Blog Flora Refosco - How to survive spans of intense work and few visits to the groceries: civilly substituting instant lamen


How to survive spans of intense work and few visits to the groceries: civilly substituting instant lamen

20/02/2015 - 1 Comments - Recipes | Pasta

When I was still in college, if I knew I would go through a span of hard work, sometimes I bought half a dozen of instant lamen packages and left them in the pantry for "emergency cases" (read "cases of arriving home hungry and tired, just willing to take a shower and pass out").
But, well. Instant lamen is not the kind of thing that's usually found in my kitchen, due to the amount of industrialized junk in it's composition.

Talking to a friend about this impasse, he gave me a great idea of a substitute. Later, thinking about the theme "instant lamen", I came to a kind of philosophic conclusion about this problem. Let's see.
What makes instant noodles so appealing is not the taste, obviously. Not even the speed to prepare it, or the fact that it can remain stored for ages (making it available to me, even after months away from the stores), or the cheap price. Truth is, with instant lamen I don't have to think. That's it.

So, look how simple things are: if once in my life I think ahead about some options of food that can be ready in 5 minutes, and I establish that those are my emergency options, when my mind and body happen to be exhausted, all I got to do is execute a plan that's already been made. Francine suggests a soft boiled egg, for example. I still like better Mura's idea (the friend I mentioned before).


It consists in replacing the junk lamen with bifum, that thin rice pasta that doesn't take weird ingredients (the label says the only ingredient in it is rice). If you can't find bifum, use angel's hair pasta. That's the common wheat pasta, the very thin one. Because they are so thin, they cook really fast.
What I usually do is I heat 2 cups of water in a small pan. Once it boils, I add a handful of raw pasta and allow to cook for 2 minutes before turning off the heat. It's always good to check the package for the cooking time, but it'll probably be around 1-3 minutes.

Now, the powdered seasoning (that's evil!) I substitute for one tablespoon misso. How I do it: I toss part of the cooking water, but leave some of it in the pan. I throw in the misso and stirr a little to dissolve. If I'm in ogre feelings, I eat from the pan. When civility talks louder, I serve it in a bowl. It's nice to add a little chopped herb, generally chives. In the day I took the pictures, all I had was fresh basil, and that's what I used. Tasted good too.

To present it to those who are not familiar: misso is a traditional Japanese food, a paste of fermented soy, which sometimes takes other kinds of grain too, and salt. It is very tasty and salty and, depending on how it's made, can even act as a pre-biotic. Meaning: it can favor the bacteria that aid in the digestive process.
By now, there isn't a full post about the theme here in the blog, but I talk about them briefly in the post about sourdough bread.

If you are into something more classic, keep in the pantry a few dehydrated tomatoes, oregano and olive oil.
After cooking the pasta, strain it in the same way, leaving a little water, then add chopped dehydrated tomatoes, oregano, olive oil and some salt.


What about you? Where do you run to when the fridge is empty and tiredness talks loud?
Share your hints in the comments!

12/05/2015 21:29:46

Monica Findeis

Boa ideia Flora, bifum é tão rápido quanto miojo e muito melhor, na minha opinião! Estou cansada já daquele gosto de miojo, mas quando a fome bate e estou exausta é o que há! hehe

Response from Flora
Oi Monica! Pois é, acho uma delícia o bifum com missô. Missô tem um gostinho reconfortante tão bom :) Essa estratégia de pensar com antecedência em "opções de emergência" funciona super bem. Quer ver então congelar porções individuais quando preparo um pouco a mais de comida no almoço... rs Um beijo!

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