Packing Lunch


Lunch is something to look forward to at work, a convivial gathering to tell stories, jokes, and a bit of light gossip, as well as a time to eat. My workplace is dangerously near to Zingerman’s excellent but expensive food, so I try to bring something from home, usually leftovers. There are times when dinner was so delicious that there is nothing left for lunch, so I gave these noodles a try hoping they would be a pantry staple for a quick-to-fix, packable, zapable meal.

Hokkien Noodles from Ka-me are wheat-based noodles which look very like udon noodles. The package says they originated in the Fujan Province of South Eastern China in the 19th century (though they are manufactured in Thailand). The shelf-stable package (approximately $2.50) contains 2 servings of pre-cooked noodles, each in its own pouch. So that saves time and pots to boil, drain, and rinse them. According to the package, they are ideal in any stir-fry, salad, or soup—but there are no flavor or sauce packets. Besides adding vegetables and protein of your choice you must also have a sauce or soup for a meal—not quite so last-minute as you must plan and prepare ahead of time.

What does “KA-ME” stand for?
KA-ME can be literally translated as tortoise or turtle in Japanese, and is a symbol of the permanence of traditions in our approach to Asian food. For over 30 years, KA-ME has stood for quality and authenticity. Today, we are one of the leading brands of specialty Asian foods in the U.S., from cooking ingredients to traditional snacks to microwave ready meals.”

The recipe on the back of the package suggests using Kam-me stir-fry oil, sold separately, to stir-fry the vegetables. It’s sunflower oil flavored with lemon grass, garlic, and ginger. Also sold separately, is Ka-me Szechuan Sauce to flavor the stir-fried veg/protien and noodles. Neither was available at the store where I found the noodles.

For this experiment, on an evening when Mr. Tess was away, I stir-fried some garlic, sliced mini sweet red peppers, and broccoli—in plain corn oil. I added the Ka-me noodles and stir-fried for a few minutes. For additional flavor, I added some La Yu chili seseame oil and some noodle dipping sauce left from a previous meal. Last I added some Krab for color and protein.
Note: cooking for one is at least as much work as cooking for, well two or several…


Conclusion for this product: Possibly useful for work lunches, provided one has other pantry items and leftover vegetables. Not so instant otherwise. Flavor: the noodles broke into small pieces during the stir-frying, though perhaps they would retain their integrity by “poke holes in the packet and microwave on high for 90 seconds.”

Worth another try, but not especially wonderful.

“Ka-me is distributed by PANOS brands, a consumer packaged goods company created to manage a unique and defined portfolio of natural and specialty food and beverage brands.
True to its namesake — the ancient Greek word for torch — we like to think of our brands as a beacon for consumers who are increasingly demanding a wide spectrum of specialty foods.”

Premium – Authentic – Natural – Organic – Speciality

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15 thoughts on “Packing Lunch

  1. Packing lunch always seems like such a homely and comforting thing – I think that’s why I got into bentos. Hugh Fearly Whittingstall on River Cottage did a fantastic show on taking home made pot noodles to work. Do you watch/ like River Cottage?
    Your lunch looks very pretty on it’s plate.

  2. Looks deli! I hope one day i’ll know how to cook like you!
    BTW i really like the Japanese kitchen but those ingredients are hard to find in where I live :(

  3. Hope the days will get better and better. Blue pills to the rescue! Enjoy Hugh. If you like River Cottage Everyday, see if you can download and watch the first series called, Escape to River Cottage. There you can follow the making of his first garden and all the country adventures like smoking fish in his chimney and joining the local cidering club. Very English and somehow soothing.

    • Yes, I will explore what I can on YouTube. Looks like some things are possible to buy on DVD for not too outrageous a price as well.

      Speaking of English (or more generally British) cooking programs, I’ve discovered Heston Blumenthal. That is where I learned about soft goat cheese not melting. A surprise to me! This cheese sauce is amazing:

      Look at the ironing board experiment he displays at about 5.04
      Made me scream, the way her ruined some nice irons, but interesting about the goat cheese…

      Have you watched his programs? He is at least as interesting as Hugh on the River Cottage series. Makes me wonder why U.S. cooking programs are so mindless…

  4. We do get several of Mr Blumenthal’s programs here (-: he is such a mad scientist! Love his experiments! Thanks for the link!
    Did you get Heston’s Feasts in the US? Historical reenactments of strange and wonderful recipes. The other UK cooking show I love is Nigel Slater’s. I love his writing but watching him in his vegetable patch or in his spare kitchen is magic. Food is more than the sum of its parts…

    • I don’t have a tv so I don’t know if the programs are available in the US. YouTube has lots of uploads of Mr. Blumenthal’s programs right now, but I suspect they are not legal. I think one can buy dvds of the programs? I only just happened on them by chance yt surfing. I’d not heard of him before! I loved his special feasts based on various themes where he invited guests to experience a special dinner. Way over the top and fun to watch.

      Apparently “Channel 4” is not available in this country. Most of the BBC programs are not available here except for illegal uploads to YouTube. I love Dr. Who but they get taken down very quickly. I can see the episodes on DVDs from the library: I mean, I’m too cheap to actually buy them. Or maybe not?? Have not done so yet though.

      I’ll search around for Nigel Slater. Also not a name I’ve known…

      My nice new house is becoming a mess because I’m not a housekeeper. But I’ve discovered that I can set up my laptop to play YouTubes while I tackle things that need doing. Not the most efficient way to get things done, but at least I can work of clearing things while watching interesting videos as I force myself to concentrate. I won’t show you how messy my wonderful studio has become! but the bedroom, bathrooms, and kitchen look good enough that I am not embarassed if someone visits. LOL.

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