Ramen Noodles and A Love of All Things Asian, Especially Condiments

lunch on 11 Sept 2013: cold ramen noodles, pretzels, green pea baked snacks and grapes
lunch on 11 Sept 2013: cold ramen noodles, pretzels, green pea baked snacks and grapes

I am crazy about ramen noodles. Especially Japanese restaurant-style ramen noodles served in enormous steaming bowls and loaded with goodies. The kiddos are also crazy about ramen noodles, so for lunch today, I made a little ramen bowl with edamame, corn, teriyaki tofu and scallions. For the sauce, I juiced a lime and combined it with some soy sauce, honey and teriyaki sauce. I always have lots of condiments on hand to spice up a bowl of ramen noodles. You see, I have a thing for Asian condiments. I have, what you might call, a little collection of them:

assorted Asian condiments
assorted Asian condiments

It just so happens that I pretty much fall in love with every Asian cuisine I encounter. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Malaysian food: it’s all delicious to me. I have spent years trying to perfect various Asian dishes, hence, my fridge full of condiments. When I was first learning to cook and living by myself in Chicago, I learned all sorts of ancient Vietnamese cooking secrets from my good friend, Ann-Marie, who is also a condiment hoarder. Thanks to Ann-Marie, I am never without a giant bottle of Squid Brand Fish Sauce. In fact, I think of her every time I use it. And, as for soy sauce—you can often find four or five different types in my fridge. Do I really need all these bottles of soy sauce taking up precious space in my already packed refrigerator? But of course I do. Doesn’t everyone need light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, tamari, reduced sodium Kikkoman, etc.? Hey, I’m always ready to stir-fry.

Don’t even get me started on my noodle collection.

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