Friday Feast: First, Ramen

 

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Thailand has its flag-ship dish Pad Thai, Vietnam has its Pho noodles, Italy has its spaghetti and in Japan, it is Ramen! One of our favorite foods lately is Japanese Ramen. This is a far cry from the Cup O’ Noodles that you and I grew up with! The noodles are thick and plentiful, the broth thicker and soupier than Pho. They usually come with a slice of delicious pork belly that melts in your mouth and a boiled egg. Of course you know Danica won’t eat the meat… so I get double portion, more protein for me!

Ordering the food is a process in of its own out here in Okinawa. You first need to order from an automated vending machine that is only in Japanese. Our first time was rough but thankfully the waitress spoke some English and was able to explain enough for us to figure it out. You punch in the main items and add-on items and the machine ejects out these tiny little tickets accordingly. They remind me of movie tickets. As you can see, Camrielle has assumed the duty of punching these buttons for us! Then Lyianna hands over the tickets to our Japanese waitress, and in broken Japanese we pay with Yen.

I enjoy the new ambience and one of the best things is watching my family enjoy food from another land. I can’t say that I enjoyed it as thoroughly the first time. Let me explain.

If you’ve ever eaten with me before, you may recall that I have a penchant for the burn of the spicy. From Siracha to Tapatio, bring it on! So when the waitress asked me how spicy I wanted my Ramen, from a scale of 1 to 50, I chose 25. I thought that it was relative to a scale of 1 to 10, and that in Japan somehow their scale goes up to 50. I was wrong! As I wolfed in my “Exploding Volcano” spicy level 25 Ramen, I thought it odd that Chefs kept peering out to look at me.  It wasn’t so bad … it was only half way max spicy level…or so I thought. As I began to feel an unusual subtle tingling emerge from the base of my tongue to the top of my scalp, my family was giggling at me and having a grand old-time. I can only handle the burn of a level 2 spicy and I may just stick to no spice for a while because wow the burn!

Thank you for joining us on our journey and checking out our gastric delights. I can’t wait to share with you guys next week another Japanese favorite out here!

Until next week, this is your friendly neighborhood, guest writin’ Ramen eating’ Jake signing out.

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