Friday, October 10, 2008


Lunch is not a fun affair.

I'm usually by myself, at home and try to either finish off any leftovers of the previous evening (of which there are never many), or make something simple. Sadly, I often turn to instant meals bulked up by something at home.

Today's lunch was Nong Shim's Chapagetti, an instant noodle of which my Dad and I are inordinately fond. Introduced to me by my Korean flatmate in university, I introduced it to my father and we have been buying it by dozen ever since.

Based on Cha Chang or Zha Jiang Mein, a savory spicy sauce which can reddish with lots of ground meat in the Cantonese style and dark black (using black soybeans) in the Korean style and usually served with thick chewy noodles. My favorite is the Korean version, one in which my Taiwanese aunts make particularly well along with their own handmade noodles and accompanying pickles....thinking about it makes my mouth water. But as a hopeless cook I make do with this version of Cha Chang Myun by Nong Shim.

I just want to take a second here and acknowledge that Nong Shim is one of my favorite makers of instant noodles. Their noodles, which are very much deep fried, are thick, chewy if cooked right and have a great bite to them.

It comes with a little packet of dehydrated soy/meat and veg, a packet of powder for the sauce and a small packet of vegetable oil. I, heathen that I am, usually toss away the oil, and after boiling the noodles to a consistency I like, dump out the water, put in two tablespoons of fresh water, a splash of white vinegar (I like my noodles with a bit of tang) and the sauce powder, putting it back on the hob at the lowest heat possible. I then attempt to stir, mix and coax it all together, turning it into a lovely curly black mess.

Today's meal was made complete with a surprisingly double yolked hard boiled egg and 3 sticks of surirmi (faux crabmeat, seafood extenders, whatever you want to call it), and a dollop of spicy Sriracha sauce on the side.

A quick, tasty, if not exactly healthy, lunch for one.

1 comment:

Gerry said...

Jessie, Ja Jiang mien is immensely popular here in Korea. I tried an instant version that comes in a bowl a couple of nights ago but must say was a bit disappointed. The noodles was too ramen like. It needed to be fatter. But having said that there are many many choices at the supermarkets. If I find the Nong Shim one I will definitely try it and if I come across another decent one will send you a sample. : )