So How About That Ramen?

There are SOOOO many ways to make ramen and so many times I crave it while watching dramas.  I figured this was the perfect time to expand my ramen palate (surprisingly, I avoided the stuff in college) and figure out the best ramen recipe for a newbie ramen fan.  Join me as I go through my cooking process and maybe even help you think of new ways to enjoy this tasty meal.

Is any contemporary kdrama complete without a scene of someone eating ramen? I really don’t think so! I’m pretty sure that for every group of friends on dramas, there’s a designated ramen maker — I’m thinking of Chilbongie from Reply 1994.

NOT Chilbongie. But you see where I’m going with this.

Which leads me to the question: Can you call yourself a true kdrama fan without having made ramen for yourself? And more to the point–what is the best way to prepare ramen?

I’m fortunate enough to live fairly close to an HMart, so I decided to embark on a mission: To try a variety of ramen flavors and ways to prepare it. I like to add veggies (real veggies, not the pathetic ghosts of veggies past included in the ramen package) and some protein to make it a complete meal to get me through my work day.  Come join me in my journey! (Things You Will Probably Notice: Yes, I eat at my desk. Every weekday. And I have a crazy chopstick addiction. Also, a photographer I am not. Bear with me.)

This entrant is black bean ramen. I fried up some mushrooms in butter and added it to the bowl. The butter and the black bean sauce are AMAZING together. I think this is my favorite ramen combo. I’ve tried black bean ramen with the powder mix and the pre-made sauce mix and surprisingly, the powder mix had better taste.

Ahhhh, Yakisoba. This time I added fried mushrooms and green onions. I’m not terribly fond of the microwaveable ramens like this, because the noodles don’t always cook evenly. But for times when I want a fast lunch and I want it NOW, they serve.

I was feeling fancy while grocery shopping and picked up a package of egg rolls. I poached an egg and boiled some spinach with my noodles. This was a fantastic meal, though I don’t know that I would cook the egg quite so long next time.

Shin Ramyun! Holy crap, my poor wimpy tongue about melted when I ate this one. I had to go mix in a generous amount of sour cream to make it tolerable. Note the gimbap–I went to HMart THAT MORNING. I love their egg and crab gimbap, and it works very well with ramen.

This is the cheap 22-cent “shrimp” ramen I picked up at Walmart for taste-testing purposes. The amount of noodles in the package was about 2/3rds of what I got in the HMart ones, but still tasted just fine. I dressed it up with sauteed mushrooms, sweet potato, and green onion.

And my latest entry: Hot chicken curry ramen. I only used about 1/3 of the sauce packet and mixed in mashed sweet potatoes. I was hoping to just get the curry *flavor*, you know? Yeah, it didn’t work and my entire mouth was on fire. I just have no tolerance for spicy foods. Did that stop me from eating the entire bowl? No, no it did not.

So, drama fans, has your ramen consumption drastically increased since falling down the kdrama rabbit hole? What your favorite way to prepare ramen? I’d love more ideas–ramen is my workday lunch more often than not. Which reminds me, I have some kimchi ramen buried in my pantry somewhere…..

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

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10 thoughts on “So How About That Ramen?

  1. I’m not an “at home” dried package ramen person but I do like the big microwavable cup brands. Throw some chopped up leftover chicken, some green onions and homemade kimchi in there and I’m good to go.

  2. I’ve been eating ramen since college LOL I never liked the packets – throw them away unless it’s Shin Ramyun or some fancy gourmet organic stuff. I recently picked up a 12 pack of this soy-milk ramen at the local HM equivalent – OMG that was so excellent! I tend to cook it in whatever broth I’ve got lying about (I cook soup & such a lot) and add an egg with veggies. My fav late-night snack :d

    • I always throw away those veggie packets!! And with the egg and real veggies, it IS an excellent snack. I should do that more often, instead of cookies….

  3. Growing up, my only experience with ramen was the kids who brought for snack at the public pool, crunched it up in the packet, and ate it in pieces dry. Kdramas introduced me to it as an actual meal of noodles, not to mention multiple brands other than Top Ramen. So yes, falling down the drama hole has also meant falling down the ramen hole (and the kimchi hole and the ddeokbokki hole and etc). My favorite add is a poached egg and green onions.

    • My brothers used to eat ramen dry. I thought it was weird, but that’s because they also ate Cheerios with apple juice instead of milk, so I have no confidence in their culinary tastes. 😀 But yay for falling down the ramen/kimchi/ddoekbokki hole! We’re in good company, I think.

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