I have mentioned several times that with so much time on their hands, and so much stress in their lives, people are cooking like never before. If you have checked out the Facebook group, Cooking and Coping, of which I am an avid member, you will see what I mean. Some are cooking out of boredom, some have the urge to be creative, and others are trying to save a buck or two and stretch the family food budget. I guess I am in all those groups.
Some of the crazy things I have made were nothing more than pairing what leftovers I had in the fridge. Cream cheese and hot mustard on a cracker, a hot dog with collard greens, and the bean and bacon soup poured over a baloney sandwich are examples. I have also had a hankering for grilling and have made hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, but I have been using some hickory wood that I have had in the shed for years for fuel. I think that a hardwood fire is superior to all other methods of grilling, including hardwood charcoal, and gas. That has been fun and successful too.
But there is one recipe that I have always loved, but not done much with until recently, and that is ramen. Yes, ramen is the noodle package that you might have lived on in college, but what the Japanese do with ramen, which is a national obsession, far exceeds what that little package of noodles and its seasonings can offer.
Most grocery stores have a small section of ramen noodles, but that is not the good stuff. If you head to a good Asian market, and the best one I know, the Lee International Market, on Division Street in Biloxi, you are going to be surprised at what you find. Not only do they have one whole aisle devoted to Asian style noodles, they have another forty-foot run of nothing but ramen noodles. I usually buy the Mama brand, which is inexpensive and good, but it is not the best. The best that I have found is Nissin Raoh, the king of ramen, but it is only available on the internet (check out Amazon). The noodles are chewy and delicious, and I think the seasonings that they come with are good too. My favorite so far is the soy sauce flavor.
But you know me, I am never satisfied with leaving something the way it comes. I have done a little research and come up with a general recipe that I like very much. I make the noodles according to the instructions, but I use homemade chicken stock. I add leftover chicken, or ham, and add to that a soft-boiled egg. I also like to add a little hot sauce, but not much, and just a drop of sesame oil, but a little goes a long way, so be careful. I really think a good bowl of steaming hot ramen, with the soft-boiled egg floating on top, is the best comfort food I know.
Google ramen recipes and come up with something of your own and try to find a better-quality noodle. Ramen is going to be a part of my home menu for a long time to come. Itadakimasu!