Budget: Eating in day 1: My favorite cold ramen

Budget: Eating in day 1: My favorite cold ramen

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Ok, yesterday, I admit I failed starting my 7-day challenge.  The casino emailed me a one-day only 8/30/17 food voucher for $20 so I had to!  It was free food.  So off Carol and I went.  I made the mistake of ordering a prickly pear margarita $10 which came with a free mesquite pork taco and was informed the voucher does not cover alcohol at checkout.  Sooo darn!

Looks like my $5 a day for food was blown.  So I put in $6 on a slot machine and got back $86.  Ok, this I can work with, lol.  I gave Carol a little for gas.  So I made a profit on the food.  Carol and I ran out (well, hobbled as she needs a cane but you get the idea) before I put the money back in. I think I will put $50 towards repainting the kitchen since I’ll be spending some time there anyways.

So back to my 7-day challenge of eating in.  Starting over today. Geez, this reminds me of a diet. Being good, looking to see what I have.  I found my favorite cold ramen in the pantry.  Oh good, I can boil water, lol. I love semi-instant food.

In Japan, I got introduced to a favorite summer food: cold ramen. Of course, the restaurant makes it much prettier than I do.  I buy the $2  package of Japanese cold ramen from the local Asian food store.  The only one I’ve found so far who carries it is at Columbus and Pima but I make the drive as I love it. You might have to go to several Asian food stores before you find one that carries it.

As far as price goes, it’s an import so when stores get a new shipment, the prices jump.  So probably it’s between $2 and $3 these days depending on when the store got their last shipment.  Amazon also carries Myojo Chukazanmai Hiyashi Chuka Instant Cold Noodles, 4.93-Ounce (Pack of 6) for $16.36 if you don’t have any locally.  August 31, 2017 it was showing a 20% off sale for $15.54.

It’s pretty simple to make.  Basically you just throw it in boiling water.  I usually add stuff to mine so there are other things I throw in the water first. When I first set the water to boil, I usually throw in some wakame, that lovely dried seaweed that blossoms in the water.  Lasts forever in the pantry so it doesn’t matter if you forgot it for a bit like I did and is loaded with iron.

If you’re on a budget, you can get wakame cheaper at the Asian food store by getting the Korean version.  It doesn’t really matter.  I have no clue what it’s called but the clerk can usually show you the Korean package. I’ll ask the name next time I go to see how much it is on Amazon, if it’s cheaper there too.

When the water is boiling, throw in the noodles for about 3 minutes.

The marinade package you do NOT put in the boiling water.  You put it directly into your bowl.  Think of it more as a marinade, not soup. They also give you a small package of hot mustard.  You can choose whether to mix the mustard into the soup or have it separate.  I like to squeeze the mustard near the rim of my bowl so it’s separate and then dip my noodles into it while I eat.

Add a little ice water to the marinade — geez how much?  It’s not really a soup, more like a marinade for your noodles.  So 1/8 cup or less should be enough because you’re also going to get some water runoff from rinsing your noodles. Stir it until any lumps of the paste smoothed  out.

If you want, you can add a couple ice cubes.  That’s what they often did in Japan.  I like to do it on really hot days –which is like everyday in the summer in Arizona, lol.

I usually like to fry up a strip of bacon with a few slices of onion or veggies, whatever I have on hand.  Onions or mushrooms are always good as they work cooked or cold.

If you’re on a diet or want to make it real quick, I’d throw in a handful of frozen veggies. If I’m doing carrots, I would have thrown in the slices to boil along with the noodles to soften them.

If you’re doing a large sausage or something, remember to start those a bit earlier because noodles don’t take that long. That’s the thing I love about cold ramen, I can throw just about any meat or bits of veggies I have with it.  Everything works.

I had a bit of salmon that I had set out to defrost so I threw that in to fry with the bacon.

Oooh, don’t forget the noodles.  When they are done, rinse them in cold water to get the heat out.  Then dump the noodles in the marinade and stir.   Throw on top any meat or veggies you sliced or cooked. Easy-peasy.

I said I was going to start simple, lol.

References:

Sandyi Oriental Market
4270 E Pima St, Tucson, AZ 85712

Amazon:  Japanese cold ramen and wakame and a couple of Japanese noodle cookbooks.


Myojo Chukazanmai Hiyashi Chuka Instant Cold Noodles,
4.93-Ounce (Pack of 6)

Wel-Pac – Fueru Wakame (Dried Seaweed)
Net Wt. 2 Oz. (Pack of 2)

Ramen, Udon & Beyond: A Collection of Simple Japanese Noodle Recipes (pb, Feb. 4, 2013)
by Cooking Penguin
Ok, it got good reviews on Amazon but mostly I want to get it because it cracks me up to imagine a penguin cooking ramen

Takashi’s Noodles
This one I want to get because I love the description:
Combining traditional Japanese influences, French technique, and more than 20 years of cooking in the Midwest, James Beard Award-winning chef Takashi Yagihashi introduces American home cooks to essential Japanese comfort food with his simple yet sophisticated recipes. Emphasizing quick-to-the-table shortcuts, the use of fresh and dried packaged noodles, and kid-friendly dishes, Takashi explains noodle nuances and explores each style’s distinct regional identity. An expert guide, Takashi recalls his youth in Japan and takes cooks on a discovery tour of the rich bounty of Japanese noodles, so readily accessible today. Takashi’s exuberance for noodles ranging from Aje-Men to Zaru is sure to inspire home cooks to dive into bowl after soothing, refreshing bowl.

I’m an Amazon affiliate and receive 4.5% if folks click on the book and buy it.  Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

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