Although we have all heard of the Spaghetti Western, I want to introduce you to the Ramen Western. Not the MSG-riddled ramen I ate from my dorm-room hot plate everyday for six months, but the real thing . . . a beautiful bowl of handmade noodles with perfectly made broth and a variety of vegetables, meats, and/or seafood delicately placed for a truly perfect meal. It is a lot like pho--but different.
With bad weather and snow looming, and plenty of weekends for nesting on the horizon, you need to affix Tampopo high on your Netflix cue. This sweet movie is set in 1980s Japan and is the story of Tampopo, the widowed wife of a noodle chef. She is trying to make ends meet and support her son by running the noodle shop she inherited. Try as she might, she cannot get soup making down to the art it needs to be in order for her to compete with the other noodle shops run by men. Enter Goro, our Clint Eastwood for this story, coifed with a cowboy hat, a penchant for fighting, and, instead of riding a horse, he drives a tanker truck; you get the picture. Goro is also a ramen connoisseur; he was trained to eat ramen by the best and quickly takes an interest in making Tampopo a top-quality ramen chef. As this hilarious story unfolds, Goro begins to coax the inner desire and artist out of Tampopo, mentally and physically preparing her for the rigors of dedicated kitchen work.
Without giving too much away, the duo eat their way through the local noodle shops in search of the ramen Holy Grail: perfect broth! This movie will leave you warm-hearted, craving great food, and searching for flawless ramen. On the food movie scale, this is a four-star flick with limitless replayability.
If you find yourself craving the ultimate ramen in the Twin Cities, I suggest you try your hand at making it (the day after you watch Tampopo ). It is a very simple project and can be fun for the whole family. United Noodles has everything you need to make such a soup.
Tune in, turn on, and make soup.