I’ve blogged before about my recipe for supplemented ramen (and since then, Brooke has suggested adding egg to the list of potential supplementing ingredients, and that makes a delightful difference — thanks Brooke!), but for a couple of reasons I’m beginning to explore beyond merely supplementing ramen packages.
Reason One, I’m determined to start improving my cooking habits in general. Ramen is cheap and easy, even supplemented, and that helps provide simple, inexpensive, rapid food at the end of a tiring day. But I ought to be able to put together a simple noodle meal without a package, so I want to figure out how to do it myself. Reason Two, I’m concerned to achieve more complete ingredient control. Margaret will be here for a couple of weeks this winter, and I’d like to be able to prepare gluten-free comestibles for my wonderful wife. And Mark reminded me that some ramen is not vegetarian-friendly, and Margaret noted that I should watch out for MSG and salt. OK already; if I make it myself, these will not be problems.
So what will I do? Rice noodles shouldn’t be too hard to come by, so I’ll track some of those down in preference to the wheat noodles in most ramen packages. Plain rice would do, too, if I can’t put my hands on mei fun (I have a rice cooker here, thank heaven). I’ll throw in some of the supplementary ingredients that I cataloged before. That leaves the “flavor sacs,” the little packets of chemicals that induce you to think that you’re eating something tastier than just boiled noodles.
After some googling around, I have a line on some DIY seasoning combinations. I’d like to be able to make one or two different curry versions, a version that tilts more toward teriyaki flavor, and perhaps one other direction. Vegetable bouillon will be one ingredient; garlic, curry, ginger, chili (for me, not Margaret), perhaps powdered milk, soy sauce. I’m not sure what to try for proportions (and I don’t mean to use all the ingredients I just listed in every dish!), and I’m open to nominations for other ingredients, but when I arrive at substitute seasoning recipes for my DIY “ramen” noodle dishes, I’ll definitely post them here.