Wai Wai Noodles have always been something of a mystery. The counter at Dhaulagiri Kitchen is lined with little packages of the instant Nepalese ramen. I always thought they were used for soup. Then a friend told me about sandheko Wai Wai ($3.50). “It’s like an instant Nepali chaat,” she said. There are many ways to repurpose instant ramen, including what I like to call spaghetto carbonara, which involves an egg, plenty of Kraft parmesan, and black pepper. Chaat is not the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to ramen recipes, but it’s one of the tastiest ramen creations I’ve ever had.
“Spicy is OK?” the cook asked when I ordered sandheko wai wai. I nodded enthusiastically. It was quite hot in Dhaulagiri that day as I waited for my first ever Nepali chaat. Soon I was presented with a plate of crumbled noodles mixed with onions, tomatoes, and plenty of green chilies, among other things. Crunchy and spicy it’s the best and only packet of raw ramen noodles I’ve ever eaten. As I mopped the sweat from brow a guy the next trable chimed in, “This one is good for drinking.” I’ll bet he’s right.
Dhaulagiri Kitchen, 37-38 72nd St., Jackson Heights