I tell everyone I know that I am noodle folk. Broth runs through my veins. Like most, if not all, Asian kids, I grew up eating noodles. They were the first meal I cooked for myself. Back in the day, when my instant noodle choices were dictated by what my 10-year-old hands could reach in the cupboards, I ate Sapporo Ichiban Chicken Flavour. The neon yellow soup still does it for me, but now I mainly eat super delicious Indomie Mi Mi Goreng and Sapporo Ichiban’s tonkotsu flavour.
There’s so much to love about noodles, but my main love is the texture. I love the chew you get when you bite into perfectly cooked noodles. That springy toothsomeness. And while I am partial to certain varieties, I am by no means a noodle snob. I’ll eat overcooked soggy messes and undercooked too al dente noodles. I hardly ever pass over noodles. Give me noodles over rice any day.
Chang and I share a love of noodles, but the beauty of Chang is that he took that love and ran with it. When he finished school with a “useless liberal arts degree” he went to Japan to teach Engrish by day and consume noodles by night. And day. Basically, whenever he wasn’t teaching. In his search for the perfect bowl of ramen, Chang ate many bowls of ramen. I admit, I’m jealous.