Tag Archives: Noodles

Saimin Says

25 Aug

Aloha from Kent, a city south of Seattle, and home to Saimin Says, a small restaurant bringing island spirit to transplanted Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.  We found it by doing a Bing search for “Hawaiian foods” while at the area.  Saimin Says showed up in the results and we couldn’t pass it up after viewing the menu. Saimin Says - Kent, WA The main menu showed different types of “min” and with me being a noodle fan (oh-ho, more like fanatic), I did my best puppy eyes impression and told The Hubby that I found my snack.  He said that it’s close to dinner time and that a noodle bowl is too big to have for a snack.  Then he saw the menu himself, saw the plate lunch and moco options, and we reached an agreement. Saimin Says There was something about the laid-back atmosphere, the smell of island food wafting in the air, and local Hawaiian music playing in the background that mentally whisked me back to Hawaii.  Can’t you hear the waves crashing off the distance… "Simple Saimin" from Saimin Says My saimin was just right… even on a hot summer afternoon.  The broth and noodles were slurp-worthy.  There is no shame in eating saimin the right way, and the right way means slurping it up. "Mochiko Chicken" from Saimin Says The mochiko chicken was a big heap, and came with a heavy scoop of rice and mac.  The popcorn chicken was crunchy and made a perfect “snack”.

The food was ono and the staff were easy to talk to.  For the Hawaiian locals here who miss home or for the mainlanders who’ve been to Hawaii and want a taste of the islands again, Saimin Says is the place to get your aloha on.

Saimin Says on Urbanspoon

Robot Chefs in Noodle Bars

10 Apr

I love, lovelove noodles!!  When I was a kid, I’d have eaten it everyday if my parents allowed it.  But they didn’t.  Bless their well-meaning hearts.  As an adult, it’s a different story.  If I have irregular amounts of appetite-regulating hormones, I would eat and slurp noodles all day long so it’s a good thing my biological feedbacks are running all right.

Peter Kim of HackCollege.com called out my attention to a ramen infographic.  To my fellow noodle and ramen lovers out there, feed on the tidbits of info below thanks to the good people at HC.

We Love Ramen

Did you hear the story about robot chefs in China working in noodle bars?  No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.

This is sacrilegious!… But fun!  I still vote for human chefs, preferably those who have excellent hygiene.

Have you heard the story about robots that “do not take orders”?


Go to 1:20 of the video below.  This Doctor Who episode (and many other episodes) should make anyone think twice about allowing robots to wield weapons.

Not that I have mechanophobia, but you probably won’t find me in a noodle bar that employs robots for cooks.  I would rather have this little guy in the kitchen than angry bots.  Anytime.

My sisters and I are lucky to have parents who are handy in the kitchen, with my father’s cooking chops being more survivalist in style.  One of my Dad’s specialties is instant noodles; Lipton and Top Ramen top his cooking repertoire.  So Dad, if you’re reading this (and I hope you do!), here’s recognition for the days when you cooked for us.

Meat and Vegetable (instant) Ramen

2 packages of your favorite instant ramen
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sliced cooked ham
1 small carrot, diced
1/4 cup peas
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced

Boil water.  Add the seasonings (that usually come with instant noodles) and the noodles into the boiling water at the same time.  When noodles are cooked but firm, turn of the heat and add the ham.  Stir then add the vegetables.

Smile and serve!  And finish your main course or you don’t get dessert.

Cod and Kimchi Noodle Soup

25 Sep

The weather is cooling down in Pac Northwest which means “soup’s on!” in our household.  Although soup is never really off given my obsession with noodles.  I love my noodles fried, stir-fried, and even chilled (as in noodle salads), but I love noodles best in soup.  Slurper that I am, I enjoy noodle soups… a lot.

For the heat lovers out there, here’s a Korean-inspired noodle soup dish made with fish and kimchi/kimchee.  Kimchi is a seasoned pickled vegetable dish with the main ingredient being any vegetable, though the most popular is napa cabbage; it can be found in most Asian stores.  It’s not for the faint of heart since it has a strong smell.  If you can get pass the pungency, your taste buds will be treated to an exotic flavor.  Depending on how open or adventurous you are, that could be a good or a bad thing.  For the fish, choose whatever seafood or fish you prefer, however, I chose a firm-fleshed fish that would hold and not crumble in the broth.  For the noodles, use clear/cellophane noodles.  I used sweet potato vermicelli but if that’s not available, rice or mung vermicelli are fine.

Cod and Kimchi Noodle Soup

Noodles, clear
Green onions
Vegetable or fish broth
Salt or soy sauce, to season

Cook the noodles and set aside.  Heat the broth in a stock pot, then add the kimchi when it begins to simmer.  Add the cod and cook at a simmer.  When the cod is cooked, add the noodles then the green onions and turn off the heat.  Season with salt or soy sauce.

Happy autumn!

Slow Food $5 Challenge

10 Sep

I discovered Slow Food during summer of 2007 while working on a dissertation examining food and culture.  I have been following the organization’s social concerns ever since, and ten days ago, I pledged to take Slow Food’s $5 Challenge to help raise awareness that healthy and affordable meals are within reach for all.

As stated by Gordon Jenkins of Slow Food USA, “Real value meals – meals that reflect our values – should be affordable and available to everyone.”  A jaded critic might see Slow Food’s premise as another hipster movement, much like the promotion of local and organic foods wherein it became a status symbol to dine like a locavore and eat organic produce.

The point is that people who can afford to buy what’s best for them and for their family without breaking the bank will do so, and that is the point of the challenge… to prove that good meals made with healthy ingredients are affordable.  Chef Kurt Michael Friese showed that one can create a healthy meal for less than what is worth to buy from a fast food chain, by disproving a claim made by KFC that one cannot “create a family meal for less than $10.”  It would behoove me to echo the concern of sociologists that for a single working parent time is critical and that is how fast food places trump over good quality meals.

For my contribution to the challenge, I thought of meals that I used to cook as a college student.  If I couldn’t cook a dish in less than 15 minutes then I didn’t bother.  No wonder pasta and noodles made frequent appearances for lunch and dinner.  College students everywhere would be able to name a favorite ramen noodle brand with Top Ramen, I bet, making top of the list.  Why?  Because it’s quick to make and quick to satisfy.  So as a nod to my college days, here’s a healthier and slower version of the noodle soup dishes I used to devour (and still do).  Noodle soups are versatile and the cook should always feel free to substitute.

Duck and Gai Choy Vegetable Noodle Soup

 Duck, roasted and chopped into bite size pieces
Gai choy (mustard greens), shredded
Saimin noodles, 1lb
Green onion, chopped
Fish ball
Water, 4qt
Salt and pepper to taste (soy sauce, optional)

Cook noodles according to packaging instructions and set aside.  Boil salted water and add the greens to parboil, then set aside.  In the same stock of water, cook the fish ball.  When the fish balls are floating, add the roasted duck pieces.  Lower the heat and add the greens.  Season to taste.  Turn off the heat then add the green onions.  Smile and serve.

The ingredients were bought from Uwajimaya-Bellevue and the prices are as follows: Saimin-$3.18, Gai choy-$2.35, Fish ball-$2.99, Green onions-$1.00, Duck 1/2, $9.99.  The total came out to $20.42 because the duck is taxed since it was bought in the food court.  Given the amount cooked, the Hubby and I estimated that there was enough noodle soup to satisfy six people, putting the meal at $3.40 per person.

The $5 Slow Food Challenge asks that the meal must cost $5 or less per person.  I am pleased to have taken and met the challenge; it was an edifying experience, to say the least.

No Food Shopping Challenge 2010

19 Dec

Winter 2009, I participated in my first “No Food Shopping Challenge“, a challenge pitched by eGullet, a nonprofit organization comprised of gastronomists, both professional and home cooks, and chefs… all food lovers alike, whose mission is to promote the culinary arts.  This year, I decided to take on the challenge again and I have a strong feeling that it’ll become a winter tradition.  It’s a perfect way to put all the non-perishables and frozen foods accumulated from the previous months to good use.  Not to mention, saving that grocery budget meant for the week.

This year, rule #3 saved the day again as we had to make a lettuce run for Toffee.  If she doesn’t get her day’s ration of lettuce, we literally will not hear the end of it.  Aside from that bit, and the day I somewhat cheated when I asked for the Hubz to literally “bring home the bacon”, as well as the night we dined out, dinner between December 12 and December 19 consisted of what was available in our fridge and pantry, and no food shopping were done.

Here are this year’s results:

Saturday, December 11 – Mixed Greens, Turkey Sausage, with Red Beans and Rice

Sunday, December 12 – Rice Congee with Spicy Bean Curd Sauce

Monday, December 13 – leftovers

Tuesday, December 14 – Pan-fried Paneer and Couscous

Wednesday, December 15 – I sort of cheated… the hubba, hubba Hubz brought home pizza at my behest.  I whined that I didn’t want to cook and he obliged by bringing home a meat-ladened pie.

Thursday, December 16 – Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice

 And because I was feeling frisky in the kitchen that night, I also made Spicy Shrimp, Kimchee, and Noodles.

Friday, December 17 – Dined at Moshi Moshi Sushi

Saturday, December 18 – Spicy Garlic Chicken and Rice

 Sunday, December 19 – Tea Eggs (eggs boiled in herbal tea)

And that’s the end of this year’s challenge.  I wonder what next year’s results will be…