Training & Nutrition - Ramen noodles
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I just returned home from Japan yesterday.
While I was there, I ate plenty of resturaunt ramen noodles. Oh, man the real thing is so much better than the dried stuff we get in the States. God bless America and all that, but the Japanese really have the noodle soup thing figured out.
Naturally, anybody accustomed to a real bowl of hand pounded ramen noodles couldn't stand for a bowl of reconstituted dried ramen from the package. Instead, you can get packages of instant raw noodles at the grocery store. I bought 35 packages of these and brought them home to the States. "Where are the Mikimoto pearls?!" my wife asked when I got to the bottom of the suitcase...
Anyway, I remember being on a ski bus and seeing a couple of teenagers eating packages of uncooked ramen noodles right out of the wrapper. They sprinkled the powdered soup-base right on the dried noodles and ate it like some kind of space-age biscuit.
Is this a new trend in sports foods, or were these kids just naive Russian refugees?
Anybody have the latest scoop on ramen noodles? Are they the sports fuel of today's trendsetters? Any suggested recipes? Go raw or naw?
1. Afficionados of ramen might also like to probe the wealth of Vietnamese noodles available in Asian markets.
2. Probably most cities, like Kansas City (hey, if it's here it must be everywhere, we have such limited imagination!:) ), have at least one company that makes and packages (relatively) fresh noodles. Some are vacuum sealed to retain freshness. These cook in a couple of minutes instead of 8-12, and are pretty good. They should be refrigerated to prevent molding, after opening.
3. It's very easy to make your own noodles. There's a catch, though: it tends to be very messy.
You don't even need a machine (though plenty of manual and electric ones are for sale). You can just cut the rolled-up sheets of dough with a knife as thick, thin, plain, or fancy as you please. You dry the noodles over clothesline or wooden dowels. Or I don't see why you couldn't lay them out on nylon mesh and dry them that way.
Your homemade noodles cook in one to two minutes. You can add crushed chili peppers, various vegetable juices or pulp, etc. to the dough and the sky's the limit.
I don't do it these days because I'm so lazy.
It occurs to me that if you wanted to get a more Asian kind of noodle, you could use rice flour instead of wheat flour. I imagine rice flour is available in Asian markets, though I haven't looked for it (see above comment on laziness). But it is very easy to make your own rice flour (I've done it) by grinding raw rice in an electric coffee grinder.
My youngest son, who IS NOT a sports person at all like them. He cooks the noodles, pours the powdered "stuff" on, stirs, and lets it sit for a few minutes. Then he eats the noodles only, being careful not to get much of the broth. Maybe its the "sodium fix" he gets??
JonR is right. The Vietnamese noodles are excellent. Here in Atlanta we have a restaurant called Doc Chey's. You can watch them cut up the veggies for their soups. Everything is made fresh. I wish they were close to work. A bowl of their soup would be great right now, even though it is 85+ degrees outside.
Good eating ;)
07-21-01, 02:53 AM
If you have a Vietnamese "Pho" restaurant in your area- GO do not delay you will LOVE it. It's usually pretty cheap and I'm sure you'll like it. The last thread was VERY right.
If they have "Cafe' Sua" on the menu, try it too. It's chicory coffee individually "drip brewed" into a glass that has a layer of sweetened condensed milk in the bottom. The first time I tried it, I thought; "This is too weird" then I tasted it and loved it and now I've learned how to make it at home, both the coffee and the Pho!
07-21-01, 10:52 AM
Thanks, guys! I used to love Ramen noodles, but now I am avoiding partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, since nutrition experts are condemning it as much worse than plain lard.
I will look for the real thing, now. Atlanta is booming with "international" businesses, so I should be able to find something good in real noodles.
One day I asked the man who operates a small hamburger/fish/chicken/fried rice restaurant what kind of oil he uses in cooking. "I use liquid canola oil," he said. "It's more expensive, but better for you." I was thrilled. I hope he was telling the truth.
07-23-01, 11:56 AM
You may find the Korean and Japanese noodles at an Asian grocer. These are the type that are not dried but rather pliable (soba I think) and come with the same flavor packet. These are cheap and taste excellent. My favorite dish that I enjoyed in Korea was called Cha Jang Myun (spelling is way off but pronunciation is close), noodles with black bean sauce and a fried egg on top...Excellent.
DON'T QUOTE ME BUT I BELIEVE THE EATING OF DRIED RAMENS BEGAN IN THE LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING CRAZE. THE LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKER EATS THEM WITHOUT HEATING / BOILING THEM TO CONSERVE THE WEIGHT OF HAVING TO BRING FUEL. THEN THEY BEGAN POSTING IT IN THE LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKER FORUM AS A ALTERNATIVE TO HEATED FOOD AS WELL AS A QUICK AND EASY TRAIL SNACK. HOPE THIS HELPS
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