Last week, my wife was going out with a friend for dinner, so I was on my own for the evening. And as much as I love eating with my wife, I look forward to the times when she leaves me alone. Because this means I get to eat ramyun. Not ramen. Ramyun.
is an American thing. Ramen was something I ate in college (and for several years after college due to budgetary constraints). Back in St. Louis at the time, you could find it on sale for 10 for a dollar.
Ramyun, on the other hand, is a Korean thing. It’s spelled different because that’s how Koreans pronounce it. “myun” is the Korean word for noodles. and the “ra” part of ramyun, I don’t know what that means. But its unusual because it’s pronounced with almost a rolling R sound.
The Korean language is weird because it has a full complement of sounds. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head that Koreans shouldn’t be able to pronounce is an F sound (it typically comes out as “eh puh”) or a V sound (typically comes out like a B). But, Koreans have a hard time with a lot of things, like L’s, R’s, and even S’s, despite the fact that the Korean language does make frequent use of them.
For example, Koreans can certainly make the S sound. The capital city, Seoul, makes use of the S sound. But, for some weird reason, “Jesus” always comes out as “Je Jus.”
Koreans can also make an R sound, as in “ramyun.” But try and put a R sound and an S sound in the same word, such as “New Jersey,” and it comes out as “New Juh Jee.”
Shin Ramyun: You pretty much can follow the package instructions for this.
- boiling water.
- instant shin ramyun.
- instant shin ramyun spice packet.
- instant shin ramyun veggie packet.
- 1 egg.
Growing up, I never knew how much water to add. For some reason, I remember the packages not having any instructions in English. They were usually in Japanese because we ate a lot of Ichiban
. (Back then, they didn’t have all the flavors that they have today. There was only the original flavor, I think it was Oriental.) The only way I knew how to make ramyun was to fill the ramyun pot with a certain amount of water. I think it’s about a cup or two. But I still just fill up the pot to the same level, whatever amount of water that may be.
Once the water is boiling, add the noodles. They are pre-cooked and dried into a crisp brick of noodles. When they hit the water, they soften and loosen up. This takes a remarkably short amount of time. Once this happens, add the full amounts of the spice packet and the veggie packet.
My dad only adds about half of the spice packet. Otherwise, he thinks it is too spicy, which is weird because he eats ramyun with kimchee on the side. I add the whole thing, even though I don’t think there’s much in it besides cayenne powder and maybe also msg.
I used to never add the veggie packet. It’s full of finely minced pieces of dried vegetable-ish material of indiscernible origin. But, back when buying good ramyun, rather than cheap ramen, was a splurge, I started eating the veggie packet too.
Once everything is in, I then crack an egg and drop it into the boiling pot. You then have to take your chopsticks and stir everything around briskly. The idea is that you want the egg to break up like a egg drop soup. Some pieces of the egg will be yellow, some will be white, and that’s the charm of it. You don’t want to beat the egg before hand. Plus, it’s still instant noodles. You want to minimize the amount of dishes.
Once the egg is in, you’re done. You don’t really have to worry about it cooking all the way through. The water is boiling, and by the time you get the noodles from the pot to the bowl and the bowl to the table to eat, the egg will be cooked just right.
This particular ramyun is my absolute favorite. The broth itself is light in flavor, and the redness of it comes from the fact that it is spicy spicy. Usually, I eat it just like this. But, it’s even better if you can toss in a scoop of Korean sticky rice and can get some kimchee to go with it too.
I love eating this in the winter. It’s one of the only things that can warm me up when I’m cold. It’s also particularly good for hangovers.