Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One Simple Pleasure about Working from Home is Hot Dog Soup

If you're considering quitting your office job and joining the ranks of the self-employed, you should be prepared to wallow in one of life's finer delights: Hot Dog Soup.

I'm addicted.

Some words of advice:

  • Choose the best packaged Korean noodles. The only English words on the wrapping should be "noodle soup". Otherwise, it's just crappy ramen.

  • Buy real beef hot dogs and cut them into the thinnest slices possible. That way your concoction will exude its full flavor into the broth, noddles and egg.

  • Throw in an egg. Very important. Not including an egg in Hot Dog Soup is like serving a Martini without a garnish.

  • You may think everyone will share your passion, but your neighborhood Korean grocer may look at you cock-eyed when you rave to him about your new-found glory. Keep your enthusiasm on the down-low.
  • Comments:
    How's this Korean noodle soup better than standard ramen? I really want to know.

    Prepare for a lot of traffic walking in from Huffington Post and getting pissy with you because they don't understand how two clicks got them into this alien neighborhood. Maybe you'll have to post a joke about IMing teenagers on your noodle soup page.

    Oh, and can you be more specific about how to bring the egg into the soup? There are a few ways to go, but which way is yours?

    Good questions, all of them.

    Not sure what they do to my fave Korean noodles, but I can tell you for certain that regular ramen makes the broth taste like a hot mud puddle. I tossed the ramen out the only time I tried it hot-dog-and-egg style.

    Bringing on the egg is simple: when the water's boiling, dump all said ingredients in and crack the egg on top. Start stirring quick so the it breaks up.

    I'm serious: I've had this meal for lunch every day for about two weeks. Very satisfying.
    I grew up on Shin Ramyun-brand "ramen". It bears about as much resemblance to those 25-cent packages of Nissin Top Ramen as a prime rib does to a McDonald's hamburger.

    First off, the package is much, much bigger, though you might expect that anyway since your local Korean deli will usually sell these for about a buck a pack anyway (a box of 20 goes for $10 at the Korean supermarket).

    Second, this isn't instant ramen where you pour a cup of boiling water on top and dump on the "flavor packet" and let rehydration do its magic. No, you've got to really cook Shin Ramyun in a pot of boiling water but trust me, it's worth the extra effort. The noodles are thicker, heartier, and so delicious that they even taste great uncooked.

    Third, the broth. Rather than a tiny packet of "oriental flavor" of unknown origin, you get a nice thick spice packet full of Korean goodness. Truth be told, I don't know what's in it exactly but I know that it's delicious enough that I could eat the broth alone as soup (or add rice to your leftover broth if you want to stuff yourself silly) and it packs about 75% of your daily sodium allowance.

    Fourth, the dehydrated vegetable packet. If nothing else, they add texture to the whole mix. I do love those squishy little re-hydrated mushroom chunks though.

    All of this makes Shin Ramyun the best meal you can make for a buck and a pot of boiling water. As I said above, if you've got some leftover rice sitting around (and if you live in a Korean household, you always do), hold onto that broth and you've got as many as two meals for that buck.

    That was pure poetry. Thank you for sharing.

    Have you ever tried my hot dog and egg combo with Shin Ramyun?
    How About some Beans and a nice Chianti!!!!!!!
    I've never added the pink flesh to my noodle, but i will soon. I poach my egg, just crack it in there and let it sit.. about 1.5 minutes before you take it off of the heat. You may also try adding some real bona fide veggies to the mix... some zuchinni or broccolli, onions mushrooms yellow squash scallions or even some fresh basil.. anyway.. i'll see about the dog in there...
    I live in Seoul, and I agree on the Korean ramen (or "ramyeon" in Korea.) It is nothing like the cheap crap with a little boullion packet. There are many flavors (including my favorite, kimchi ramyeon)and you can get the instant kind, too. Many people go into the nearest convenience store, buy a pre-packaged bowl, add some hot water, wait a few minutes, then slurp away, right there in the 7-11 (or Buy the Way, or GS 25, or Family Mart.) A great quick meal for about a buck. I will try this recipe--sounds great!
    I get those Nong Shim brand noodle bowls - Kimchi flavor. Very good.

    INCREDIBLY effective when you have a head cold. Add even more hot sauce of your liking and it'll clear you right up.

    I must try the hot dog - that's pretty good thinking. And the egg.

    My Korean grocer mentioned adding veggies to the mix. Will definitely try your suggestions.

    My current favorite soup additive is pre-cooked chicken breast, diced into healthy-sized chunks. Better than hot dog by a long shot.
    My ex and I used to make something like this when we were living off campus in college, we used tofu instead of hotdog slices though and occasionally splashed in a little pepper and hot sauce. Delicious, and an excellent way to save money for essentials, like vodka and electricity
    Doesn't the bun get all wet?
    Poached egg is fine, but if you're feeling ambitious, try egg drop soup: beat the egg, then pour the beaten egg in a quick stream around the noodles. Faster, too.

    For those interested, the noodles use high-gluten flour, which explains why they're chewier and, well, better than usual ramen.
    Is this how Kobayashi and the Black Widow train?
    I have been eating ramyeon since 1969 when I was in the Army and stationed in Korea. The only thing I do that is different is slice up 1 or 2 scallions. Also, I put the egg in the bowl first, then pour the noodles in on top of it. I wait about a minute, then stir the egg up from the bottom, breaking it up.
    I'm going to be honest with you, this sounds pretty good. What I am also thinking of is getting pho take-out, and adding a hot dog in the privacy of my own kitchen. Hm.....
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