Quarantine life has certainly put our appetites to the test. While we’ve relied on pantry staples like pretzels, chocolate, and peanut butter to bring us familiar comforts, we’ve also ventured into the unknown to taste-test novel grocery store items that *may* deserve a permanent spot in our snacking or meal rotations.
Enter Samyang Carbo Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen, the $2 ramen (which can be found on Amazon) that has won over the palates of our Chowhound editorial team. You may have tried a snack, dairy product, sauce, or even noodle from the South Korean food brand before, but this delectably spicy indulgence has quickly emerged as a favorite among the portfolio.
“They’re rich and savory and pack a good amount of heat that lingers with each bite,” says Connor Bower, social media producer. “They’ve been a go-to for me during quarantine when I need something easy to alleviate cooking burnout. I can also add some different mix-ins to use up what I have hanging out in the fridge.”
Staff writer David Watsky echoes these sentiments and shares his own preparation to take them from great to amazing.
“A lot of the Chinese restaurants in my neighborhood have been closed, sadly, and this is the closest thing to Chinese takeout I’ve made,” he says. “I simply stir-fry a protein like chicken breast, shrimp, or cod in my wok with vegetables—I’m partial to zucchini, carrots, onion, and bok choy but use whichever ones you like. Next, I’ll mix in the cooked, drained noodles and packets of sauce directly in the wok to incorporate it all. You can add a couple of ounces of the noodle water, too, if you like things extra saucy. The flavor of the dry and wet sauce packets together is spot-on, with just a little heat and mild smokiness. The noodles, when cooked properly, maintain a pleasant chewiness, not unlike soba [noodles]. Best of all, the whole meal takes about eight minutes to make and costs around $5, give or take.”
Craft Wok Traditional Hand-Hammered Carbon Steel Wok
$60 on Amazon
Inexpensive, delicious, customizable, and offered in bulk quantities? Looks like this checks all the boxes for what constitutes quality quarantine cooking.
Header image courtesy of Amazon.