Saimen – Another trek into Ramen country

Hi readers.  I’ve been planning to share this with you a while but keep forgetting.

Back when David McCreary and I got bounced out of Peace Corps India X training at Hilo, then jumped the plane to seek our destinies in Honolulu  we were dirt poor.  Sharing a room at a rooming house up on East Manoa Road.  Him working as a drink waiter at the Kohala Hilton, me busboying down at the Makahiki of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Dirt poor, so we ate a lot of Saimen.  Something I’ve never heard of since, but a person could get a bowl for a quarter at any food joint in Honolulu.

So I began a while back experimenting, trying to recreate Saimen using Ramen.  Bought green onion, chopped it all the way back to the tips of the green, all the way forward to the root.  Threw in minced garlic, ginger, fish, or chicken, or meat if I had some.  Sometimes a dash of curry, habenero, whatever comes to hand.

Boiled down all the other ingredients a considerable while to make a strong flavored broth.  Then at the last minutes of the just-right tastehood, added Ramen noodles, or small diameter pasta sticks.

This stuff’s as good today as it was in 1964 in Honolulu.  It would even be good if 1964 never happened and had to get replaced with some other year.

Just saying.

Old Jules

6 responses to “Saimen – Another trek into Ramen country

  1. Chuck Cunningham

    Got several big cases of the Ramen, some various falvors like Chicken and Shrimp. Kids used to eat it a lot. I have eaten it and it is ok. I am told and maybe not to put in the MSG packet of spices. May have been one of the neighbors that shun anything that sounds like it will shorten your existence. How long after the date is the stuff good? Should be a long time.
    This has a best by date of 061312.

    When I worked for Blitz Body in Cicero, IL in the 80’s they had a storeroom where they kept things of people who must have been pals or some such that were cooling heels in the slammer. Signs said not to eat the stuff. Probably kill you or just to scare off the employees, who were from all over the world: Russian Jews, Vietnamese or Chinese, Mexican, probably others, and even a few Americans. I worked with the Russian guys in under-frames. Great guys and good memories. I was supposed to be an Industrial Engineer. Did flat developments there and got a bit of help from Eddie and Yefim, Russian & real engineers, may have nuclear. Good times then.
    What can one say about today??????

    Y as in Peace not as in IIVII Trekkies
    Chicken Little

    Is the sky really falling? Snopes it !

    • Chuck, I found some ramen in boxes around here dated best 2008. I’d feel no hesitation eating 061312. However, Jeanne’s warned me about some other food items in boxes dated fairly longtime agoish, said some of that stuff might cause a person trouble. Jack

      • I hate tossing stuff. We have lots in freezers for an unsure amount of time. Hopefully they have not been defrosted and refrozen, but we should be careful.

        My sister almost died eating a Thanksgiving turkey that had been defrosted and refrozen when Dad and his wife were stationed in Laos with Air America in the 70’s and she was incapacitated for 7 days before she could get to the phone to try to get help or somesuch.

  2. Made me smile to read you were bounced out of the Peace Corps. You must have been a character even then. Glad you found a way to re-create an old dish.

    • Hi Bev: I’ve always figured it was just a matter of me not being the right person to go teach Gujaratis to raise chickens. Otherwise I’m sure I was a fairly normal sort of person. Gracias, J

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