Monday, June 30, 2008

Ramen Review: Spicy Beef Instant Rice Cake

Another leftfield hit. I wanted to branch out from the realm of noodles and this was my initial step. The rice cake came in inch-and-a-half flat oblong slabs, and stayed that way throughout the alchemical process. I knew the flavors would be at least interesting given the pungent spicy cloud that hit me as I dumped them unceremoniously on top of the beige flat lozenges, but I held no real hope that this would turn into food.

Amazingly, the rice cake softened into something like pasta but exquisitely not pasta, having a satifying texture and a subtle flavor unto themselves, and the broth had a heavy, spicy, intoxicating (for instant noodle bowls anyway) aroma which adhered nicely to the rice cakes. I could see little circles of hot pepper and dark strings in the soup, and with a few sips, my earache momentarily subsided. Maybe from the wincing (it was pretty salty) or the aftershock (it was pretty spicy) but it felt like a miracle cure. I drank half the bowl, all I could handle, hoping to join the hearing again when minutes later my ears popped back to their previous muffled condition.

I would imagine this would make an actual lovely meal with slices of beef and snap peas soaking in it as depicted on the lid image, but in the future, when warehouses of noodle bowls are the only thing that survive the Grand Hubris of Humanity (I saw Wall-E this weekend) me and my apocalypse team got dibs on the rice cakes.

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