Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reminiscing Ramen

Ramen to the man.
Ramen by the man. 
Ramen for the man.

In our travels this past week, we have had some food adventures. I wouldn't exactly call us foodies by any stretch, but we have gotten quite the variety.

There was beef bowl the first night. This is thin slices of meat with some sauce atop sticky rice. The offspring were literally falling asleep in their rice bowls.

The second day we had crispy pork. This was pork tenderloin cutlets breaded and deep fried until crispy. Can anyone say delicious?

Oh, and with that we also this amazing cabbage salad. I don't know how they managed to cut it so thin and separate it, but if I figure it out, I will eat more cabbage. A lot more. It was served with a sesame type dressing.

We then tried Japanese curry. Japanese curry comes both hot and sweet, but it is a completely different beast than Indian curry. The spices are milder. My kids all really liked it. Instead of serving it on rice like I am used it, it was actually served kind of half on/half off. The Japanese are all about ascetics. How things look, not just how they taste. It is all very artistic.

a similar story to the Grey Friar's Bobby in Scotland

I should mention that everything, and I do mean, everything, is served with sticky rice. This is a short grained Japanese version. Very easy to eat with chopsticks, if you know how to wield chopsticks. This Barefoot Hippie doesn't. But I am determined to practice until I get the hang of it.

Meres is our little rice baby. I'm wondering if she has a undiscovered Japanese strain flowing through her bloodstream. She totally dug the rice. Like, every meal. A nice size bowl. Of sticky white rice. So NOT healthy. But, I guess I'd rather she eat rice than not eat at all. I think.

There is a story about Momo Toro, the peach baby. All he did was eat bowls of rice, and sleep, and grow bigger. That is, until he saved the world. I think we could totally write a Mere's version.

A notable meal we enjoyed with our friends was Mexican Haystacks. Like taco salad, but with rice. Of course.

on the Imperial Palace Grounds
My favorite form of rice was the rice balls. Plain, leftover rice from dinner, sprinkled with some simple seasoning, and then shaped into a ball. Easy, and tasty.

But, the proverbial cherry on top of our sticky rice, was ramen.

I can't begin to sing the praises of ramen.

Tokyo Station
I'm a true blue American girl. I survived my first pregnancy on ramen alone. Not because we were dirt poor or anything, but solely because it was my pregnancy craving. Package after package of beef or chicken or oriental flavored ramen. It's rather a miracle that BMV didn't pop out speaking Japanese.

Though I guess if I had been eating real ramen, there would have been no preventing it. And I would have been having even more serious ramen cravings. For, I didn't know until yesterday just what I have been missing my entire life.

Big bowls of skinny noodles cooked in homemade, somewhat milky looking, seasoned pork broth, topped with julienned slices of mushroom, generous pieces of pork, and a nice pile of green onion.

Wow! Wow! Can I get a third "Wow"?

Seriously, I'm skeptical that Indonesia will produce a culinary rival of any proportions. I'm betting, maybe rather close-mindedly, that the ramen I had yesterday will be my absolute favorite dish of the entire trip.

Because it was that good.

So, when we get back to the States, I am going to have to find a real ramen restaurant, or I am going to have to find a real ramen recipe. One or the other.

Either way, it will be a cheaper option than flying back to Tokyo. Though we do have a longish layover in Tokyo when we are heading home. Maybe I can find another bowl of ramen goodness.

Mmmhmmm....What's your favorite foreign food? Tell me in the comments...