Sunday, January 14, 2007

Noodles

With the recent passing of Momofuku Ando, the man who invented instant ramen noodles, I've had noodles on the brain. It's all thanks to this man that I survived my college days without starving. It's almost amazing that you can practically live on them for 4+ years.

These $0.10 packets were all I knew until I lived in Japan and experienced the real thing, and the real thing is much, much better (though Japanese stores still do have more different kinds of instant ramen than I've ever seen here in the States). While I was in college and taking Japanese classes, I saw a great movie dedicated to making
the perfect ramen noodles, Tampopo, but I still didn't quite get it that real ramen noodles bear little resemblance to those little packets. Sooooo yummy. Nothing like your local noodle shop in anywhere Japan, especially on a cold day. Slurping is not only allowed, it's expected, so that adds it's own brand of fun (if you find that kind of thing fun).

So, in honor of this great man and all he did to get me through college, today I concocted the most yummy instant ramen dish, influenced by several recipes using ramen noodles as a main ingredient on Recipezaar.com. I haven't posted my exact concoction over there yet, but here's what I did to make what I might just call...

"Happy Noodles":

Cook the noodles as instructed on package and set aside.
Add a squirt or two each of peanut oil and sesame oil, and about 1 teaspoon peanut butter.
Over medium heat, kind of swish around in the pan until the glob of peanut butter melts.
Add about 1 teaspoon of soy, a dash of chili powder, and a splash of milk.
Give a quick stir and heat until just bubbly.
Add noodles and use chopsticks to kind of lift from the bottom to mix them with the sauce.
Sprinkle very generously with sesame seeds if you like that kind of thing (I *love* sesame anything)
Be prepared to fall in love.

Thank you Mr. Ando-san!

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