Hi folks!  Sorry for my long absence – I was out-of-state with no access to a decent camera or lap top, so haven’t been able to post.  I travelled to two of the farthest points of our country over the past few weeks – from Hawaii to Georgia.  I have some material from my recent trip to Hawaii that I need to get to once I get my photos in order.  Don’t have too much to offer from Georgia, but if you ever find yourself in Brunswick (about an hour north of the Florida border), craving some authentic Japanese food, you’ll find it in the most unlikely place … a little restaurant in a strip mall near a Goodwill store, called Kyoto Express.  The verdict is in – this place could pass as a local Japanese take-out place in Hawaii.  Try the teriyaki chicken bowl – at under $5 a pop, you can’t go wrong.

While travel is good sometimes to break the monotony of daily life, don’t you find that, once you get home, what you really feel like eating is something so obviously homemade?  Something you simply could not get at a restaurant even if you paid extra for it?  It was for precisely this reason that I whipped up a batch of fried saimin this past Sunday night.  When I was in intermediate school (“middle school” as they say in California), a lunch truck pulled up to the parking lot near the basketball courts each morning to sell every snack a young teenager could imagine.  But the hands-down favorite that most of the student-patrons walked away with?  Fried saimin.

For the uninitiated, fried saimin is just that … a little bit of meat, vegetables, and seasonings, fried up with al dente saimin (a kind of ramen) noodles.  As you probably know, if you’ve been following this blog for some time, I’m all for the easy way of cooking things – particularly if it’s a weeknight meal.  This is a recipe for easy fried saimin from my Grandma B.  It’s perfect for using up leftovers.  Also, if you wind up with extra chopped yellow or green onions, store them in a Ziploc in the freezer for next time.  The quantities below are by no means hard and fast rules – use as much or as little as you like, depending on your own personal taste.

Easy Fried Saimin (serves two)

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced on the diagonal (no need to peel the celery)

1 carrot, grated

1 can of Spam, sliced into short strips

2 packages of your favorite brand of instant saimin (Grandma B. and I like the Sapporo brand, shrimp-flavor)

1 block of kamaboko (fish cake) (optional)

2 stalks of green onion, chopped

vegetable oil for pan-frying

1.  Assemble your aromatics – the onion, celery, and carrots.

2.  First, slice the Spam lengthwise, then cut them into smaller pieces like this:

This is the same way you’d slice Spam if stir-frying in fried rice.

3.  Cut the kamaboko into thick matchsticks.  (If anyone out there knows how to slice kamaboko so that each small strip winds up with a bit of pink in it, please send me a comment!)

4.  Boil water in a medium saucepan.  Add the dried blocks of saimin.  Warning:  do not cook the saimin for the full three minutes!  You will end up with fried saimin that is dreadfully soggy.  Instead, cook the dried noodles just until they start to become pliable and separate.  Drain well.  Reserve the seasoning packets.

5.  Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a medium saute pan.  Pan fry the yellow onions, celery, and grated carrots until the onions start to turn translucent, about five minutes.

6.  Add the Spam to the sauce pan, and fry until heated through.  Repeat with the kamaboko.

7.  Add the drained saimin noodles, plus the seasoning packets, and continue to cook for a few more minutes, tossing everything together with a set of tongs.

8.  Garnish with green onions.

P.S.  What’s the perfect dessert to finish off a bowl of fried saimin?  Why, matcha Kit Kats, of course!  Many thanks once again to my cousin J who brought us back a sack full of jumbo-sized matcha Kit Kats direct from Japan!


15 Responses to Easy Fried Saimin

  1. Joanne says:

    So glad to see you back on the blog. :) That looks like a great meal to me!

  2. Sam says:

    Just happened to stumble on this recipe and it brought back memories of my intermediate days. Used to go to the truck every morning at Highlands…fried saimin was the best. I know your recipe was the easy way so spam is the meat to go with, but I always liked char siu in mine. I’m going to have to check out your other posts now cuz I’m getting hungry….=)

  3. Sam says:

    Oh forgot to mention….matcha kit kats are so awesome. I also liked the shoyu kit kats and wasabi kit kats….good stuff.

  4. sherry says:

    Hi Sam- Yes, I had forgotten about char siu, but I agree that definitely belongs in fried saimin! I’m also a fan of the shoyu kit kats, haven’t tried wasabi though. Going to have to give those a try one of these days.

  5. vicki says:

    if you slice the kamaboko straight down into half-moons and then lay them flat and cut into strips perpendicular to the straight side (bottom), you should get a bit of pink on every strip… but they will vary in size. so i guess you gotta sacrifice consistency for pink! thanks for the yummy recipe. gonna try it tonight with some real s&s saimin (frozen).

  6. sherry says:

    Love your suggestion, Vicki. That would definitely work to get some pink in every kamaboko slice. Thank you!

  7. irene says:

    I’m glad I found, going to make fried saimin now :)

  8. taylor says:

    i like it…. i tried it out and its so great i cant wait till see what other recipes you come up with….

  9. Ursula says:

    I’ll be making my husbands heart sing tonight when he comes home and finds fried saimin… his favorite!! Don’t have char siu, but spam will do just fine. Thank you so much for this :))

  10. sherry says:

    Hi Ursula, Spam is even better. :) Thank you for your post!

  11. sherry says:

    Thanks so much for your post, Taylor. Much appreciated. I’ve been off the blog for a while, hoping to get back into it soon!

  12. sherry says:

    Thank you, Irene! Hope you like it. :)

  13. Shea says:

    I found Char siu at Walmart of all places!! In a cold pack by the other pre cooked pork stuff like ribs. I do not live close to the Japanese market.. I have to go about 30 miles to pick up the fish cake and S&S noodles I like to use… bit was so happy when I found the Char siu today… I hand fried noodles for dinner

  14. Sharon says:

    Tastes awesome if you use frozen S & S Saimin, some match stick carrot sticks, some bean sprouts/moyashi, some finely sliced head cabbage, some finely sliced onion, kamabuko, some char siu or Spam sliced…stir fry together with a little bit of the flavor packet that comes with the saimin for seasoning, otherwise a little bit of shoyu or oyster sauce works…stir fry veggies a few minutes…like 2 or 3, then toss in the saimin noodles/don’t forget to cook the noodles first/follow package directions… and eat…YUM!! Also tastes great with fried scrambled eggs cut into thin strips, some thinly sliced green onions, some sliced cilantro, and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on the top for garnish…awesome!! Like we say in Hawaii…broke da mout!! ; 9

  15. sherry says:

    @shea320: Walmart! I would never have thought to find char siu there, good for them! I’m going to check out the frozen food aisle the next time I’m there, I’m sure their prices are way better than some of the “specialty” food stores out there. Thank you for sharing!

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