You may have noticed Bigham’s luxury pie range weighing down the shelves of your local supermarket with their plush white ceramic dishes. This food company goes for the upper end of the scale when it comes to its recipes and the food that’s packed into them. Their latest offering comes in the shape of ramen – bowlfuls of noodles, broth and chunky pieces of beef, chicken or salmon, depending on which one tickles your fancy.
Each ramen recipes (choose from Ginger Chicken, Salmon Miso and Chilli Beef), comes in a stacked pack of three layers: broth, veg and marinated fish or meat. This is where it looses points on packaging – there may be a cardboard sleeve that keeps it all together, but there’s three times as much plastic taking up space in the bin once you’re done decanting the ingredients into your pan.
The ingredients however, are worth sampling. We tried the chilli beef ramen with the marinated beef, garlic and chilli smelling gorgeous as it hit the hot pan for a quick stir-fry. The broth then the noodles and veg follow, taking around 8 minutes to assemble the dish. If you’re hopeless at cooking but need to impress, you could quite easily open each set of ingredients up and transfer to bowls/Tupperware/Wedgwood before your date/parents/second-cousin-twice-removed turns up, and pretend to have prepared the whole lot yourself. From scratch.
Charlie Bigham won’t even hold a grudge as your impressed guest slurps greedily from the bowl. Incidentally, there are quirky little comments on the side of the cardboard sleeve, which advise on how to add some chilli heat and drink your way through each bowl of ramen. Only trouble is, it may be hidden at the bottom of the bin if you told a little white lie, whilst you were ‘cooking’ up something for your guests.
Even if you do come clean and proudly announce you’re just throwing a convenience buy together, your dinner date may well think you’re fibbing. Bigham’s ramen selection tastes reassuringly unlike a ready meal. So you see, the moral of the story is, whether you lie or tell the truth, no one will believe you. Best just to get slurping then…