Today's lunch was provided by SamYang "2x Spicy" HOT Chicken Flavor Ramen:
Preparation was a little confusing. The directions could have been more explicit, and I didn't have the requisite equipment in the office to do the stir-fry step. Basically I did what everyone does with a brick of noodles and some flavor packets: I dumped boiling water from the electric kettle on it and stirred it up with the contents of the packets. This was my first mistake.
I'm still unclear what the "sachet powder" is because the contents of the larger packet was an oily sauce that was excitingly flavorful and possibly a by-product of etching titanium reactor fittings. Here it is in the early stages of the thermobaric reaction:
Next, I dutifully dumped the packet labeled "flakes" into the bowl and let them marinate. They consisted of innocuous-looking sesame seeds and tiny, grass-like, strips of a shiny black material. The water began to take on a deep reddish quality and the tiny pepper slices in the flakes began to reconstitute. Oily bubbles began to aggregate along the interface of the bowl and the liquid within. I grabbed a fork and a spoon and returned to my desk for lunch.
It was POWERFULLY spicy. From the moment it hits one's lips, it's hard to get a sense of the flavor besides pure, soul-burning, angry hotness. Fortunately, the high temperature of the water tends to dull the nerve endings a bit, so the effect has a delayed ramp-up. I realized that my initial logic was flawed. I thought that "2x spicy" wouldn't be a big deal for someone who frequently eats 4-5 star Thai food. The problem with that calculus is that it fails to take into a significantly large value of "x". I'm sure that the original intent of the "2x" was referring to both the sauce and the flakes having a spicy component. SWEET ODIN'S BEARD, they sure do.
From the far side of it, this wasn't a bad lunch --just not terribly filling-- as I physically couldn't command my hands to lift the bowl in order to the drink down the broth. I have several of these packages of condensed-hatred-of-a-thousand-suns, so I'm definitely going to try it again; paying special attention to the modulation of the sauce/flake ratio and the TLV (Total Limit Value in MSDS data-sheet parlance).
Be bold, comrades-- and pay special attention to black lightning coming out of a red-faced chicken's forehead.