When I used to hear the word “ramen” I thought of the orange square packets of dried noodles. Memories floated back in my head of a Cup of Noodles going around and around in my microwave in my freshman college dorm room. Ramen tasted fine, I guess, but there was nothing special about it. Boy was I wrong!
My opinion of ramen changed slowly. I occasionally passed by restaurants that only served ramen, but didn’t give them a second glance. My husband and I recently watched an episode of “Mind of a Chef” all about the noodle. It describes ramen as the staple meal in Japan. What I didn’t realize was that ramen is so much more than a bowl of noodles. It is the broth that is made up of an enormous amount of ingredients that simmers for days. The noodles are homemade and there are little sides (as I call them) that surprise you inside the bowl.
My husband has an obsession with Asian noodles and has known all about this. Since we moved to Maine, he has been dying to check out our options for hot pot, dim sum, and various places to get noodles. Yesterday we went for lunch at Pei Mei Miyake, a Japanese restaurant we’ve wanted to try for months. We also saw it featured on a food show .
After spending an hour at Home Depot I was starving and I couldn’t wait to eat. I sat down and opened the menu and noticed that there were 2 main sections: Ramen and Sushi. I absolutely love Sushi and I quickly scanned the rolls and picked Spicy Tuna, my favorite. I closed the menu and browsed the drink list.
“What are you going to get?” my husband asked.
“Not sure yet.”
I scanned the room and looked at what other people ordered. The restaurant was packed for 2:00 on a Saturday. I noticed almost everyone had large bowls in front of them and then I saw only 1 person with a sushi roll.
“I’m going to get the Paitan ramen.” I replied. I surprised myself that I changed my mind so fast, but I was excited to try a new kind of ramen that was not from the package.
Our large bowls arrived and were placed on our table.
The chicken and pork broth was nice and salty. There was a giant piece of pork belly floating in the broth. The half of egg was soft boiled and a pile of chives and ginger completed the circle It was absolutely delicious and so much more than a cup of noodles!