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Ramen Wars, Day IV: The Riddle of Yakisoba

I've got a cold, so my sensitive palate is not at the height of its discriminatory powers, but I'm in that little window where the medicine has cleared me up for a short while, so I can sorta taste stuff. And anything hot gets bonus points just for that.



I may not know much about Asian cuisine, but Sapporo Ichiban CHOW MEIN is not chow mein. Period. This is ramen and it has a seaweed packet. (It says on the back: DRIED SEAWEED 0.009 OZ.) Chow mein is a fried noodle dish and it has nothing to do with seaweed. I wonder what people across Asia think of each others' noodle traditions. I imagine a Japanese ramen magnate sneering in distaste at the necessity of calling his product chow mein in order to sell it to non-Japanese.

Well, whatever this is, I've never eaten anything quite like it. It's kind of musty and a little sour, yet it makes sense that caramel is listed as an ingredient. (So is vinegar.) I had to sort of decide that I liked it, but I was able to make that leap. And at only 313mg sodium, it's a health food superstar in ramen-land. Definitely worth a shot for your more adventurous noodle tourist.

UPDATE: A thoughtful reader alerted me to the fact that  I prepared this incorrectly. Its proper name is Yakisoba.  I went back and reread the tiny intructions...


Oh, you're supposed to put it into a pan with only 1 cup of water and let the noodles absorb the water, which would make it more like chow mein.  It's pretty sad when you can't prepare packaged noodles, but cooking is not exactly my strong suit.  That's why I buy instant ramen and frozen burritos dozens at a time.  I'll pick up another package and try again. 
Tags: ramen
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