Ramen Noodles for Dinner


We’re headed out of town for the weekend, back to SC, and I am notorious for buying a fridge full of food, and then just letting half of it rot.  It’s an awful habit, but I’m trying to be better.  So with no fresh groceries in the house, I rely on my unintended stockpile, otherwise known as ‘the cupboard’.   My husband has been in Philly all week for business, so Olivia (my kid) and I made bulgogi one night using prepared, marinated dishes bought from our weekend journey to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.  It’s super easy to prepare at home, but sometimes convenience reigns, and when my husband is out of town, I try really hard not to cook at all.


So tonight he is coming home, and he’s getting ramen noodles for dinner.  Yep, the packaged kind, but NOT the stuff from Publix or even Whole Foods.   I only buy Korean “Ramyun”.  I also make sure not to buy any with MSG, and I never buy any with sodium levels higher than 950mg.  You can find the good stuff online if you’re not anywhere near an Asian market.  Stop buying the cardboard flavored ones from the grocery store.  I don’t know how people eat those.  Anyway, here are some options for buying online:  Asian Food Grocer and H-Mart.  I recently spotted some Korean ramyun at World Market and Target, so please find these options.  I don’t mind it simple, straight from the packet, but go into your fridge or freezer and feel free to add fish, shrimp, mushrooms, etc…  


Hopefully, on our way to or from SC this weekend, we will stop by Umaido in Suwannee, GA for the real deal.  You will, no doubt, get an update if I do!  Umaido is a Korean-owned Japanese noodle house.  They make their own noodles, and their broths are divine.


Is There a Better Place to Start?

Twenty-five years ago, I first accompanied my mother on what would become many journeys from Easley, South Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.   You see, in Easley, SC, nor in the neighboring larger metropolis of Greenville, were there many places that a Korean woman could gather all the groceries and goods needed to supply that yearning of a place,  a home, a {Seoul} left behind.


I have to admit, it was quite the culture shock for me every time we stepped foot through the doors back then.  Sure, my mother was Korean, but my father was good ol’ boy Southern, and even though I was born in Korea, my roots are firmly planted in red clay dirt. But inside the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, southern culture goes on the skids. Shuffling through this store made you feel like you were walking the overcrowded streets of Seoul.   Every weekend, Korean people from every surrounding state would emerge upon this Atlanta mecca.   You have to check your southern hospitality at the door, because people who are from overcrowded places do not have time for mere politeness. They aren’t being rude, though.  It is just how it is…  practical.   My senses were overwhelmed from the first step into the store;  fruits and vegetables I had never seen before, jars and bags of who-knows-what and where it came from.  The scent..  well..  it was distinct.


Fast forward to today.  I now live in Atlanta (a suburb to be exact..  and yes OTP for you ITP snobs) and I am still making that journey to the BHFM.   I will definitely be reaching beyond this introduction to show you more about this wonderful, eclectic, international market in future posts, but I thought what better place to introduce myself and my culture, and give hints on what’s to come…  which I hope is one big cast iron skillet of some country-fried rice, y’all!  Throw a little kimchi in mine, please!

Ramyun Gangnam Style (ramyun..  korean for ramen)

Ramyun Gangnam Style (ramyun.. korean for ramen)