Wednesday, June 13, 2012


She asked if I had put ground sesame seeds on my ramen. I had done so and would later add more when the time was right, which was why I had left the ground sesame container open, and why there was still a mound of fried garlic slices in the small dish beside my bowl.

As this indicates, I subscribe to the Gradual Ramen Augmentation Principle (GRAP), which holds that you don't add every damn thing at once, unless you're a ramen newbie or have a mental condition of some kind with which you can nonetheless walk around among the general population.

With ramen, everybody develops their own Complex Creative Devouring Technique (CCDT), and if I do it wrong, I know I'll regret it for the rest of the bowl. You can't undo misdirected ramen. Nothing in the noodle area of the food shrine is more regrettable than ramen ruination, for one who appreciates the nuances between the noodles, where flavor resides.

Among the elements of this effort, apart from the ground sesame waiting over there in its container, is the garlic right beside my bowlful of ramen in thick savory broth with a red oily sheen, plus the sliced mushrooms, red peppers, soy sprouts, thin long-onion slices, bits of ground pork floating, here's a napkin for that drool...

I'd added some of the garlic and ground sesame at the beginning and mixed it in well to blend the flavors while amping up my appetite and cooling the temp to scaldsafe levels before I dove in - these steps are crucial, saving some garlic for later with sesame in my advance through the theater of ramen experience - then when all the succulence factors neared optimal merge and the time was right for more garlic with the remaining ramen and the ongoing garlic/sesame ratio fragrance - these things can get complicated at the quantum level - where the broth/garlic/sesame taste lines converge, the remainder of the garlic to be added at the precise point for optimal flavor distribution, you don't want it all at the beginning where it overwhelms the undertones of the Ramen Flavor Quantum Curve (RFQC).

These are key matters because, owing to cosmic laws as yet unformulated, fried garlic has a special affinity with emerging ground sesame essence, which at this moment begins to waft about, the flavors commingling at the heart of the dish, where one can no longer deal in quanta but can only slurp, scarf and worship.

And when, at the end, with both hands you grip and lift the bowl to drain those precious dregs of deliciousness, you have at last the full measure of your efforts.

Here's another napkin... 


NJBiru said...

It's clearly been too long since my last bowl. Delicious post.

Deb said...

Robert Ruark wrote that a truly great writer is one who can describe a meal and make his reader hungry 100 years after he has died.

Maybe half a world away counts as well as the 100 years dead, because I am still salivating, after scouring through the pantry. There is not a single packet of ramen in the house.

You, sir, are the torturer's apprentice. (mop, mop)

Robert Brady said...

Thanks, NJBill. Hope you've found your bowl and are scarfing.
Deb, sorry about that. Only meant to share some delight, but like so many deliciousnesses in life, ramen can seriously distort judgement. I beg you to please build up a good stash of ramen before watching Tampopo or even thinking about the subject of that classic at any time during the day or before falling asleep at night.

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I can smell those delicious foods you there. Well, garlic helps lessen the cholesterol in our boy, that really help a lot.