My life this summer has been excruciatingly hectic with launching the Asian Culinary Forum in San Francisco and working on a writing project. To take away from the pressures of putting together a home-cooked food every day, I’ve resorted to taking an instant ramen holiday.
Stop laughing. When I was in Hong Kong this spring, what were people snacking on for breakfast and lunch? Instant noodles. They were paying for it! My first morning in Kowloon, I had a shallow bowl of instant ramen noodles with a lovely fried pork chop and some Chiu Chow chili oil. In Central on Hong Kong side, young people hovered in stalls eating instant noodles during their lunch breaks. Instant noodles are cheap and fast. You can doll up the ramen with practically anything.
That got me thinking about instant pho noodle packets sold at many Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Hell, at the humongous Ranch 99 in Milpitas a few days ago, there was an entire aisle devoted to a pan-Asian selection of instant noodles. My interest was in the Vietnamese stuff and I had a number of revelations over the course of several meals of instant noodles.