The Great Ramen Fiasco

I’ll get this out of the way quickly: despite what I may have told you to get you in here, I’m not rich. Wait. No, what I meant to say was “there’s isn’t really any fiasco.” Sorry. I’m just used to having to clear that up with girls the morning after when they wake up and ask why I live in my parent’s house. Yeah, so in summary, there’s no fiasco, it’s just a buzzword to get you reading. Wait. Fuck.

So if you’ve decided to move on to the next paragraph, congratulations! You’re in for a good ten minutes of boring crap about me cooking noodles!

Now that that’s out of the way, time for the back-story! For a while now, my interest in cooking has been rising, possibly piquing. I’m not sure if it’s just a phase or if it will grow into a notable part of my life, but for now, it’s just a fun thing I do from time to time. And it’s not any really big cooking either. Usually just pancakes or pasta or something simple. I think the most elaborate thing I’ve made to this point is hamburgers. The important thing is that I’m slowly learning to prepare more diverse types of foods, and I’m really enjoying it.

All this stuff aside, I am still learning the basics. And that’s why some simple things can still pose me a problem. Like ramen noodles. And that’s where my latest foray into the world of food preparation has taken me.

Oh yeah. When you’re on the internet as much as I am, you hear about these bad boys all the time. All the anime-loving geeks eat ramen and pocky like they were imported straight from the Garden of Eden. Or at least that how the stereotype goes. I’d never really eaten the stuff before, but I couldn’t imagine it being any different from any other noodles I’ve eaten in my lifetime.

So I’d picked out what I was going to eat for lunch, and now I would obviously have to prepare it. But in that was my first problem. There were no cooking instructions on the bowl, and there was no way I had enough experience to just improvise. Or did I? My first thought was to fill the thing with water an microwave it, but then I noticed that the bowl said specifically not to mic it. So plan one was boned right away. I was going to have to find another way to get this done. I should mention that I know at least a handful of people who, by lifestyle alone, should theoretically know how to prepare ramen, but with me, human interaction is a last resort, so I stroked my stubble-covered chin hoping for something to click.

And then I saw it. The one thing that could get the job done. My round, squealing salvation. The tea kettle. Before you could say something with about ten or so syllables, I had cow-shaped kettle in hand and was filling it up and ready to rock. I set the stove the max, set ‘er down, and began to wait. Because I assumed the water would take a couple minutes to bring to a boil (it does when it’s in a pot…), I decided to get the ramen opened and ready for wettening.

Inside, I found a block of noodles and two small packages. One was a package of flavouring – “spicy thai” flavouring to be exact – and the other was a very saddening package of dried vegetables. Now, I appreciate the thought, but two peas just ain’t gonna do it in a whole bowl of noodles. When I have peas and noodles, I need to have a decent balance of both in each bite, and I’m thinking that even with the help of the corn niblets and carrot flakes, those peas don’t have much of a chance to satisfy my obsessive-compulsiveness. So rather than drive myself nuts with a poor vegetable-to-noodle ratio, I just tossed the veggies.

At that point, the kettle started whistling (far quicker than I has predicted that it would), so it was back to the task at hand for me. I quickly tore open the spicy thai flavour and poured it on the noddle block, and proceeded to dump the hot water into the bowl. At that moment, however, I was struck with another small dilemma: what now? Should I just mix the noodles up while they soak? Won’t the heat escape? Uh-oh! But then I had another great brainstorm: Hold the lid-flap-thing closed while the noodles soaked! They wouldn’t get mixed much, but all the heat would stay in. Neither of my dogs had any better suggestions, so that was the plan.

Lucky for me, it worked! After a couple minutes, I lifted the cover to find the noodles pleasantly soggy. I mixed them up a bit to make sure the flavouring didn’t clump, and then proceeded to dump the water. It wasn’t until I went to make the banner for this article that I did a GIS for “ramen” and discovered that you’re supposed to leave the water in. Oops. Well, you live and you learn, right?

Ah. Beautiful, no? There she stands; lady victory in all her spicy thai glory.

I have to come clean with you on something again. I didn’t actually use the chopsticks. I’ve tried over and over, but I can’t for the life of me figure the damn things out. But you know, I can’t be totally perfect. As long as the world never needs to be saved by my good use of chopsticks, I’d say we’re gonna be okay. Besides, those chopsticks have probably been there since we moved into the house, and while I’m sure that wood has no expiration date, I can’t help thinking what may have happened to them in that many years.

You think the story ends there? No. I haven’t told you about how good the noodles were yet! Simply put: they were awesome! Spicy thai is wicked tasty and spicy. I made the mistake of drinking what was left in the bottom of the bowl, and my lips felt like they were on fire for a good half-hour afterward. But damn were they good. Sadly, wrangling wet noodles is not something I do often, and I ended up making a huge spotty mess (which was actually like 3 tiny spots, I’m just a total neat freak when it comes to eating), and that made me sad because I never spill. Except today.

One thing that did bug me about the noodles was the package. Not only did it lack any form of instructions, but it also teased me with a picture of delicious toppings for my noodles. The top shows a crab claw and a plethora of peppers, but what did they provide me with? A meager (to be really nice) packet of dried vegetables. Not cool, Noodle Time. Not cool. But you know, aside from that little hiccup, I enjoyed the whole experience. I got to spend fifteen minutes in the kitchen, and the payoff was totally sweet. I highly recommend picking up some spicy thai ramen, as it’s frickin’ awesome.

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