Serious Eats: Recipes
Dinner Tonight: Alton Brown's Ramen Shrimp Pouch
"Yes, you can make ramen in an aluminum pouch, but why oh why wouldn't you just simmer it in a pot?"
That Alton Brown. I have nothing but respect for the guy. He's one of the reasons I first became interested in cooking in the first place. But sometimes you just have to wonder. This recipe brilliantly dresses up a cheap (as in 33¢ cheap) packet of ramen.
That's thanks to some dried mushrooms and shrimp, which make the vegetable broth taste almost meaty. It tastes great. It's just that Brown has you cook it in an aluminum pouch in the oven. This may initially sound like a really novel idea, until you start wondering why you'd ever crimp and fold a bunch of aluminum foil and preheat the oven when there's already an invention designed to hold food over a flame—called a pot.
I feel like paraphrasing Jeff Goldblum's character in Jurassic Park. Brown was so preoccupied with whether or not he could, he didn't stop to think if you should.
Yes, you can make ramen in an aluminum pouch, but why oh why wouldn't you just simmer it in a pot? The noodles come out a tad limp and lifeless in the aluminum packet. They'd taste better if they were cooked over slightly higher heat in a pot. Also, I'd trade the diced onion for more scallion, and red pepper flakes for whole dried chiles.
But I suppose the big question in the end is whether this tastes good or not—and it thankfully does. It may not make much sense, but Brown sure does know how to make things taste good.