Golden Wheat "Korean Style Stew Pork Flavour"

Brand: Golden Wheat
Flavour: Korean Style Stew Pork Flavour
Format: brick-in-packet
Packets: three
Identifiables: noodle wall, veggie bits, flavour powder, pork sludge
Sodium: 2.31 grams

Just look at that package. This sort of ramen can be a nightmare if you're not prepared. The packet has no fewer than four languages. Even knowing two of them, I feel ill-equipped to tackle the thing. It reads "porc cubes" very clearly, and how could that possibly scare me, right? Perhaps the best part is that special care is taken to inform me that this is a "cooking noodle". Is that a noodle that can cook? Is that a noodle one uses to cook with? Is it already in the process of slow-cooking within the packet like self-heating coffee?

The directions are simple. "Put noodle and flavouring bag into boiling water (700ml) for 5–6 minutes and then it is ready for serving." The first point I'll note is that a package explicit enough to tell me that the noodle inside is for cooking somehow misses the critical steps of opening the flavouring bag... or that there are three such sachets inside, none of them labelled in English or French. The next point is that the French cooking directions have the header "MODE D'EMPLOL" which... is... sort of close. Finally, not only are there microwave directions, but a second set of "spaghetti cooking directions" below are basically exactly the same except for omitting the flavouring. The only logical interpretation of this is as a warning sign, a method of giving the consumer a second chance to "add your favourite pasta sauce". I considered following the implicit advice, but that would be unfair to you, dear readers.

The packaging was all easy to open, and the inner packets were rather well pinked. One of those packets contained standard-issue vegetable bits. A second had sand-like flavouring powder. The third, however, held a bizarre sort of grainy orange-brown oily sludge that took real work to squeeze out of the packet and into the pot. A small glob accidentally hit the burner, and I readied myself to open a window, but not a single wisp of smoke came from the lump as it boiled away. I suppose inexplicable things happen sometimes.

After five minutes, I poured the cooked mess into the bowl and found that there were indeed tiny little cubes of something vaguely resembling fried pork. My ramen had more pork in it than the average can of "pork n' beans"! And the aroma, the thick, enticing aroma....

This ramen tastes like Pork. I could say it tastes like pork, but it's more than that; it's a lot of pork, and once I've said that I realise that it's actually more pork than pork is, so it must be the very essence of pork, hence the capitalisation. Read it a second time: this ramen tastes like Pork. There are little bits of cabbage and carrot and such, and they provide a nice counterpoint to the Pork. Cooking the perfectly-textured noodles with all the flavouring means that they've even absorbed a goodly measure of Pork. I can't stop eating it. The broth is even more intense, like a sort of unholy and addictive pig nectar or something. This instant noodle is unfairly awesome. The only way this could be better is if I didn't have to prepare it in a pot but... well, actually opened it up to find just-cooked noodles.

I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 2, heat 1, flavour 5, overall 5
Music: Ryoji Yoshitomi - Wario Land 4 (GBA) - Arabian Night


Amber (Geek in Progress) said...

I just had the spicy beef flavor... it is what I would call 'sneaky hot'. The heat doesn't hit you until after you have savored the beefy noodly goodness. You should see if you can find it, being someone who likes the heat!

Love the blog, by the way.

Electric Keet said...

I love food that has a slow ramp-up in spice like that. You start and it seems all innocuous, and then by time you realise that you're in for some goodhurt you're too fond of the flavour to stop....

E. Kellner said...

I can't help cracking up at the "MODE D'EMPLOL" ...But shouldn't it be capitalized 'Mode d'empLOL'?