Sun Noodle Ramen Kits


RAMEN!!! I love ramen. Ever since I had my first taste at Toki Underground, I’ve been hooked. It changed my whole outlook. I should have known there was a non instant version that I was missing out on. But that was ALL I knew. My friend Lorri in NYC shipped me a bunch of ramen kits by Sun Noodle and I’m obsessed.

The kit comes with two individually wrapped servings of fresh noodles and a pack of tare that you dilute in hot water. The rest is up to you!


I can only eat cooked sprouts, but lucky me, these sprouts for the ramen are cooked. I made a sauce that was sesame oil, black pepper, soy sauce to taste.


Dropped in some sprouts into boiling hot water for a minute. Then drained.


Tossed it into the sauce and added some green onion and called it a day. This is probably something I made up, but it worked with the soup!

I went to the local asian market, and picked up slices of char siu and crispy pig. I blanched some chinese broccoli. I also cooked a can of bamboo shoots, stirred them in some chili oil, sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce. I also sliced up a sheet of seaweed and boiled a couple of eggs (since I can’t eat them poached or soft boiled).


I also picked up a jar of pickled red ginger. And put the bowls together how I wanted it. ALMOST PROFESSIONAL RIGHT?


I used a tonkatsu broth for mine. OMG SO GOOD. MY FAVORITE.


He and my friend Anna both went for the spicy sesame. They both said it was one of the best ramen they’ve had. AND IT WAS INSTANT at HOME. Ok, I did fancy it up a bit with extra ingredients, but restaurant quality noodles and soup at home was just super amazing to me. I’ve got a couple of these in my freezer in case I wanna do another ramen night.

THANK YOU SO MUCH LORRI for introducing me to these. My life is changed again, by ramen.




Lao Suki Yaki


According to wikipedia,

Sukiyaki in Laos takes the form of a bowl of bean thread noodles, various vegetables, thinly-sliced beef and other meats or seafood, sukiyaki sauce, and a raw egg in beef broth. The sukiyaki sauce is made from coconut, fermented tofu, tahini, peanut butter, sugar, garlic, lime and spices.


That’s a general explanation of it. My mom made the sauce with red curry, pickled garlic, fermented red bean curd, peanut butter, dried shrimp and love. It was my most favorite dish growing up. After we used up all the broth, we would also eat it this way.




When we found out that my mom didn’t have much longer to live, I realized I might not ever have her cooking again. Nor will my children get to taste how great their grandmother cooked. That’s when I decided I wanted to make a cookbook of Maman’s recipes and stories of the times I spent in the kitchen with her. That project has been worked on and off in the past 3 years. Still working on it.




I remember in the last couple weeks before my mom’s passing, she wanted to make suki yaki with me one last time. I couldn’t have asked for a better thing to do with her. Since it takes all day, it took a lot of energy out of her, so she did it with naps in between. I did everything, with her guidance. Now when I make it, I can picture us in my aunts kitchen, barefoot. Me in jeans, her in her pajamas. She was so frail and seemed smaller since the cancer was sucking the life out of her. But here she was, spending this time with me, telling me how to do everything her way.

I will forever be transported to that day whenever I cook this.

Bangkok Noodle


Not sure if you noticed, but I love noodle soups. It’s so comforting, and even though it could be 100 degrees outside, I could probably still have some noodle soup. A couple of people have mentioned Bangkok Noodle House in Springfield, so we decided to give it a shot one day for lunch.

They also serve a regular thai menu, but we were there strictly for the noodles. The service was attentive and friendly. I chose the floating market soup. I have never had it before. It was flavorful, but I don’t think I would get it again, it was too…liver-y for me.

But their homemade ice cream? YES. Winner. We had a scoop of coconut, and a scoop of taro. AND IT HAD BITS OF REAL TARO in it. Taro is one of my favorite flavors, artificial and real.

Izakaya Blue Ocean Restaurant: Ramen

After hearing many great things, and being recommended this place often, I finally got the chance to try Blue Ocean Restaurant. I hear their sushi is GREAT and their ramen is flavorful. But that would be too much for me to judge on at once, so let’s break it down by food. Today we are talking soup. Ramen noodle soup to be exact.

I ordered the soy ramen soup. And that was it. It came out in a perfect portion, for me. Meaning it wasn’t a huge bowl that I was doomed to waste. There was bamboo, a seaweed sheet, scallions, half a boiled egg, and piece of pork. Your standard ramen bowl. No extras to add in were even offered on the menu. Just straight up ramen.

And that was all it needed to be. The noodles were a perfect texture, the soup full of flavor. WOW. I did not expect this from a non dedicated noodle joint. I am happy. Maybe all the other places had too many choices? And I made the wrong choice? Now I have to reevaluate and try ALL the soups every where else. Or maybe not. But yes. It was GOOD. and I am satisfied. Better than Tanpopo for me.

Tanpopo Ramen

Ramen, Pho, Suki Yaki, all these things have something in common. They are noodle soups, and they are all comforting. AND I NEEDED IT. After getting poked and prodded by doctors the other week, and STILL being sick a week later I needed some comfort food. Not up for the trek out to my beloved Toki Underground, we decided to try out Tanpopo Ramen House in Annandale.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this place, noting that things got better as its been opened longer. Sick and wanting a fatty broth I went for it. A dark restaurant inside a tiny shopping center it gave the hole in the wall feel that you’d expect from a ramen house. They also served sushi. The walls were covered with cute ramen eating faces. There were only 2 other tables when we got there, and service was good, even though we were in the back corner away from everyone.

I got the tonkatsu. It was milky, and noodley and had all the soothing qualities I needed at that moment. It wasn’t as savory and POW like Toki’s…but it definitely gets the job done for something you don’t want to drive out the city, and look for parking, or wait for. But that’s the trade off. I was sick, and needed something to warm my insides. They have a couple different broths to choose from and plenty of add ons. I will definitely give it another shot when I’m not stuffed up and dying.

Tanpopo Ramen House
4316 Markham St
Annandale, VA 22003