I have a confession… I'm a noodle snob.!!

Ramen, Teppanyaki and Sushi.

This post contains videos and is best viewed in Web view format at hmmstudio.com

I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Ramen or any noodle dish.

Nothing beats fresh noodles, especially if you have visited or lived in the area of which the dish originates. I am not a chef and would prefer to eat a professionally created dish than my own interpretation of a dish.

Instant Ramen Tips and Tricks

But, like a lot of people, I have packet noodles in the pantry for the convenience and quick to prepare nature of the dish.
My personal favourite is Mi Goreng Noodles. Unlike others it doesn’t just come with a powder flavouring. It has a fried onion sachet, along with a sachet with 3 tunnelled sections with real sauces, sweet soy sauce, chilli sauce and seasoning oil. You can buy a pack of 5 for around AUD$1.38 – $2 depending on the store and country you are in.

Ramen is popular with Uni /College students, and can be cooked in a microwave. I am guilty of cooking them in a microwave on many occasions through necessity and lack of a hot plate or grill top. However the noodles are often soggy and overcooked, and well, just awful.

Many countries have Ramen as a staple dish, Korea is one such country. So this Epicurious blog post on how to cook your packet Ramen noodles according to Koreans, was very interesting. It is specifically about cooking packet noodles for those do-it- yourself people who are after a quick home cooked noodle dish.

I followed Matt Rodbard’s instructions, and low and behold it was not only a big improvement but was very palatable. I like his style of writing and communication, quite witty but informative.

Tip: If you use the Mi Goreng Packet as I used, follow Matt’s brilliant instructions, add the powder seasoning and fried onions at the start as he says, but add the extra 3 liquid sauce sachets at the end just before you add the egg. I also added a bulb of Pak Choy and ham at the same time. He has follow up instruction recipes for toppings to your Ramen.

Below is my final result, quite chuffed with myself. Thanks Matt.!!

Below inset is an excerpt from the Epicurious Blog post by Matt Rodbard


How to Make the Best Instant Ramen

“Yes, You Need a Recipe for Instant Ramen
(You also need a paper fan.)

I know what you’re thinking. A recipe for instant ramen? Don’t you just follow the directions on the package—boil water, dump in noodles and spice packets, and “stir occasionally”?

For some, this vague and imprecise approach produces a satisfactory result. The noodles are warm, the broth is seasoned. But, as I found out when writing my cookbook, Koreatown,
Koreans have a ramen process that makes for a better bowl”

Read more at Epicurious


Living and eating in Japan

When I lived in Japan I only had a hotplate, no microwave or oven, traditionally they did not use ovens as the west do. Most city dwellings were very small, so space did not allow for oven structures in homes, today might be different. But I don’t think the lack of space factor has changed.

Eating out in Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka was the norm, especially since there were noodle bars on nearly every corner, or sushi and sashimi trains – moving travelators of food. Where you sit at a bar and just select different dishes as they go bye, literally ” healthy fast food”, haha. Cooking at home, was usually not for main meals. I am only talking from a city person who worked there. The dwelling was mainly used for sleeping and bathing. Many Asian countries use only a hot plate/stove top/grill top as their main cooking structure.

And before you ask, I slept on a genuine futon mat, approx 5cm thick, that I rolled out every night, on a tatami floor, a soft cushioned floor. This room was also my living room.
These floors are special and you always remove your shoes before entering.

Below inset is an excerpt from Tsunagu Japan about Tatami mats/floor.


13 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tatami

“Tatami mats are a traditional flooring unique to Japan. Here are 13 facts about these mats to enlighten you the next time you enter a room of Tatami.”

Read more at tsunagujapan. com


The bathroom protocol was an entire walk in bathroom shower room, where you rinse yourself prior to getting into the bath or shower.

The city streets were very clean and the people were polite, but never intruded into other peoples space or personal business. I guess they have become accustomed to appreciating personal space.

In most countries cigarettes are behind lock and key, in Japan they had upmarket new age vending machines on the side walk. The whole vending machine would be stolen or vandalized in the country I am currently in, they only consist of snack food and are not out on the side walk, only inside premises to avoid vandals and theft.

Normal crime was not an issue over there and I could safely walk around the city at night by myself after working all day. Of course I am not saying crime does not exist, but I differentiate between different kinds of crime.

Of most use to me out of their array of vending machines was their on the go coffee and tea, in a can, both hot and cold versions out of the vending machines.

It was nearly 20 years ago when I lived in Japan. Staying in hotels is different, you have different experiences. Both are great, just different.

Looking for a fun and entertaining night out, for both adults and kids

Teppanyaki is also a favourite of mine, not just for the taste. The extensively trained chefs are very interesting and entertaining to watch and participate in the process. A night out at a restaurant is not just about the superb food, it’s also about entertainment. A teppanyaki chef is best described as having
expertise, mastery, showmanship and precision.

Below is an entertaining video. – 16.31 min
Watch “Teppanyaki LOBSTER & STEAK – Amazing knife skills and fire cooking”

For Serious Steak Lovers- Kobe beef.

Any serious beef or steak lover would be familiar with Kobe beef or Wagyu beef.

Below inset is an excerpt from an article by Japan-guide.com describing the beef and process.

Kobe Beef. World famous local brand of wagyu meet

“Kobe Beef is distinguished as a tender, flavorful meat that is well marbled with fat.”

“Kobe Beef is usually served as steaks, shabu shabu (thin slices of meat quickly boiled in a broth) or sukiyaki (meat slices simmered in a hot pot). One of the best ways to enjoy Kobe Beef is at a teppanyaki restaurant, where a chef grills the meat on an iron plate in front of his guests. “

Read more at Japan-guide.com

This next video demonstrates how to masterfully cook Kobe beef to perfection, as per the customers request.
Watch “Real Kobe beef teppanyaki in Japan by a master” – 5 min

The work ethic and meticulous skills of a sushi chef.

Sushi and Sashimi chefs are meticulous and presentation is very important. They train for about 10 years before they can claim to be a master. The same is said for a Teppanyaki chef, but depends on their ability and speed to learn.

Below is a video about a day in the life of a Sushi Master Chef actually in Japan. It will make you appreciate sushi & sashimi the next time you eat it, wherever you are in the world.

Watch “A Day In The Life Of A Sushi Master Chef.” – 10.46 min

Of course going to a restaurant with master chefs is different from the noodle bars or sushi trains, but they are all an experience and serve a different purpose.
If possible, I would recommend experiencing the real deal in Japan, where you can feel the cultural significance as well. – by Heidi M

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