Tag Archives: Food

My Chapaguri Experience

I was browsing through the online grocer from whom I usually buy my instant noodles and other Asian groceries. While looking around for the usual Shin Ramyun and Kimchi Ramyun, I came across an item not usually seen in India. You can usually spot some varieties of the the extremely spicy Buldaak – popular in India for expected reasons, but way too spicy for my palate. But this was different and didn’t look spicy. It was called Chapaguri.

Continue reading My Chapaguri Experience

Instant Ramen and why I love it

I wasn’t a ramen fan until I had true ramen for the first time, in a Japanese ramen-ya in Tokyo in 2009. The best way to have ramen is to visit a ramen-ya (typical Japanese ramen bar) which are common anywhere in Japan. For us outsiders, the ramen produced by most outlets in Japan would be nothing short of excellent, so just hopping in to any convenient one would normally do.

But there are still times when a ramen-ya isn’t really convenient. Such as when you return really late and most shops have closed. Or you just want to eat comfortably in your hotel room instead. So during our recent trip to Japan we tried something different. We tried pre-packed instant ramen from the convenience stores. After all most of them are open 24/7.

What surprised me most was how good these instant ramen products were. They usually come in big sealed plastic bowls with the noodles and various other dry and wet ingredients in their individual pouches, to be steeped in hot water. Not unlike many other Asian instant noodle solutions.

But unlike most other Asian instant noodles, these ramen packages don’t skimp on the additional toppings and ingredients, such as menma (fermented bamboo shoot), egg or slices of meat.

The result is a wholesome ramen experience anywhere you want and at any time.

See the video below for for how we prepared our instant ramen from start to finish. Doesn’t it look good?

The sad thing is most of these excellent instant ramen products are not easily available outside of Japan, especially in India.

Shin Ramyun Instant Noodles

It may seem awkward to start a food blog with an instant noodle but I am an avid fan of all noodles, the instant variety included. It perhaps goes with my general liking of East Asian culture and food, but anyway, let’s talk about the subject matter here – Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun noodles.

In India the market for non-Indian instant noodles is very scant. So for us connoisseurs of Thai instant noodles or instant Japanese ramen, it is very difficult to find products to stay happy with.

On my recent trip to Japan, I tried several instant ramen products and I must say they are almost as good as those in a ramen-ya (ramen bar) with all the various ingredients and topping included. And they are easy to make too – you only need a kettle of hot water.

So this brings me to Shin Ramyun. It’s a Korean instant noodle but probably the only thing close to Japanese ramen that is at least sometimes available in the Indian market.

Pack of Nongshim's Shin Ramyun instant noodles
Pack of Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun instant noodles

It does not come with the exotic toppings of instant ramen like dehydrated bamboo shoots and egg, it does have enough material to make an wholesome broth, and over 500ml of it. It comes with a generous sachet of dehydrated vegetable flakes including pieces of shiitake mushrooms.

The circular noodle cake and sachets of vegetables and soup powder
The circular noodle cake and sachets of vegetables and soup powder

The particular variety I had this time was the extra spicy kind, so it may be a little too spicy for some but I don’t mind at all. I also like the hint of sesame oil in the flavor. Some would argue that the noodles are different from ramen. But they are very good.

The final product