I was searching the web the other day looking for a creative way to use Ramen noodles and I inevitably found myself on Matt Fischer’s site, The Official Ramen Homepage. I had located Ramen central; over 400 recipes using the noodles are archived there. Wanting to know more about the block of dried noodles that is Ramen, I contacted Matt and bounced a few questions off him.
CR – Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you chose to blog about Ramen noodles?
M – I started the page in 1996 or so when I was first playing with having a “homepage”. I was a freshman in college and the other guys in my dorm were coming up with some pretty creative recipes. So I combined the two and decided to make my page more interesting by posting recipes on it. Within a few months, I was getting recipes from other college students.
Now, I also loved to eat Ramen when I was in college and even younger. Ramen was easy enough for me to cook as a kid and I also took it on camping trips with the Boy Scouts quite a few times. It was good backup food for when your patrol leader screwed up the main meal.
CR – What are a couple of easy Ramen recipes that would work well for camping?
M – It obviously depends on the camping. I live in Colorado and I have lots of great camping opportunities, so I car camp and backpack as well. For backpacking, I try to also bring some meat and veggies to throw in. For car camping, you can get a bit more elaborate, or you can do what I do and let your wife plan the meals (which means no Ramen for me generally).
Here’s a simple backpacking recipe:
Chicken flavored Ramen (1 or 2 packs)
One pouch or small can of chicken (next to the canned tuna)
One small ziplock bag of brocoli florets (cut before the trip, should last a couple days at least un-refrigerated)
Add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of water when cooking this one. As you heat the water, toss in the seasoning packet and the broccoli.
Once boiling, cook the noodles like normal, maybe add an extra minute if you need to for the broccoli. Add the chicken right as it finishes. Stir it and let it sit with a lid on it for 2-4 minutes until the broccoli softens some.
If you can get the Spicy Chicken Ramen that’s also good for this one.
CR – If you had to eat only one of your recipes every day for a week, which one would it be?
M – Well this would be painful and I’d need to get some good nutrients, so let me think a bit. I’d probably do this one: Pseudo-Tokyo Style Soup. It has meat and veggies, so hopefully I’d survive. I usually prefer soups with Ramen, and only occasionally make it in a drier form.
CR – Which Ramen recipe would you choose to serve to a first date?
M – I guess I’d have to make a full meal. There are some great salads on the site. Probably Crunchy Ramen Salad to start. Then the Vietnamese Shrimp Soup. I think for the main dish, I would make a ramen stir fry, probably using chicken. You basically just cook the noodles and stir fry chicken along with yellow onion and carrots in some oil. Add garlic to the stir fry and then add the noodles after the cook (and are drained). Maybe sprinkle some green onions on top when it’s finished.
If I had to make a Ramen dessert, probably Simple Caramel Ramen, although I might not eat it.
CR – Anything else you would like the readers of CampRecipesBlog to know?
M – As a US Forest Service volunteer during the warmer months, so I just ask everyone to follow the posted trail rules and pack out your trash. I’m sure your readers know all that though!
CR – Thank you Matt, I hope to see you on the trail.