Archive | August, 2011

Recipe for Disaster: Ramen 라면 Done Right

31 Aug

You are likely questioning my selection for this installment of Recipe for Disaster. “Why Shauna, any cretin can make a package of Mr.Noodle/Top Ramen/Cup Noodle!” you say? But neigh, this is not the ordinary run-of-the-mill, spicy, carbfest that you are familiar with. This is ramen done the Korean way.

When first coming to Korea, I was mildly confused by the big hullabaloo surrounding ramen. A huge isle at every grocery store is dedicated to it, it’s on the menu at restaurants, the noodles are sold as an instant snack (comparable to potato), and the students turn into ravenous beasts at the sight of it. And yes, there is an app for that (not for ravenous children, but for ramen – see here). The stuff was everywhere, and it seemed to be a rather unfounded obsession. I mean, yes, the ramen that I was used to was a satisfying, carb-y snack, but I would have hardly qualified it as a meal or even a mainstay in my snack roster.(yes, there is a roster)

And that’s because I was cooking it wrong.

When ramen is served at a local restaurant, it is prepared with an array of extra ingredients – the most common being onions, garlic, carrots, scallions, pressed fish cake known as odeng 오뎅, squid, egg and my favourite, cheese! Thats right, cheese. And not just any cheese, but a disgusting slice of plastic processed cheese. But the results are delicious.

Before we get started I must warn anyone attempting to follow this recipe will not get good results using some 15 cent garbage from Walmart. Please use an authentic Asian product. The most popular ramen in Korea is Shin Ramen seen below

….but I’m not a huge fan so I used this brand.

Moving on (err please excuse the gaudy eighties colour blocking…..not quite sure what’s going on there)

WHAT YOU NEED

1 package of quality instant ramen
1 slice of processed cheese
1 egg
1 minced clove of garlic
1/2 a medium carrot, sliced in quarters
1/4 cooking onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium spring onion, coarsely chopped
Optional: A pinch of ground red pepper for increased spiciness

WHAT TO DO

  1. Bring 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add carrots, onions and garlic. Cover and leave on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. At about the halfway point, empty the contents of the package of soup base into the pot. If you want to make it spicier, also add a pinch of ground red pepper. Save the noodles and dried vegetables for later. Put lid back on.
  4. Once vegetables are tender, turn up the heat to high. Break the noodle brick in half and add to the pot.  Cook noodles for about 2.5 to 3.5 minutes without a lid.
  5. About 1.5 min after the noodles go in, add the egg.
  6. Once egg whites appear cooked, swirl the yolk in with the noodles. Try not to break up the egg whites in the process. I did a terrible job of this, but I have faith that more skilled cooks will have to problem here.
  7. When there is only 30 seconds left, add dehydrated vegetables and spring onion.
  8. When time is up, turn off heat and immediately place your slice of cheese on top of the concoction. Don’t mix it in, the cheese will take care of itself (like magic?).  Now it’s ready to serve.
The finished product. So good. Sooooo good. It’s like the noodle equivalent of a unicorn or something. I apologize, that simile was just about as ridiculous as my eighties-inspired graphic design work above.
Note the fancy garnishing job. I was quite proud of myself(not quite sure that Italian parsley makes the best garnish for Korean ramen).
I think ramen has officially made the roster.
xoxo

Hello, Humans!

31 Aug

Just a few glamour shots of everyone’s favourite frenemy (too presumptuous ?).

What the???

Caught red handed! (pawed?)

Bath time. He kinda really hates it. So here he is swimming, swimming, swiiiiimming towards freedom! Or so he thinks.

Drying off.

wassssssssssuuuuuuuup!

Smolder

Blue Steel

It’s hilarious to see how much his face transforms when he’s emoting. For example, grumpy after a long and tiring photo shoot, his cute mug becomes the very definition of ‘stink face’.

 Sans towel….something to smile about.

So judging by the plethora of pics and the odd ball comments, I’ve clearly gone off the deep end?  Whatevs, he’s too cute and I can’t help myself. Not so cute is a bizarre phenomenon in hedgehog behaviour known as self anointing. When the hedgehog comes across a striking new smell, it’s delicate little body breaks into a furor of contortions as it coats itself in an abundance of rabid foam, leading the unsuspecting new hedgehog owner to believe that their pog is suffering from some neurological malfunction. However, this is commonplace for a hedgehog, and it is thought to be a form of protection from predators(just one of many theories; its true cause is still a mystery).

Anyways, here are some photos of self anointing in all it’s glory.

I was hesitant to post this one as I don’t intend to give people nightmares……..but really, what the funk!

A repeat of Dochi smiling to relieve the trauma.

That second to last one will honestly be haunting my dreams. Le wah.

xoxo

PS: ahahahahahhahaha my friend just sent me a link to this video. Apparently this hedgie likes to exfoliate?? Sooo good please watch!

Don’t Call it a Comeback

30 Aug

So it’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to update for some time but alas I’ve been caught in a whirlwind of distractions- hot summer days, breezy summer nights, a move, a trip to Jeju Island, weekenders, tales of dystopian societies and three seasons of Breaking Bad(from which I’ve only now been able to break free from the death grip of addiction).   I’ve also been avoiding editing my pictures from Jeju, which at a tally of 500+ photos, is a frightfully daunting task.

I moved apartments at the beginning of August because the lease on the old place ran out (oh for shame! thiscommentdripswithsarcasm)  and so, while I am in the process of  conquering the Jeju monster, I will pay homage to sad, dank,  mold grow-op that was my former abode.

The old abode. Note the welcoming jail cell bars covering the windows. You also may note that some cretin decided to conveniently park their bicycle in the garbage pile just outside of the building. That cretin just so happens to be me. But don’t look to me for an explanation as to why because your guess is as good as mine.

An exciting look at my alleyway street.

Although the old place was subpar at best, it had a picturesque pond located just up the street from it.

Lining the pond is a stone path sprinkled with gazebos and benches for families to sit.

Apparently I’ve developed a penchant for ducks.

AND THERES A KITTY!

A sample from my bicycle’s glamor shoot??

Beautiful pond. Slightly less than mediocre building-how terrible could it really have been?

Really really, the mold situation was outta control. Not only did it likely reek havoc on my respiratory system, it destroyed  many of my possessions including my favourite leather boots, my new and only blazer, my guitar case and my solid plastic kitchen timer (not that this is a great tragedy but how on earth does dry, solid plastic collect mold?). Keep in mind that I had not previously bathed these things in water to let them air dry in my room with no windows-a testament  to how terrible the ventilation was in the room. Needless to say I m more than relieved to bid good riddance to that mold cave.

More posts to come?

xoxo