Vifon "'Phnom Penh' Style"

Brand: Vifon
Flavour: "Phnom Penh" Style
Format: plastic bowl
Packets: four
Identifiables: rice noodle mat, garlicky oil, veggie bits, bacon bits, sand
Sodium: 1.63 grams

Today has been a rough day for the Keet. I was shorted on sleep, my iPod isn't working so hot, and I scalded myself slightly making lunch. I'm cranky. It's naptime, but I owe you good folks a ramen review. So I tore open the cellophane on this sturdier-than-it-looks bowl of ramen. It was the harder type of cellophane, the sort that static-clings to anything and everything. I read the instructions.

Cut and put soup base packs, vegetable pack into the bowl. I can handle that. The lid came off easily, and then I pulled the translucent mat of rice noodles out of the way to find a packet that held four packets within. Having a packet of packets may seem absurd, but consider that if they hadn't been in a single unified packet, I'd have been digging around in loose noodles for packets like a crazed child tearing through a grass-filled Easter basket for that last peanut-butter cup she knows is in there somewhere. I also removed the fork. Handy, that.

Pour enough boiling water (400ml). So, I put about 425ml in a flask – oh, all right, it was just a glass measuring cup – and irradiated it until it boiled. It turns out that 400ml is not "enough"; it didn't quite rise to the internal line. By that point, however, I had other things on my mind, most predominantly the scald I'd gotten from the hot measuring glass.

Cover the bowl for 3 minutes. During this time, I ran cold water over my hand to ease the scald. Also, I opened the packets to pour them in. One had a standard array of veggie bits. Another had what really did look and slightly smell like bacon bits. (Artificial pork flavour is indeed listed in the ingredients.) The third was filled with the soup base which looked entirely like sand. You thought I was joking! The fourth was the infamous garlicky oil packet. All of these were well-pinked and opened easily, but this fourth managed to get oil all over my freshly-scalded hand. The fear set in. What if there were some reaction and the oil stayed? Perhaps I'd never be able to wash it off and I'd smell garlicky forever. "Do you smell garlic?" my friends would ask. "I smell of garlic," I would explain, and share my tale of woe involving Vietnamese ramen.

The noodles now is ready to serve. This is, of course, quoted verbatim. I photographed the noodles in their slightly oily but blandly-coloured broth, and nearly spilled the mess in the process. I thought it would be just my luck if the reward for all the effort were for something sour and inedible, but as it turns out the result was a fairly tasty Vietnamese soup. The garlic comes through a bit strong, but it works well with the other well-balanced flavours. I happily slurped the noodles, glad for my day's misfortune to have had a pleasant break.

Then I dropped the short fork directly into the broth.

Some days, it's hard to be the Keet.

Numbers: packaging 4, preparation 3, heat 2, flavour 3, overall 3

Music: David Bowie - Omikron: The Nomad Soul (PC) - The Dreamers


Anonymous said...

I still prefer Tops Raman.

-- creature

Anonymous said...

Lab rule #1: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.