I think we’ve been acquainted long enough now for me to get a bit more comfortable. You see, I’ve been hiding behind this seemingly classy, sophisticated persona. In reality, I am a human of the more trashy variety. You see, there’s two things I buy too much of: K-Pop albums and instant ramen. So this post will be a bit different from previous posts. I thought I’d do a haul of my recent K-Pop purchases and share some of my favourite ways to make instant ramen a “high quality” meal.
I have a bit of a shopping addiction. The past months I’ve been splurging on K-Pop albums, trying to start a solid collection. I have at least 2 order forms open at any given time, trying to resist… I’m hardly ever able to resist. It just means I have a lot of mail to look forward to… The past two weeks have been particularly good to me, two of my long awaited pre-orders arrived: TWICE’s Twicecoaster Lane 2 and BTS’ WINGS: You Never Walk Alone (both versions). It doesn’t stop there though; it would’ve been nice if it did, wouldn’t it? My friend informed me that Made in Asia convention would be happening. I told her a lot of money spending would be happening. She said she’d try to hold me back. She failed. Within ten minutes I had acquired all three versions of SEVENTEEN’s Going Seventeen, later I also added PENTAGON’s Five Senses album. Oh, and some posters, but that shopping addiction is on a whole other level.
But why would anyone buy CDs still, let alone several versions of the same CD, right? Especially when you’re someone like me, who doesn’t even own a CD player. It’s the thrill of collecting. Every album comes with a bunch of bonus things: stickers, small collectables, 200-page photobooks, posters (for pre-orders) and most importantly: a random photo card. It’s the thrill of unboxing an album and not knowing who’s inside. Those moments before you see the photo card when your heart is beating fast and your brain is making a list of who you’d want most and which one you’d only kinda be okay with. I have a history of being extremely lucky with these (watch me jinx it), and this time too I got lucky with most of my purchases.
Oh right, ramen. Here’s a list of food items I’ve successfully paired with my ramen. I usually eat spicy ramen (shin ramyun) or kimchi ramyun. Not all of these work with mild, salty ramen or curry flavors.
- Eggs – any eggs, any style. Fried, boiled, steamed, raw. You cannot go wrong with an egg in your ramen, any ramen.
- Green onion – top your ramen with some spring onion and it will instantly look like gourmet food. Fact.
- Spicy braised tofu – a good side dish. I eat this with everything, so why not ramen?
- Dumplings – a no-brainer.
- Cheese – balances out the spice and adds a whole new dimension to the noodles.
- Rice – when you’re all out of noodles and only have soup left, dump some rice into it. Trust me on this.
- Leftover tteokbokki – I’ll post a vegetarian recipe for this soon, but the chewy rice cake in the soup is a divine experience.
- Kimchi – a classic.
- Mayonaise – this one is probably most controversial, but it’s one you have to taste to believe. Add some mayo to spicy ramen, just… take a leap of faith.