The CH3 Test Kitchen: Top Ramen
January 27, 2012
Nissin Top Ramen, Oriental Flavor
What was that?
Did I just detect a roll of the eyes, a weary sigh?
Oh I know, I know–you shudder at those salty memories of your dorm days, when you would huddle in a dark corner and eat cold Top Ramen out of your Mickey Mouse bowl–all the while sending weepy texts to your slut of a girlfriend back home–
Man up, ya fuckin Emo!
Nah man—for today’s recipe, we’re gonna take a clue from the fellas up in County, where the traditional Spread illustrates how we can make this pantry staple into something glorious!
Heh. Well, let’s not go that far.
I assume we all have a pot of water and a lethal heat source, so we’ll leave the cans of tuna and cooking in Hefty garbage bags to Lil Joker and Pelón.
Besides, you can find a slimy bowl of goddamned Udon all over town, and ya can’t stumble out of a club at closing time without falling into another 24 hour Pho joint, true.
But a decent Ramen?
Good luck brother.
All the rare, good joints are packed with somber Japanese corporate ex-pats, who are none too happy about being housed at the Costa Mesa Ramada the past 15 months.
These poor people are clearly in no mood to put up with sloppy punkers invading their last refuge, so let’s leave Mentatsu to them, aiight?
Top Ramen (1 pkg)
Green Onions (4 stalks)
Huy Fong Chili Garlic (4 Tbsp)
Spam (1/2 Tin)
Ichimi Togarashi (2 Tsp)
White Cadillac Slippers (2)
Soft Boiled Egg (1)
What’s that ya say?
You don’t have these ingredients handy?
Duh–that’s what those shitty Korean sushi joints are there for!
Go in and order a California Roll and a Diet Coke, and when they go to fetch that awful junk ya simply load up your pockets with all the condiments on the table.
Oh, don’t worry, they expect that behavior from ya— that’s why they use imitation imitation crab meat!
Alrighty, let’s put some water to boil.
Famously, those little flavor packets contain the sodium equivalent of a square foot of the Bonneville salt flats, so I suggest doubling the specified quantity of water:
….or, just roll with what’s on hand–ya got me?
While that’s bubbling away, let’s turn our attention to the protein, eh?
Yes, we’re using Spam, ya got a problem with that your highness?
And besides, we all know it’s fuckin 3:30 am after a night pounding Jager at Alex’s that you’re attempting to cook this, so doubtful yer gonna find a fresh Tonkatsu filet lying about, am I right?
In fact, the salty gamy flavor of this…er, meat…blends perfectly with this dish.
It’s well known that this handy canned meat product tastes uncannily of human flesh, thus its unparalleled popularity along the islands of Pacifc Oceania, their citizens the last to reluctantly abandon cannibalism.
How do you think those fuckin huge bouncers at Alpine Village got that way, huh?!
…and hey hey! since when do they put hidden prizes in the cans? Nifty!
While the noodles seep in the broth, slice off 4 generous slices of the meat.
Feed one to the dog. Now will you-please- stop following me around the kitchen? Huh?!
Now julianne the slices into pinky-finger sized spears—
quit looking at your pinky finger! Pay attention!–
and sear off with stalks of green onion.
Spam and scallion stalks in first, pour ramen and broth over and let sit five minutes.
Presentation is everything, people.
Yeah, yeah, I know yer crocked and stumbling around in your boxers at the moment, but have a little respect and eat this right, ok?
See, yer first mistake is, you try to eat this wonderful dish out of yer chipped, standard size soup bowl or-Good Lord!-right out of the pan!
Yeah, we see ya, ya uncouth bastard!
Nah man–you need a proper ceramic noodle bowl, not plastic, not metal, and big—Big!
To give you an idea, here I’ve parked my R75/6 next to the bowl we’re using:
And we’ll be using the correct utensils, kids.
One proper Wonton sized spoon, one wooden pair of chopsticks.
And would it kill ya, huh? if you quit calling them Choptsticks? Alright?
These are hashi (箸), got it?
Doesn’t that sound better or at least slightly less racist, hmmm?
–And stop rubbing them together, you trying to make a fuckin fire or something?
Did I just see you using one for a spear?!
Would you quit leaving them in the bowl crossed up!
How were you people raised?!
Do not -Repeat: Do Not attempt to eat this in bed.
You will pass out, be scalded, and then constantly make us check out your stupid Sailor Jerry breast piece you had done to cover up the scars.
No, we have to eat this on the couch while watching TV to fully appreciate the complex flavors.
Watch anything playing on IFC, preferably a showing of Bad Lieutenant–the real one!
Serve piping hot on a clean Tshirt, which serves as both a potholder for this molten bowl of goodness and also a a handy napkin:
Now don’t ya feel better about yourself?
You resisted the siren call of Taco Bell and Tommy’s, you came home and made a fine hot meal all by your lonesome!
I’m so proud of you guys!
Ah jeez—you took it up to bed, didn’t you?