Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hidden Treasures 1--Delicious Asian foods that not that many people know about:

Asian Ramen Cup Noodle

When we think of cup noodle, we usually think of the ones made by popular companies like Mauruchan and Nissin.

Some people eat cup noodle for its taste; but most eat it because of its convenience. They typically come in a few flavors that start to taste bland after a while.

If you are a college student or someone of the like who need to resort to instant lunches because of various reasons, keep reading!

Cup noodles originated from Japan and spread to all Asian countries. It has long been woven into fabric of Asian food culture. Each Asian country made modifications and added creative ideas to cup noodles according to the taste of its culture, resulting in a myriad of different cup noodle flavors.

If you like spicy (really spicy), go for Korean cup noodles.
If you like salty flavored ones like the typical Chinese food outside, go for Chinese and Taiwanese-made cup noodles.
If you like Japanese food, go for Japanese cup noodles (but it may be more expensive).
If you enjoy Vietnamese pho, they even make cup noodles with rice noodles in it.
There are also Indonesian, Philippines, Thailand-made cup noodles. Each of them tastes a little bit different, you just have to taste them yourself.

How are they different?

The Noodle
There are a variety of noodles for you to choose. While some still use ramen noodles, most use ethnic noodles that are popular to their own culture.

The Seasoning
Asian cup noodles are MUCH more flavorful than M & N ones. Most Asian cup noodles aim to make instant noodles as similar as real food as possible. So they put a lot of care into the seasoning. Some of them even include a pack of oil that is flavored with garlic and spices, which gives the noodles a much more realistic taste (if you like this kind, look for ones made in Guangzhou, Southern China).

The Dehydrated Food
If you are completely bored with the M & N's dehydrated carrot and peas, you will love the dehydrated food found in Asian cup noodles.
In addition to dehydrated green onion (leek), some Asian cup noodles have freeze-dried shrimp, beef, imitation crab, mushroom...all of which make the cup noodles more similar to real food.

Unlike the one-size cup-style noodles that we all know so well about, Asian cup noodles usually don't come in cups. Technically, "bowl noodles" is a better-suited name since they come in colorful bowls (see above) with a larger volume for more soup and noodles.

As you can see, Asian cup noodles come in many varieties. You don't need to suffer from mono-taste anymore!

Where can I get them?
You would be able to find the cup noodles isle in any Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic stores (supermarket) in the US.

When people buy cup noodles, they usually buy a whole box (about $5-15 for 12-20ct). But stores usually carry individual cup noodles that costs around $1.50-3.00 each. I suggest you try these singles first before you commit to a box. Many of them have English translation and pictures on the packaging, but if you are in doubt, ask the staff for clarification.

Enjoy your bowl of noodles!

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