I've begun at last to accept the fact that even packaged "instant" noodles are not truly instant and require some attention to the directions and my attendance in that part of the house where the stove is, whatever that's called. This one gave me two choices: I could boil it all together for 2 minutes or pour boiling water into a bowl, cover it and wait 3-5 minutes. No brainer. As soon as I poured the packets into the boiling water, BLAM! I was right back in China, eating at a sidewalk cafe. I'm not going to say this was anywhere near as good as the noodles I got in China last summer, but I will say it's the only thing I have eaten in the States that smelled like real Chinese food from China. SLURP SLURP SLURP. Loved it.
UPDATE: As I noted in my first Ramen Wars column, the grocer warned me about toxic chemicals in the noodles he was selling me, though his wife shushed him. My friend Mo from Texas pointed me to a news item that may have been the source of his concern. I think we have to be honest with ourselves here and admit that these are what Michael Pollan calls "edible foodlike substances" and that they come from a part of the world where food safety measures are even more lax than our own. Eating a lot of them will probably lead to paralysis and death.
But they're so yummy! NOM NOM NOM.