Itomen Cup Sansai Soba, or the Panda Returns!

Itomen Cup Sansai Soba, or the Panda Returns!

So it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a review. I’ve still been eating ramen, cuz you know your girl can’t lay off that sweet slurping noodle soup crack. But yo, sometimes you just get really backed up and then you gotta go through the 12 step program before finally getting stuck on Step 2 – accepting a higher power because GOD IS DEAD, Neiztsche says so and I always trust a guy whose name is a crapshoot to pronounce cuz they’re always the smart ones. So long story short, not yet sold on the God thing but until (S)He sends a burning bush my way, I can ignore all my problems like a normal person.

It’s strange how a rainy downpour in the suburbs turns everything inside looking out all cozy and magical.

I mean, check it out. This is some borderline Narnia shit going on. I’m bout to fraternize with the woodland faeries not 10 miles from the dead zone, aka our nation’s capitol, and I don’t even need to be on quaaludes to do it. But enough of that. All this greenery calls for some foresty green noodle soup, so my pick for today is Not Your Mother’s Ramen Episode 13: Itomen’s Sansai Soba, which translates to Buckwheat Noodle Soup with Edible Wild Plants.

The noodles are surprisingly airy for a buckwheat noodle, so you know you’re not gonna get weighed down. I think this bowl clocks in only at ~350 kcals total, enough to satisfy but still be quick enough to deliver a 1-inch punch. The broth tastes of strong assertive fish, salty, umami and sweet, but in a fresh-caught clean way, and has very little discernable odor. You kind of get the sense that some ancient panda mastery was put into the making of this soup, and the sansai mountain vegetables are exotic but somehow still familiar, soft and mellow young fiddlehead fern stems and leaves. Makes you totally wanna sign up for that urban foraging class-soup group meetup now.

The buckwheat noodles, combined with the mountain vegetables and broth that tastes like soft river fish you caught and made this morning, makes it mad easy for you to pretend you’re in one of those old timey martial arts movies. You know, where you have some insurmountable bad hombre terrorizing your family and you go on hiatus to find yourself and learn some sweet new moves from a zen master who lives alone in a forest and may or may not have bodies buried 8 feet under out back, cuz that’s TOTALLY NOT SKETCH, and then you come back and you’re Nattibo 2.0 ready to defeat your arch nemesis easily and get the girl and the glory, or whatever gets your rocks off. Well this is the kind of power food you’d be eating to kick you into gear. Screw Rocky and his raw eggs, #nodisrespect, but if I can get my HE-MAN energy from noodle soup and avoid the risk of bacterial infection cuz #salmonellakills, then that’s what imma do the next time I need to go on a retreat and evolve my mind & body to eviscerate a new foe. Or at least to feel like I maybe one day can.

Final Score: 8.0/10

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