Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 10 : Sep 2006  > Columns  >  Trail Recipes  >  Portable Peppery Pasta


Trail Recipes

By Akira Suzuki

Portable Peppery Pasta



Stick ramen
Pepper (with mill)

Instant ramen is the perfect trail food, but sometimes it can be a space-eater in the backpack. However, straight noodles, referred to as “stick ramen” solve the problem.

Different than the curly noodles compacted into a block, there’s no space between these strands, thus making both somen and udon the perfect packing pasta. (See Photo 1: The ratio of curly to stick ramen space runs about three to two.)

Straight ramen is a familiar sight for Japanese, young and old, but a must-see for our foreign friends. Boil the noodles and make the soup all at the same time.
Additionally, because the stick noodles can fit into a long and slender Kocher pot, there’s no need to worry about what to boil them in. Using a pot like this means the lid is sealed, but if you’re OK with a little variation in your pasta, there’s not much about which to be concerned.

Pepper is perfect for spicing up the pasta. For those who know their spices, it is common knowledge that freshly ground pepper offers the best bang for the buck – particularly when it comes to keeping the spice flavor. Pre-ground pepper loses a lot of its flavor, and in some cases has a tendency to take on moisture while on the trail.

Add the noodles to the boiling water and add the coarsely ground pepper. Don’t be tempted to use the pre-ground stuff. Grinding it on right before you eat it is essential.

Recently, pepper can be found with the mill included, so we recommend searching these out. It allows you to take in the delicacy of ramen loaded with coarsely ground pepper – so tasty you won’t be longing for any additional ingredients. Also, don’t be limited to just ramen. Coarsely ground pepper on somen and zaru-udon has been around since the Edo Period.