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eG Foodblog: torakris/snowangel - When Pocky meets pad thai....

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#31 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:50 AM

It's fascinating to see pre-made roux.  I had no idea that such a thing existed.

Is that a kabocha, or a tetsukabuto, in your co-op pile?

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It is a good ole kabocha. :biggrin:

The roux is a really nice convenience product that tastes pretty good, of course it is probably full of things that aren't very good for you.
It should be available in your local Asian market!

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#32 lovebenton0

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:05 AM

what fun! two of my favorite eg bloggers at once. :biggrin:

the cream stew with salmon looks delicious, Kris. i thought of cream chowder also... although i usually think of chowder as a thicker based cream stew and this looks thin and creamy.

i wonder... is the base of the roux wheat flour, corn starch, rice flour, soy...???

and maybe i'm way off base, but is it unusual to have cream dishes such as this in Japan?

happy blogging! looking forward to this week's entries from both of you. :cool: :biggrin:
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#33 rooftop1000

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:15 AM

It took me a little while to find it but I knew we had bottled roux here somewhere.....definatley darker for gumbo though.


http://www.pochesmar...e_prod/roux.htm

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#34 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:53 AM

Good morning! It is a dark, dreary and drizzley day here in Minnesota.

Heidi and Diana are both on their ways to school, and Peter and a friend are eating toast with butter.

I'm having

Posted Image

Coffee and a couple of Chestnut Crab apples.

Minnesota has a rich apple tradition, and the University of Minnesota has been instrumental in developing different varieties. You can thank the U of M for Honeycrisp apples.

Chestnut Crabs are not often available for sale; many orchards have a very few trees which are generally planted for polination purposes.

I don't really care for sweet apples that much, and the chestnut crab is nice and tart, with a hint of sweetness. And, they are just the right size for a bite or two; no half-eaten apples for kids with these! Peter has been packing two in his backpack every day for a snack. We are at the end of the chestnut crab season.

My other favorite apple is the Haralson. This is a tart apple, which is great for eating. The Haralson is also very popular among Minnesota bakers. There are a couple of orchards that have restaurants and a large bakery business, and they keep all of the Haralsons for their own baking purposes.

As soon as Peter and his friend have left for school, I'm off to the farmer's market.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#35 CaliPoutine

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:19 AM

Glad to see you blogging again Kris, I so enjoyed that tempura at the Heartland Gathering in July. Any chance we'll see Tempura again? I have such an irrational fear of frying.

Oh and what goodies from Ohio did you bring back to Japan?

#36 Susan in FL

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:58 AM

I pick Hide up from pre-school at 2:00pm. today he was a little bit more exuberant than usual. It took me a couple of minutes to notice the special yellow patch pinned to his suspenders.
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this patch with a picture of a rabbit means that tomorrow is his turn for usagi-toban (essentially "rabbit duty"). This means I have to make lunch for the rabbits tomorrow...luckily they are not very picky some cabbage and carrots will suffice.

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It has been fun watching Hide grow during the time from one blog to another. :smile:

It is time for me to head off to bed, it is approaching 9:00pm.... :huh:
Susan should be getting up soon!

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The time difference is a cool feature of this Tag Team Foodblog. We get to be entertained round the clock! :biggrin: Sweet Dreams, Kris. Good Morning, Susan .....Hope I got that right. I returned home from California last night, only a three hour difference, and I'm having a hard time keeping myself oriented to time. :wacko:
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#37 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:15 AM

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday was sunny and 85 degrees (F). Had I not had to finish some outdoor painting, I would have gone to the farmer's market then.

So, after breakfast today, I went to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. It is much "sleepier" on the weekdays, and there are usually only about three dozen vendors, but there is no traffic and the shopping is much easier. The missing elements on weekdays are craft items, cheese, bread, meats.

We have had a remarkable summer and fall. By this time, we almost always had a hard freeze, which eliminates many of the things I saw today. Summer, spring and fall vegetables were all present. I really should have taken more pictures! I plan to return on Thursday because I'll be nearby and stock up for the weekend. Knock on weekend, we won't have a hard freeze on Wednesday night.

Anyway, I did take some pictures:

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There is a topic on this forum about cilantro roots, and so I took a picture of what's pretty typical at the farmer's market. They also sell dill with the roots attached.

Pepppers and little eggplants , anyone? The big bushels of little red peppers are $10.00.

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Brooks, this one is for you!

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Green and purple okra. They were also selling them by the gunny-sack full.

So, this is what I came back with:

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Sorry the picture is a bit blurry. Red bell peppers, romaine lettuce, little Yukon Golds, broccoli, tiny shallots, long beans, white onions and what I think is young ginger (in the front on the left side). If this is young ginger, what should I do with it?

I also got a peck of sort of sad looking tomatoes which I think I will roast with olive oil.

My next stop was The Wedge, the largest and "fanciest" of the coops in the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities, as I recall, has the largest number of coops per capita in the U. S. I really prefer some of the other coops; the Wedge is no longer a funky coop, but looks pretty corporate.

But, I was in the area. So, I bought:

Posted Image

A baguette for dinner tomorrow night (what's the best way to store it today?), some dried beans, sea salt, Hope Butter, Newman's Own salt and pepper pretzels (a favorite of mine, and hard to find here) and some flour that was called "Duram Seminola Flour for Pasta." I'll have more questions about that before Monday.

So, what should I fix for supper? I have chicken thighs and legs. One thought I had was to cook the chicken and do a sort of Vietnamese-inspired garlicky, gingery, slightly spicy sweet sauce with fish sauce in it. Stir fry broccoli? Suggestions solicited, please! I will be gone to Diana's volleyball game between 4:00-5:15 pm and would like to have dinner on the table not long after 6:30 pm.

I'm off to take care of some laundry and forage in the fridge for lunch so I don't eat all of the pretzels!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#38 fifi

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 11:39 AM

Oh my . . . This is going to be fun.

Susan . . . you are tweaking my farmer's market envy. I would roast the brocolli. That is a lot of flavor for little work. I am always up for "little work." :biggrin:

Kristin . . . That "roux in a chunk" is really interesting. From time to time, I get ambitious and make up little marble sized balls of flour and butter and put them in the freezer to use for last minute thickening of sauces. I do buy the roux in a jar to keep on hand. I had no idea that the concept of roux existed in Japanese cooking.
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#39 little ms foodie

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 12:44 PM

Susan and Kristin I'm so looking forward to this! I mean I owe to Susan my knowledge and now love of Larb! and I would never have tried pokey were it not for Kris. Can't wait to see what I learn this week!

Kristin I remember from one of your other blogs that you do a group Costco run? Do you still do that or do you just use your co op now?

#40 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:16 PM

I've never used ginger as young as that I bought today. What a joy. Took my mushroom-shaped garlic smasher to a knob of it and voila!

I'm wondering if I could plant part of it and get it to root and grow?

This ginger is a revelation.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#41 Malawry

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:21 PM

Young ginger is the BEST for candying. If you're feeling ambitious.

#42 Susan in FL

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:28 PM

One thought I had was to cook the chicken and do a sort of Vietnamese-inspired garlicky, gingery, slightly spicy sweet sauce with fish sauce in it.  Stir fry broccoli?  Suggestions solicited, please!

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I can't believe you are thinking about cooking an Asian-inspired chicken and stir-fried broccoli. I planned to do this recipe and a stir-fry of broccoli (unless Russ could find Chinese broccoli) for dinner tonight! The Susans are on the same track.
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#43 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:45 PM

i wonder... is the base of the roux wheat flour, corn starch, rice flour, soy...???

and maybe i'm way off base, but is it unusual to have cream dishes such as this in Japan?

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I never really look at ingredient lists on these kinds of prepared foods, you know 'what you don't know can't hurt you...', but I have pulled the box out of the trash and these are the ingredients:

beef fat, flour, pork fat, suagr, powdered milk, salt, cheese, spices, chicken stock, yeast extract, kelp extract, onion paste, mushroom paste, vegetable stock, then the rest conssits of various amino acids (probably msg), preservatives, flavorings and colorings.

The Japanese love cream!
It is quite expensive here though 200ml (3/4 cup) is about $4.
Besides the obvious dessert uses it is often added to stews (both cream and beef) and soups as well as cream based sauces for western dishes.

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#44 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 02:53 PM

Glad to see you blogging again Kris, I so enjoyed that tempura at the Heartland Gathering in July.  Any chance we'll see Tempura again?  I have such an irrational fear of frying.

Oh and what goodies from Ohio did you bring back to Japan?

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I did do good with that tempura'd zucchini blossom, didn't I? :biggrin:

Posted Image

I don't do a whole lot of frying, but I haven't decided all of my menus for the week yet so it may make its way into the plan.


Things I brought back from Cleveland were too many to remember. :raz: I did get some nice things during my visit to Amish coutry like maple sryup, various spices, etc. Then I bought other things thata re hard to find here: instant espresso, double concentrate tomato paste in a tube, rapid rise yeast, wheat bran, etc.

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#45 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:26 PM

Good morning!  It is a dark, dreary and drizzley day here in Minnesota.


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Sorry Susan, I must have sent the bad weather over there... :sad: This morning as well as yesterday is just as you describe. I just checked the weather forecast and it currently looks like rain everyday except for Friday. This is not good as we have a couple outdoor activities planned. :angry:


I am so jealous of your farmer's market, I can't wait to see your dinner tonight.
Those young ginger roots are great, they are very popular in Japan though we normally eat them raw instead of in cooking. I like to scrape of the skin, then put them (leaves and all) into a glass of ice water to chill their bite and then I eat them by dipping the root in miso dip.

here is a picture of a dish we had at a restaurant a little while back
Posted Image

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#46 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:36 PM

I had no idea that the concept of roux existed in Japanese cooking.

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not in traditional cooking, but in everday home cooking it is used quite a bit. The Japanese curry rice is almost always started with a very similar block of roux as is beef stew and a dish that is called hashed beef, that is sort of like a stroganoff.

Another very similar convenience product here are demi glace sauce and white sauce (like bechamel) in cans and retort pack. The line-up from Heinz Japan

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#47 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:38 PM

Kristin I remember from one of your other blogs that you do a group Costco run? Do you still do that or do you just use your co op now?

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Yes we do, we still go at least once a month. Our next trip is sceduled for 10/18 just in time for us to pick up pumpkins and candy for our 2nd annual halloween party!

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#48 helenjp

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:13 PM

Young ginger - stand it in the fridge in a glass of sweetened seasoned vinegar (sugar, salt) - it will keep well and turn an intense pink.


Torakris, do you use those cream roux much? Ever used them for soups? They seem to be about a once-yearly event in my family!

#49 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:20 PM

Torakris, do you use those cream roux much? Ever used them for soups? They seem to be about a once-yearly event in my family!

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My family really loves cream stew so in the cooler months it gets made at least once a month. I usually add some pureed kabocha to give it color and a nice flavor but I am saving my kabocha for later in the week.
I use it only for stew and have never tried soups with it. I make clam/cod chowders quite a bit but I make it from scratch and have never thought to use this packaged roux. One time I tried to make the cream stew from scratch without the roux and it just didn't taste the same, probably the msg. :raz:

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#50 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:21 PM

Forgot to add that I have been nursing an iced coffee for about an hour now....
The kid have eaten a couple slices of the walnut raisin bread from yesterday and I will eat breakfast after I take Hide to school.

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#51 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:49 PM

It's been a very busy afternoon. I opted to spend some time this afternoon before Diana's volleyball game doing some furthe demo in the basement (we recently had a flood down there, and removing the ugliest wall paper and paneling has revealed some nasty sheet rock problems), so I've been negligent. I will be around more tomorrow and the rest of the week because the trash can is full.

Anyway, as I suspected, those pretzels would sort of be my lunch. I'm not much of a chip person, but I have a real weakness for pretzels, and most of all these salt and pepper pretzels. I never should have bought two bags.

But, when I realized that woman can not live on coffee and pretzels (with an occasional apple tossed in), I went to the fridge and retrieved some leftovers from last night:

Posted Image

I had gotten some sweet corn on Sunday that was not great. Wasn't bad, just clearly the end of the season. So, yesterday, I recalled a recent Bittman Minimalist colum in the Wed. NY Times where he pan-grilled corn kernels. So, off the cobs those kernels went into the cast iron skillet, with a smidge of oil and two mined jalapeno peppers with some cilantro added at the end.

And, I had a mess of tomatoes that were on their way to being going, going, gone. More japalenos, a couple of onions (very finely minced), some cilantro, juice of one lime.

THis made a perfect Monday night dinner for tacos, using almost the last of the smoked butt from the freezer.

And, since I had these two items leftover, when I had a hankering for something mid-afternoon besides pretzels, I filled a large custard cup with the pan-grilled corn and salsa. Side by side they sat, so I could either eat them separately or mixed together.

Yum. The pan-grilled corn is an outstanding use for corn that isn't just right for the boil and butter!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#52 srhcb

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:54 PM

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was sunny and 85 degrees (F).  Had I not had to finish some outdoor painting, I would have gone to the farmer's market then.

We have had a remarkable summer and fall.  By this time, we almost always had a hard freeze, which eliminates many of the things I saw today.  Summer, spring and fall vegetables were all present.  I really should have taken more pictures!  I plan to return on Thursday because I'll be nearby and stock up for the weekend.  Knock on weekend, we won't have a hard freeze on Wednesday night.

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You gotta love something about Minnesota other than the weather!

I was in The Cities yesterday and saw 88 in Edina! Back up North today, high of 53 and wet, with lows in the teens forecast for Wednesday and Thursday night.

It was a remarkable summer, once it got going about the last week of June. I still have green tomatoes in the garden, (till tomorrow anyway). Up here we usually had our first hard frost back in early in September.

I wish you good luck with your cooking and reporting this week.

SB (got some nice Bayfield WI apples last weekend)

#53 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:05 PM

So, without much of a lag, here is dinner. This worked out very well since Diana and I got home at 5:45 and I wanted dinner on the table by 6:30. I was ably assisted by my mother, who was watching Heidi when my dad and I watched Diana play.

So I made

Posted Image

A simple broccoli stirfry. Susan, I had intended to get Chinese broccoli, but this head of broccoli that I espied was positively the most beautiful head I've ever seen and it "spoke" to me. Some very roughly chopped garlic, the broccoli (stems peeled and chunked up), tossed with some hot oil in a hot pan, a bit of chicken stock and some nam pla.

The pepper dish was a new one for me. I've been cooking out of Barbara Tropp's Modern Art of Chinese Cooking for years, and continue to find recipes I've never tried. Case in point was tonight when I got home. I realized that I had these red bell peppers (8 for $1.00!) and they were screaming "use me." Somewhere, I dug out of my feeble memory that she had a dish. Red Bell Pepper with Garlic and Coriander. Minced garlic, in a hot pan with hot oil. Add the peppers (1" dice). A splash of soy sauce, and one of rice vinegar. Cover for a minute, uncover and add a handful of chopped cilantro. Finish with a splash of sesame oil. This dish was outstanding. I only fixed 1/2 of the peppers (an experimental dish, you know!), and I could easily have eaten it all myself. Huge hit. I marked this recipe in the book as "one of the best in the book." So simple, so easy, so fast.

Chicken thighs and legs. Another Bittman recipe from his Minimalist column. One which has made an appearnce on our table before -- Vietnamese Chicken Two Ways. Marinated in some soy, garlic, chili flakes and ginger. Pan cooked. At the end, you can either take the chix and serve with cilantro and lime, or remove, add sugar, water, more garlic, more ginger, more chili flakes. Chicken returned and "carmelized."

Although my plate looks more than half empty, I did have another plate!

We are not regular dessert eaters in the house (I don't have much of a sweet tooth), but I'm sure I'll dig into the apples and pretzels before bed!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#54 Susan in FL

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:53 PM

Sounds good, Susan. (We ended up with regular broccoli, too.)
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#55 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:00 PM

Waiting for photos of your dinner on the Dinner! topic in Cooking, Susan. My kids said, after looking at my dinner picture (believe me, they've seen enough of the food porm photos on the Dinner! topic) "Mom, don't be mad when we say this. But, your photos suck." Ah, the confidence of youth! I reminded them gently that many of the Dinner! posters don't have kids! And, they are glad this time around that I am serving family style, and once they have served themselves, I plate mine and then photo my plate. Last blog around, they got pretty tired of sitting quietly and waiting until I photoed everything!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#56 torakris

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:19 PM

Well I never did get to eat breakfast this morning...
I hid my coconut bagels (from yesterday's co-op order) away so I could eat them when the children weren't here but I cam home just before 9:00 from taking Hide to school forgetting I had a student coming at 9:00am today! My regular class is at 10am on Weds and I thought I would have to eat, get in a quick workout and shower before my class. I got in nothing. I taught straight through until 11:30 when I picked up Hide. I was starving my then...

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#57 M.X.Hassett

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:23 PM

Great blog guys, thanks.
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#58 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:24 PM

One of the things about a Growing Boy (Peter, age 9) is that they are either hungry or not. And, when they are hungry, they eat all of the time.

So, it wasn't just an hour after devouring three chicken legs, one thigh, a mess of broccoli, a mess of red bell peppers that I received the announcement. "Mom, I'm hungry. I need Mama."


Now, in our house, Mama has a different meaning. Growing up in Thailand, every day after school for several years, my friend Nancy and I would ride our bikes to her apartment building and go swimming in the outdoor pool. When we got out of the pool, we'd wrap our sarongs around our waists. We'd trot back to her apartment, and sit on the veranda and eat Mama noodles. We always ate them in these pottery bowls with handles that had lids. We got them at the Dirty Dish Factory. I should dig around and find mine and post a photo.

Anyway, we would sit and eat our MAMA noodles. We both liked having bean sprouts in them (started in the beginning when we added the water). And, we always had a typically Thai condiment of vinegar with hot peppers. Nancy and I liked to sweat.

So, Peter loves his Mama noodles. I'm sure that Korean brands are just fine. But, these have special memories.

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Here is the package after he's dumped the ramen noodles into the pot with water. The packet on the left side has some grease with some bits of "something" in it. The packet on the right is a two-part packet. One with chili powder (Thai style) and the right side has some sort of broth powder with dried scallion tops.

Peter favors the artificial pork flavor. I quite frankly, am not sure what all is in them. All I know is that if I need to pull out my reading glasses (yes, I'm old!) to read the ingredient list, I probably don't want to know!

I get these at my Asian market for $5.59 for a case of 30 packets. Mama makes many different types of ramen-style noodles. Diana's favorite is their pad thai (which aren't great, but aren't bad). They have rice noodles that you boil, drain and mix with a couple of packets of stuff. Their creamy tom yum flavor (which is an extra large packet, listed at two servings and in in a foily packet) is just the key if you have a cold or sinus thing. The latter needs no peppery accoutrements. I used to be able to get a Som Tam flavor, which didn't really taste like som tam, but when doused with a squirt of lemon, were very good in their own right. I can't seem to find those locally.

Kris, I'll have to try those Korean noodles and see if they hold a candle to Mama noodles. Chances are they won't in the memory department.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#59 Smithy

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:38 PM

I am so pleased to see this blog team! You two are already off to a great start.

Susan, I'm with you on the weather bit. It hasn't frozen up around Duluth yet either, although they're talking possible snow by the end of the week. It's hard to believe, considering how hot it was last night while the thunderstorms were rolling through. Still, our Farmer's Market doesn't have the variety of yours. Are you going along the Nicollet Mall, or is this someplace else? And what days is it active?

Kris, if and when you get a chance, please talk about learning Japanese. Could you already speak and read it before you got married? If not, how did you go about learning, and how comfortable are you with it now? I'm guessing you're quite fluent. That's impressive for only 10 years, even with immersion-by-marriage. :biggrin:

I used to eat ramen noodles a lot, without giving it a thought. Now I'm wondering: what makes a noodle a ramen noodle, and what makes it good vs. great vs. low-quality? Expound, both of you, please.

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#60 snowangel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:43 PM

Kris, do the Korean ramen noodles have a packet of grease included? I swear that's what makes the Mama brand so wonderful.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"





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