at least) one from each column and putting them together. Or Matt Fischer has some recipes if you prefer.
THINGS YOU CAN PUT IN RAMEN
- Hot Dog
- Chinese Style BBQ Pork
- Peanut Butter
- Curry Powder/Paste
- Sesame Oil
- Red Pepper Oil
- Sriracha Hot Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
And now with this simple list of ingredients, you hopefully have seen that even though a pack of ramen is cheap, it can be a very delicious and filling meal. There is no shame in eating frugally, you don’t have to have T-Bones for dinner every night. You can spend a dollar and be satisfied both in your belly, and in knowing that you just got one over on the man by not being bothered by making $80 less per paycheck.
Do you have any other ramen ideas you want to share? I barely scratched the surface of what is possible with it, perhaps you have dug deep into the noodlesphere and found something really awesome. Do tell!!
Stay At Home Brad, over and out!