One of my children informed me the other day that her dad calls ramen a sub-food. Aye, it is lacking in its nutritional charms…particularly the sort you get in the grocery store. But, somehow it is a food of teens. It also at points in life has been a cheap source of quick and easy meals. When your husband is out of town again and you don’t have kids eating solids or just more than an easy fix vegetable, reheat the chicken breast, and some rice -ramen is a tempting choice-especially when budgets are tight.
I do have to confess that I had an utter revulsion of ramen for years and years. My mother had some ramen back in the day and she also had an (unknown) invasion of pantry pests. One day when I had the flu, she insisted I go get something to eat or suggested ramen or something. I cooked it only to find BUGS in it. I started screaming about it semi-hysterically and my mother told me it was just my fever…because by that point I had dumped the whole thing out. (She wasn’t so calm several days later when she got a box of something out of the same cabinet and discovered I was right. I didn’t touch another ramen noodle until after my second child was born.
One of my favorite ramen meals (but no one else’s) actually came from my first gig working online at Parent Soup. On one of the boards, the topic one day turned to meals eaten alone and a member discussed her combination of beef ramen with peanut butter. I gagged. I did. But then she went on to talk more about it and I thought ok, I should try that. I did. I fell in love. I ate a lot of it. Then fell out of love with it and ate none for years. It wasn’t until I had a house of teens (the older set) that it came back into my life. I also had the first flare of tummy troubles and a bit of noodles was a decent choice for not immediately hating food.
Now, the younger set of teens (and a tween) eat ramen. Boy is Kim Chi Ramen fan. Teen girl likes it with leftover holiday sauce-so that it is like pasta fettuccine. Youngest is of the opinion the natural sodium level is not enough and adds soy sauce and sesame oil. Ok, all of them add sesame oil. That is my doing. Back in the early 90s, oodles of noodles or top ramen had a sesame ramen that came with a tiny packet of sesame oil to add. It really was my first experience with known sesame oil. This was at the same time I found love with peanut butter ramen. It went off the market and I had to start buying my own sesame oil.
Boy looks at a lot of ramen recipe sites. He has a friend who promotes the egg in ramen idea. He also ponders the possibilities of ramen additions quite a bit.
Oh well…soon enough they will join the rest of the family in their disdain for the ramen-at least until money is tight.
This ramble on ramen brought to you courtesy of a tummy ache, a busy day and “scrounge” the word of the day for dinner.