The CH3 Test Kitchen: Top Ramen

Test Subject:

Nissin Top Ramen, Oriental Flavor

What was that?
Did I just detect a roll of the eyes, a weary sigh?

Oh I know, I know–you shudder at those salty memories of your dorm days, when you would huddle in a dark corner and eat cold Top Ramen out of your Mickey Mouse bowl–all the while sending weepy texts to your slut of a girlfriend back home–
Man up, ya fuckin Emo!

Nah man—for today’s recipe, we’re gonna take a clue from the fellas up in County, where the traditional Spread illustrates how we can make this pantry staple into something glorious!

Now here's a million dollar idea for yer new theme restaurant!

Heh. Well, let’s not go that far.
I assume we all have a pot of water and a lethal heat source, so we’ll leave the cans of tuna and cooking in Hefty garbage bags to Lil Joker and Pelón.

Besides, you can find a slimy bowl of goddamned Udon all over town, and ya can’t stumble out of a club at closing time without falling into another 24 hour Pho joint, true.
But a decent Ramen?
Good luck brother.

All the rare, good joints are packed with somber Japanese corporate ex-pats, who are none too happy about being housed at the Costa Mesa Ramada the past 15 months.
These poor people are clearly in no mood to put up with sloppy punkers invading their last refuge, so let’s leave Mentatsu to them, aiight?

Leave us alone, roundeye hipster foodie!

Top Ramen (1 pkg)
Green Onions (4 stalks)
Huy Fong Chili Garlic (4 Tbsp)
Spam (1/2 Tin)
Ichimi Togarashi (2 Tsp)
White Cadillac Slippers (2)
Soft Boiled Egg (1)

Have these handy at all times!

What’s that ya say?
You don’t have these ingredients handy?

Duh–that’s what those shitty Korean sushi joints are there for!
Go in and order a California Roll and a Diet Coke, and when they go to fetch that awful junk ya simply load up your pockets with all the condiments on the table.
Oh, don’t worry, they expect that behavior from ya— that’s why they use imitation imitation crab meat!

Alrighty, let’s put some water to boil.
Famously, those little flavor packets contain the sodium equivalent of a square foot of the Bonneville salt flats, so I suggest doubling the specified quantity of water:

….or, just roll with what’s on hand–ya got me?


While that’s bubbling away, let’s turn our attention to the protein, eh?

Yes, we’re using Spam, ya got a problem with that your highness?

And besides, we all know it’s fuckin 3:30 am after a night pounding Jager at Alex’s that you’re attempting to cook this, so doubtful yer gonna find a fresh Tonkatsu filet lying about, am I right?

In fact, the salty gamy flavor of this…er, meat…blends perfectly with this dish.
It’s well known that this handy canned meat product tastes uncannily of human flesh, thus its unparalleled popularity along the islands of Pacifc Oceania, their citizens the last to reluctantly abandon cannibalism.

How do you think those fuckin huge bouncers at Alpine Village got that way, huh?!

....hey bruddah---you got a hand stamp, huh?!

If Spam is not available, the following meat products may be substituted in a pinch:
Slim Jims.
Pork Rinds.
Char Siu Pork.
Beef Jerky.
Google Images of Spam on Android Tablet.

…and hey hey! since when do they put hidden prizes in the cans? Nifty!

If you find the golden Agent Orange button ya get to visit the factory!

While the noodles seep in the broth, slice off 4 generous slices of the meat.
Feed one to the dog. Now will you-please- stop following me around the kitchen? Huh?!

Ah jeez, now she's got the taste for flesh!

Now julianne the slices into pinky-finger sized spears—
quit looking at your pinky finger! Pay attention!
and sear off with stalks of green onion.


Spam and scallion stalks in first, pour ramen and broth over and let sit five minutes.

Top with sliced egg and chopped green onion.

Serving Suggestion:

Presentation is everything, people.
Yeah, yeah, I know yer crocked and stumbling around in your boxers at the moment, but have a little respect and eat this right, ok?

See, yer first mistake is, you try to eat this wonderful dish out of yer chipped, standard size soup bowl or-Good Lord!-right out of the pan!
Yeah, we see ya, ya uncouth bastard!

Nah man–you need a proper ceramic noodle bowl, not plastic, not metal, and big—Big!

To give you an idea, here I’ve parked my R75/6 next to the bowl we’re using:

And we’ll be using the correct utensils, kids.
One proper Wonton sized spoon, one wooden pair of chopsticks. of the trade...

And would it kill ya, huh? if you quit calling them Choptsticks? Alright?
These are hashi (箸), got it?
Doesn’t that sound better or at least slightly less racist, hmmm?
–And stop rubbing them together, you trying to make a fuckin fire or something?

Did I just see you using one for a spear?!
Would you quit leaving them in the bowl crossed up!
How were you people raised?!

Know what? Maybe you should stick to a plastic fork.....

Do not -Repeat: Do Not attempt to eat this in bed.
You will pass out, be scalded, and then constantly make us check out your stupid Sailor Jerry breast piece you had done to cover up the scars.

No, we have to eat this on the couch while watching TV to fully appreciate the complex flavors.
Watch anything playing on IFC, preferably a showing of Bad Lieutenant–the real one!

....been there, brother!

Serve piping hot on a clean Tshirt, which serves as both a potholder for this molten bowl of goodness and also a a handy napkin:

Call us old fashioned, be we use the traditional Darkness T, although I’ve heard a Frampton concert Tee or a Black Flag No Values shirt work equally well …..I know, kooky, right?

Now, was that not worth it?

Now don’t ya feel better about yourself?
You resisted the siren call of Taco Bell and Tommy’s, you came home and made a fine hot meal all by your lonesome!
I’m so proud of you guys!

Ah jeez—you took it up to bed, didn’t you?

I wondered why the dog was getting so chubby!


Let’s be honest here, people: Isn’t this whole Internet Food thing just about fucked out by now, hmm?

Oh, we’re as guilty as anyone, this obsession with chow.

The vivid descriptions of fatty snacks in the middle of the night, the tales of bizarre meats served en-stick, doled out by shady characters in the back alleys of cities we pass through:
What blog entry would be complete without ’em?

Roasted pork knuckle before meeting Mr. Anthony......
Prague: Roasted pork knuckle before meeting Mr. Anthony......

...and after!
...and after!

When did it become okay, I would ask ya, to make everyone at the table freeze, fork in hand, as their plate of rapidly cooling food has its goddamned picture taken?
God forbid one fingerling potato disappears from the canvas before we capture the dish at 5 megapixels, jot down notes on the composition of protein to carb, and then snap the photo again—just to be sure!

....better snap it again hon...I think the goat cheese blinked!

We stalk the latest food truck to come rolling on the scene, searching Twitter for its next appearance as if scanning the clouds above for the proof of a God.

And that’s why you find yourself standing in an industrial parking lot, 11pm on a Tuesday night in Vernon.
A line 20 deep, just to be the next one baptized by the latest kooky concoction!

And then what? Do we just go home, hands over contented bellies, and revel within inner dialogue of the meal we’ve just enjoyed?

Hell no. We take to Yelp, bragging that we’ve gone and done it—we’ve experienced the fusion pickled herring and head cheese tamale before our slacker pals had a chance.
(It was a bit too cloying and obvious for Jen, but I thought the combination really worked!)

RT @foodtrekker5: Broke my vegan streak with the latest in sustainable protein kebabbs.....#Nutty!

And we make chefs- god help us! -celebrities.
What have we done?

These are the cartoon superheroes for today's kids? Sheesh, and I thought Superfriends was pathetic!

Facebook posts reflect these obsessions now, and if we had to endure photos of the weekend in Taos and posted videos of juggling cats, well, wasn’t that at least more of an insight to our friends’ mindsets than their hankering for Icelandic yak meat or last night’s shocking appearance of a pebble in the ceviche?

Dear God......

…it’s the irony, is that it? Is that what you kids crave so much these days?

Oh, the delicious irony of having tough punkers and mundane office workers, suddenly become digitally published gourmands.
Ho, the funny, funny disjointed image: those tattooed forearms kneading a ball of dough!

Hey–here’s irony for ya: why don’t you knuckleheads pay your child support or put some decent exhaust systems on your rat bikes, huh? Really mindfuck the stereotype!

...I think we all know who won this one!

I know.
We can all relate to food, this much is true.

But ingestion and digestion– do these remain truly the only things we share communicably within the human experience?–really?

Heh–I can think of another function we all share, but yer not going to see us start recording and expounding on every bowel movement we experience on the road…oh, wait- already did!

Oh you laugh, but can’t ya just see it?
The next craze, reviewing the toilet facilities of the very restaurants that we’ve already put through the wringer:

The Men’s room in the back of Lazy Ox Canteen is dreadful, serviceable at best. Lack of paper in stall # 2, burnt lightbulb over the far left sink. Will not be going back!

Ted checks in on Facebook!

Oh I don’t know. It’s harmless, I guess.
If our National Discourse has been reduced to debates on the merits of Five Guys over In n Out, so be it.

Just don’t go dragging us down with your silly chatter about food.
We have better things to think about, people!


But really, Five Guys?
Gimmee a fuckin break!

The CH3 Year in Review 2011

Last gig of the year, the Ball Ball @ The Airliner, December 22

Well sir, let’s look at the ‘ol calendar, shall we?

Uh huh…..It’s well into our first week of January:

*It’s currently 85 degrees outside.
*The Clippers are off to a good start.
*Rick Santorum only missed winning the Iowa Caucus by a cunt hair.

Wheeee! Hold me, Mother, because I’m in bizarro world again!!

....go ahead and google Santorum why don't ya? I'll wait......

Yeah, yeah, I know about 2012…it’s the year we’re all gonna ride this big fiery ball into oblivion, is that it?
Because some pinche Mayan calendar maker, all hopped up on coca leaves and fermented beet juice passes out mid job, the world is supposed to end?

...yeah, but according to this, we were gonna have flying cars by 1978 too!

Listen, I got news for you, it already did end!
Yeah, that funny little Rapture that was predicted for Oct 21 by the religious nutjob?

It actually happened!

Problem was, Jesus couldn’t find a single person worth taking back up yonder with him.
No, I’m pretty sure the world has already ended, and we’ve just been too busy posting funny cat videos on Facebook and ripping off movies from the Internet to notice.

How else do you explain the wild popularity of Katy Perry and the continued existence of Fashion Island?

Anywhoo, it must be that time of year for the CH3 recap, so let’s get started people!

...each one of these entries represents a night of confusion and excess, a morning after hungover with despair. You're Welcome!

Looking at the show roster, we see here that the mighty Chingón Tres played an ungodly 26 shows in 2011.

Unfortunately, most of the shows looked like this:

The view from behind the microphone. Still want to be in a traveling band kid?

That was a quick pic of the year kick-off, a weekender up to the mid coast region.

Heh…. that was before they opened the doors.

Swear to God.

And yes, we still maintain an actual, honest to God html website damn you!
Oh, I know that you young hipsters do all of your communications and networking through your precious Fbook these days, and can’t be bothered actually seeking out when your fifth favorite local punk band of all time is going to play next!

Oh, but just wait until Facebook is bought by Rupert Murdoch and they start charging 3.99 per month!
Then who’s gonna come crawling back, huh? huh?

Speaking of interwebby thingies, this blog you hold in your trembling paws at the moment— let’s look at those stats while we’re at it, hmmm?

We had over 18,000 visitors to the blog this year, and again–not one of you cheap bastards could be bothered with clicking through and buying a T shirt!

Oh, that’s alright, we’ve been steadily recording your IP addresses and feeding them to the Russian syndicate for some time now, using your bandwidth to spread virus and beastiality porn at will–so go ahead, keep reading, tightwad!!

There were a few series that garnered a lot of hits this year, like the in depth look at Rodney Bingenheimer, our beloved LA radio Icon.

But for the most part, most of you were only interested in embarassing photos of drunken hilarity that spilled out of posts such as the racy expose’ on the Pouzza Fest…..

C’est la vie!

A few travel snapshots for the kids back home:

Alfie waves g'bye to LBC. Did I fuckin' tell you?
.....studying at the feet of the Master!
Reggie's, Chicago
Punk Rock Bowling 2011, Las Vegas
The usual hijinks, San Francisco
Rips Cocktails, Phoenix
Rhino Records Pop Up, Westwood, CA
..the limo arrives! Pouzzafest, Montreal
The Charleston, Bremerton WA
Come on now, it looks like a good crowd from this shot, eh?! Atascadero CA
Boarding the ferry, Seattle

And god help us if we forget the food porn!
Yeh yeh, there were a few snacks in 2011:

Poutine #3, but who's counting?!

The ghosts of a Saturday night


Ah, but a year winds down, as it always does, and thoughts turn to messy office parties and tacky decorations.
The holidays came and went, but not without a few final thoughts for the year……

If I never have to see that goddamned Santa Suit again, it will be too soon brother!

Sheesh, give a guy a red suit and suddenly we create a egomaniacal monster!

Oh yeah, this will be a real treat for the children walking by!

But thankfully the suit was torn to shreds at the final gig of the year, the Ball Ball at the Airliner in LA.

And now, things back to normal, lights taken down and the tree shredded to pulp, we can only look ahead.

With a weary sigh, we untangle the guitar cords and start to fill in the calendar for yet another year in the trenches.
Will the knees take another 365 out there?
Will the hairline cooperate and hang in there just one more time?

But-truly-ya know what?
We got nothing better to do.

Happy New Year!

....mere moments before Santa brought his sack out onstage!