Sunday, January 25, 2009


Christina mentioned that she had fond memories of my top ramen cooking skills, something I honed out of destitution and desperation. I don't eat top ramen that often any more, at least the nissin/maruchan variety. My diet is still probably 60% percent noodles, though. Sandwiches being the other 37% of course.

The other day in a rush between school and work I whipped up this remarkably good lunch out of spare parts lying around my kitchen. Borrowing heavily from something Dave Manzella made while camping last summer, I boiled spaghetti noodles and baked chicken with a bunch of garlic and onions. For a sauce I fried a bunch of garlic in olive oil, added a small tin of anchovies my bosses gave me for Christmas (hard times this year) and one bunch of kale chopped into 1 inch ribbons. That over the noodles with the chicken was the best thing I'd made in a while. Super simple and tasty. The anchovies make it nice and salty, but be careful because any more of them might have been too much.

Ramen-wise, I pretty much only eat Nongshim spicy noodles these days.

These bad boys are super good! But they might be a little too spicy for a lot of people. I generally use only about 3/4 of the flavor packet to keep the spice down. For some reason they work wonders on hangovers too.

They make a seafood version of this too, but it's a little too weird/fishy for me.

Another super good noodle pack is Samyang chacharoni. These are hard for me to find around here so I don't eat them very often.

The directions say to add the sauce to the water, but they're also good if you drain the water completely, then add the sauce pack. They're drier that way but really good. In fact, that's how I started eating them and now if I make theme watery, it tastes bland.

Each of those are really well complemented with Kimchi of course. This, sadly, is way overpriced in little Arcata, making me wish we had our own Koreatown. Oh well.

ADDENDUM: The best advice I can give about any "instant noodle" is DO NOT OVERCOOK. I usually undercook them because they tend to cook more in the bowl when you're waiting for them to cool.


Christina said...

i've never really taken time to CONSIDER my noodles. i mean, its a very important thing as far as pasta goes, but i never connected "noodles" to "pasta", maybe because italians never use the word noodle with anything.... but now i'm feeling overwhelmed by there being a whole noodle world i am neglecting simply for the 8 cent cheapness of maruchan or top.

Guillermo said...

Yea there's some really crazy instant noodles out there if you're willing to experiment. It's like italian pasta is defined by the sauce not by the noodle.