Saturday, July 3, 2010

An Ode to Ramen

Ode to thee, oh wondrous ramen noodle! Ye noble instant morsel, champion of the cheap and hungry, how I adoreth thine warm and salty nourishment. Oh ye of easy preparation, of indomitable value, of scarce nutritional and flavor content, ode to thee!

I have a long and storied history with instant ramen noodles. From the Cup Noodles of my childhood to the Maruchan packs of my college years, ramen have been a loyal companion through the various chapters of my life. But familiarity has a tendency to erode appeal, and after a while those little flavoring packets weren't cutting it.

I began searching for ways to enhance the ramen experience, first with hot sauce, then with frozen vegetables, then with canned chicken, ham and tuna. Finally, the other night, I achieved what I believe to be a shining new pinnacle of ramen preparation.


  • 1 pack of Maruchan instant ramen noddles
  • 4oz of prime rib, diced
  • 2oz frozen peas
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cabernet (don't tell my roommate)
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Bringing about 2.5 cups of water to a simmer, I added prime rib, a liberal quantity of Worcestershire sauce, and a purloined splash of Cabernet. I then seasoned the broth using a good bit of thyme, a sprinkling of basil, a little S&P and a dash of red pepper for a little kick.

I'm normally a mid-rare kinda guy, but I allowed the steak to cook fully to get some au jus action happening in my soup. After the broth reduced to about half its former volume, transforming into a sumptuous, meaty ambrosia, I added the peas.

Then, satisfied all the flavors were balanced, I added the noodles, crunching them, as always, to manageable pieces before opening the pack. Needless to say, I discarded the flavor packet (shrimp) realizing it could only hamper the savory tang my soup already had. The noodles, as I suspected, absorbed the majority of the broth as they cooked.

The resulting bowl of ramen was likely the best meal anyone every ate for less than a dollar (the prime rib was part of a self-apportioned severance package from my last restaurant job). The Cabernet imparted it's maroon hue to the dish, creating a pleasing visual contrast with the bright green peas. The thyme lent a nice herbal smokiness, the wine a subtle sweetness, the Worcestershire a pleasing tang. Of course prime rib (which deserves an ode of its own) works to enhance the character of any dish. I found this to be especially true of ramen noodle soup.

I doubt you have a better ramen recipie. But if you do, I'm all ears.


  1. I really like your style of writing man, it's really fluid and natural, but at the same time creative and quirky. I also really like the fact that you jacked prime rib from your former employer, that's a clutch move. I'm gonna be reading your posts like a man allergic to peanuts reading the ingredients on the side of products and worrying about whether or not having been processed in a facility that processes nuts includes peanuts in that category or whether they'd be mentioned separately - carefully.

    Signed, President of your Fan Club

  2. Thanks prez. And don't worry, all posts are certified nut allergy safe