Just like instant packet ramen



After watching too many Korean TV shows with people slurping enticing-looking noodles, the ramen craving became quite unbearable! Of course commercial packet instant noodles are quite out of the question for me. Not only do the noodles themselves contain plenty of additives, the flavouring is usually more MSG (or other similarly glutamate-heavy MSG-substitute in ‘No MSG’ varieties) than anything else. The last time I gave into a packet noodle craving some years ago, I suffered indigestion, fuzzy-headedness and terrible itching — not worth it at all!

So this time, I whipped up a midnight ramen snack using what was on-hand in my kitchen cupboard. At least with control over individual ingredients, I would stand a much better chance of surviving — and enjoying! — my noodles.

Ingredients for ramen

Ingredients for ramen

Multigrain ramen — packet is divided into single serve sections
Organic wheat-free tamari
Sesame oil
Furikake , Muso brand (white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, salted shiso leaves, ao nori)
Shredded nori seaweed (make sure it’s plain without any seasoning)

To prepare the ramen, cook the noodles in boiling water. This multigrain variety takes at least 4 minutes but it’s much more substantial and more chewy than regular noodles, which I like because it gives a good ‘bite’ and is more filling. Drain noodles and simply toss with other ingredients to taste!

It’s worth mentioning that my ‘safe’ version is only relatively safe. The tamari and seaweed are rich in glutamates and the ramen, although a multigrain variety from the health food shop, is certainly not gluten-free. Watch out also for high salicylate level in the sesame oil. Personally, I would only resort to this once in a way.


Akan Datang (Coming Soon)…

To make up for my slowness in posting, here are some photos to whet your appetite for updates coming soon ^_^!



Cornbread Muffin (gluten-free)

Cornbread Muffin (gluten-free)

Gluten-free muffins with bean, rice & tapioca flours

Gluten-free muffins with bean, rice & tapioca flours

Buying Shinzi Katoh in Singapore

If your bento aesthetics lean towards zakka (such as FrankTastes), and you are hoping for Shinzi Katoh items to appear in your Christmas stocking this year, you might want to hint to your friends and family with these Singapore Shinzi Katoh shopping tips (^.^).

Maameemoo (Orchard Cineleisure, 02-09) is a tiny zakka heaven, with a selection of Shinzi Katoh items, including bento boxes and bags. Short totes (which can double as lunch bags) cost S$39 and there are regular new shipments, according to the sales assistant. I’ve seen a much larger zakka shop at Cathay Building, but can’t remember if they actually had Shinzi Katoh or bento items.

However, an online search turns up a few Singapore-based online zakka stores:
The Little Happy Shop

Both of these seem well-organised at very similar prices: lunch totes at S$26.90 (The Little Happy Shop) and S$26 (Zakkaart.com), double-tier bento boxes at S$29.90 (The Little Happy Shop) and $$28 (Zakkaart.com), single-tier boxes at S$17.80 (The Little Happy Shop) and S$24 (Zakkaart.com). Don’t forget to factor in the delivery charges (pretty minimal if by standard mail within Singapore).

There is also Momo’s World, which seems to be a new online shop, less professionally-organised website than the other two and with a limited selection.

Or perhaps you want to order directly from Shinzi Katoh’s Japan online shop; prices vary according to design. Here’s a guide for English-speakers to navigate the site. Shinzi Katoh’s UK website also does international orders (currently 25% off lunchboxes): lunch totes are £18, single-tier boxes on sale at £7.50, double-tier ones – £8.65.

Don’t forget: if ordering lunchboxes, do check the size as the double-tier ones come in 460ml and 540ml. If the lunch bags are too small for you, another option could be the short tote bags which are the same height but twice the length of the lunch bags (W315×H160×D110mm).

N.B.: I haven’t purchased from any of these shops myself so no comments on the actual level of service. I’ll just keep wishing hard for my Christmas this year… or next.

Enjoying life?

Recently, I was invited to dinner at a fancy Chinese restaurant and as usual, I came prepared with a packed meal from home. The other guests were mostly people I’d never met before and as always, there was much curiosity about my food.

One exchange went like this:
“Are you on a diet?”
“No, I have food intolerances.”
“To what?”
“MSG, additivies, preservatives, colourings etc. among other things.”
“You’re not enjoying life to the fullest then!”
“I’d enjoy life even less if I was feeling sick!”

A perfect example of why there needs to be more public awareness and understanding of food sensitivities. The person obviously couldn’t understand that it was not that I had chosen to go on a diet because of say, excessive vanity, but that I was trying to avoid unpleasant food reactions. 

I’ve also decided that on days when I have enough energy and am prepared for a verbal battle, I should stop sneaking my own food in restaurants and eateries which have a ‘No Outside Food’ rule, and talk to them about allowing me to eat my own food whilst I accompany my friends who are placing orders. This is one very important means of raising awareness and Singapore has a long way to go in this respect. Many F&B staff don’t seem to have ever encountered food sensitivities, give me an incredulous look. If I decide to take the risk to order something, I’ll ask ‘please tell me ALL the ingredients that are in this dish’ but many times they’ll either forget to mention even major ingredients (much less the seasonings and toppings), or have absolutely no clue what goes into the powder/liquid/packaged-something.

I’ll repeat the phrase – ‘take a risk’ :P. No thanks, most of the time, I’d rather play it safe, stick to my homemade food, stay well and enjoy life.