Pantry Update #5: Ramen, pie, pancakes

So far, knowing exactly what I have in my pantry and being feeling accountable for using items has really proved motivational. In the past 9 days, I have made ramen noodles from scratch, baked a pie, and tried my hand at Korean pancakes. I’m an inspiration!

Dish #18: Alkaline noodles AKA ramen noodles

Sodium carbonate
Sodium carbonate

I count making alkaline noodles as a separate dish from making a bowl of ramen for the same reason I counted baking challah as a separate dish from French toast: I made more than enough, and will use the extra for something different.

This is not the first time I’ve made the Lucky Peach alkaline noodles from scratch, which is why I even have sodium carbonate in my pantry. Sodium carbonate is what you get when you bake heat sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in a low oven for an hour.

Assuming you have the sodium carbonate around, making the noodles takes about 2 hours from start to finish, with about 30 minutes of active time, including the time to roll them out. I do not recommend rolling them out by hand; this is a project for people with a pasta machine only. Tip: unlike egg pasta, do not fold and re-roll your dough when rolling it out. This dough is too brittle for that, and it will rip apart if you do.

We ended up eating half the noodles and putting the rest in the freezer. I have NO idea how well they freeze. Note to self: boiling for 2 min 2o seconds is too long. Where did you even get that oddly precise number from anyway? GEEZ. Try for 2 min or less next time.

Four servings of homemade alkaline noodles

Dish #19: Miso ramen

Sometime a couple years ago, Morgan introduced me to the great miso ramen recipe from YouTube sensation runnyrunny999. Since then, I try to keep the pantry items necessary for making it. Mmm.

I tried out a few new ideas, like sliced scallions and canned corn

Dish #20: Out-of-season pumpkin pie

Canned pumpkin
Canned pumpkin

Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions:

YES, canned pumpkin is still totally good 3 months passed its best before date.

NO, people otherwise enjoying pie made with past-due canned pumpkin do not want to hear about the fact that you made pumpkin pie in February to use up the canned pumpkin because it was already 3 months past its best before date.

THE RECIPE BEHIND THE E.D. SMITH LABEL is preferred by Tiffany compared to the recipe on the Libby’s label. The E.D. Smith recipe calls for brown sugar, not white sugar, and is overall sweeter. The Libby’s recipe results in a fluffier custard compared to the smooth custard of the E.D. Smith recipe. The extra sugar seems to make the pie set faster, though. The Libby’s recipe is conspicuously devoid of nutmeg but Tiffany did NOT make the mistake of excluding it.

YES, it is possible Tiffany used sweetened condensed milk when she was supposed to use unsweetened evaporated milk and maybe that is why the pie was so sweet and maybe she should not try judging these recipes against each other until she makes them both with the correct kind of milk. But in case you are wondering, YES, you can use sweetened condensed milk in place of unsweetened evaporated milk …

Pie, cooling
Kristin came by the office to have pie and coffee with me and Sebastian

Dish #21: Korean pancakes

Happy Pancake Tuesday everyone! To observe this most glorious yet most humble of the Christian moveable feasts, I tried my hand at making Korean pancakes with green onions and shrimp, except I used chives which was a poor idea. I chose chives precisely because they are milder in flavour, but after frying, they were simply wimpy and not oniony enough.

I made a couple other adjustments from the recipe: I added some Korean shrimp paste, hoping for a shrimpier flavour, and I used sesame oil in the dipping sauce since my sesame seeds (to no surprise to Jessica) have indeed gone rancid.


  1. Don’t sub chives for the green onions. They just aren’t flavourful enough.
  2. You can hardly taste a tablespoon of Korean shrimp paste in a 7″ pancake, so go ahead and use more.
  3. Don’t use too much batter (this was even mentioned in the recipe but I read it too late) not just because it will make it doughy (I did not find this to be a problem) because it will make the tricky task of flipping the pancake even more impossible.
  4. The ratio of 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part rice vinegar plus sesame and a bit of heat is good enough to drink.
Huge shrimp and skinny chives
My shrimp and chive pancakes tasted better than they looked


Items used up: none (unless we count that can of condensed milk I didn’t count last time)
Items added: one – Duana brought me back coconut sugar from Singapore!
Items partly used: twelve
Items used from the “Just use already” category: one!

Coconut sugar!

One thought on “Pantry Update #5: Ramen, pie, pancakes

  1. Seriously, I stopped keeping sesame seeds on hand. If I really want some, I’ll buy a small amount, but even then, I’m never confident that turnover is high enough in the store.


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