How I prepare Nong Shim Shin Ramyun

Last Friday, I happened to be doing some shopping and visited the Xenos, a Dutch chain store selling household goods. The store also has a food section with very interesting unfamiliar brands and new items. Once, I saw that they were selling white chocolate Maltesers. I had not seen them in the supermarkets yet, so it was quite a rare find. This time, I saw that they were selling the very popular, Korean Nong Shim's Shin Ramyun. The price of one pack of these instant noodles is 1 euro. I know another store, where you can buy these in the Netherlands and that is the Chinese Oriental supermarkets. You can get one pack there for 1.15, but 20 packs for 15. If you normally eat a lot of these noodles, buying 20 packs at once is cheaper. I am normally quite health conscious and I do not eat instant noodles on a regular basis. So, I only bought 2 packs at the Xenos.

Update: I have found the Shin Ramyun at the Wah Nam Hong supermarket in Rotterdam for 0.75 euro per pack.

Yesterday, I finally took out one pack of Shin Ramyun to eat. It is really funny to be able to read the cooking instructions in Dutch on the back of the package. Even though the pictures show you to cook the noodles in a pan with boiling water, the instructions tell you to do it the lazy way: putting the noodles and condiments in a bowl, adding boiled water, and just let it the residual heat cook the noodles. I have to admit, I have cooked instant noodles like this many times when I needed to cram for tests in college. I also like to add some canned tuna and bits of corn with the noodles in the bowl. By doing this, it makes me feel less guilty about eating instant noodles. The canned tuna and 200 grams of corn are at least healthy foods. :)

Nongshim Shin Ramyun hot & spicyInstructions on the back of the Nongshim Shin Ramyun packet

I am quite surprised by the unusual large size of the noodles. It also has a round shape, which fits perfectly in my large noodle/soup bowl. This is really convenient, especially when you cook it the lazy way. Because when the noodles are in a rectangular shape and not sitting on the bottom of your bowl properly, the boiled water does not cover all the noodles unless you put in a lot of water (diluting the soup) or you need to break the noodles in pieces. After tasting the Shin Ramyun, the noodles are slightly thicker and curlier than the Chinese and Japanese ones that I usually eat. It is quite nice as it adds a bit more chewiness to the noodles. The soup however is not really suiting my taste. I do not eat spicy food, so the spiciness of the noodle soup is a bit too much for me to take. I think for my level, the next time I will have to only put 1/3 of the powder in instead of leaving 1/3 out. :) The soup itself does not have much flavor besides being spicy. I think adding some kimchi would be great as it adds some sourness.     

Nong shim shin ramyun dried noodles
The size of the noodles in comparison with my hand.
The powder soup and vegetable flakes.
While I am at it, I will share with you the way I prefer to cook instant noodles. I first take out a wok and add a tablespoon of oil. I then fry an egg in the wok, sunny-side up. Add some salt on the egg, while cooking. The egg yolk has to still be a bit runny. Take out the fried egg and add about 200 ml. water to the wok, without washing the wok first. Wait for the water to boil and then add the noodles. You put the condiments and dried vegetables on top of the noodles, not in the water. Slowly the powder will dissolve into the water, while the noodles softens. You can use your chopsticks to determine if the noodles are "al dente" enough. For me, it is around the time the noodles separate on its own and then wait 1 minute or so. You can also pull on one string of noodles and when it bounces back when you release it, it is perfect. After putting the cooked noodles and the soup in a bowl, you place the fried egg on top. The residual heat from the soup will warm up the cooled down fried egg and the soup will have a fragrant egg taste due to the left-over oil from frying the egg. I use a wok to fry the egg, because only then the fried egg will have a nice crispy edge and stay soft and fluffy inside. The wok can also hold the soup well. 

Nongshim Shin ramyun with slightly runny, sunny side up
My slightly runny sunny-side up.

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