All Roads Lead to Ramen: OKC’s Kaiteki Ramen starts a revolution
Most of my experience with ramen noodles comes from buying boxes of the cheap stuff in order to make it through especially meager times in college. Name one other meal you can get for less than a handful of pennies. Not possible, right? Anyway, I digress.
For many years, I never had the chance – or the will – to try high-quality ramen because I associated the stuff with being dirt-poor. (If I had the money, I was going to get expensive food that needed to be refrigerated at some point before cooking.) But my chance came when a former classmate opened up Kaiteki Ramen.
Last winter, a couple of friends and I ventured out into the cold to try the new, fancy ramen truck that had hit town. We drove to Edmond where the truck was stationed, got out, ordered as quickly as we could, got our goods and retreated back to the heat of the Accord to eat.
As we took off the lids of our soup and unwrapped the pork belly bao, someone in car the said, “this smells amazing.” And it did. (Is it just me or does hot food smell stronger when it’s cold outside? Again, I digress.) This was nothing like the packaged ramen that can live on your shelf for the better part of a century and come out just as good (or bad) as the day it was made.
At Kaiteki, the Ramen is made up of a shoyo style broth, fresh noodles, ginger-ale braised pork belly, kamaboko, marinated egg, menma, snap peas, nori, and negi. Wait, you don’t know what all of that is? Don’t worry about it – neither do I. The Kaiteki chefs know what they are doing (and cooking), though; trust them. All of those fresh ingredients come together to create a perfectly seasoned noodle dish with plenty of add-ons to keep you full.
Jeff and the Kaiteki gang let you know from the get-go that they’re going to permanently alter your noodle game. Their ramen is so fresh and packed with amazing ingredients that you will never be able to enjoy a package of instant ramen again. I think this was part of their plan, though: once the cabinet staple has been ruined, you’re forced to come get the real goods from them. Smart.
In the short time Kaiteki has been rolling around the metro, the truck has built up quite the following and received some nice national recognition. I see their truck all over town at events such as Live on the Plaza, H&8th, and Live at Film Row. Kaiteki even serves up soup at local businesses like Weldon Jack. They seem to always have a line of people waiting to scratch that ramen itch (the one that nobody had before Kaiteki was around).
If you’ve ever eaten a package of instant ramen, enclosed spice pack and all, I beg you to go try Kaiteki. Try them if you’ve never had ramen, too, because your life will be changed for the better. Find them on Twitter or stop by and visit them while they’re at any of the events listed above. But beware: they will put a hole in your heart (but not in your wallet) that you’ve never had before – one that can only be filled with high-quality, delicious noodles.