The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

‘All You Can Eat Ramen’ Brings Asian Culture Home

@edwardsvilleasianculturalclub on Instagram
A bowl of packet ramen with traditional add-ons, made by attendees at Asian Cultural Club’s “All You Can Eat Ramen” event.

Asian Cultural Club held their second “All You Can Eat Ramen” event on March 15 in the large foods room. Attendees picked their ramen flavor from a selection of packets, then cooked the noodles and topped them with traditional add-ons like tofu, mushrooms, carrots, sesame seeds, spinach and more.

The club debuted this ramen-cooking event in December and decided to bring it back second semester. Senior Ivy Lin, ACC president, said the club’s planning process included envisioning how the event should go, coordinating with the Foods and Nutrition teacher to use the room, getting the materials and “rushing” to set everything up day-of. 

“We had discussed an open event to engage more of EHS into Asian culture and thought ramen would be a nice headline,” Lin said.

Junior Ella McDowell, a member of ACC, said helping run “All You Can Eat Ramen” taught her that “it pays to prepare yourself for the unexpected.”

“We had a pretty big turn out, and running around making accommodations for everything made me realize there’s a lot of value in flexibility,” she said. “Events like this are great at teaching you how to adapt.”

According to ACC’s outreach coordinator, Elise Xiao, events like this are important because they share parts of Asian culture that aren’t “recognized enough.” The club’s events connect her to her Asian identity as well.

“It feels nice to be included in my culture,” she said. “I don’t really get much of it because I’m adopted, so I get to learn about it.” 

Similarly, Junior Kacey Williams felt connected to family members from Japan when she attended the ramen cooking. It was her first ACC event, but she hopes to return for more.

“I do feel more knowledgeable about Asian culture by learning about the process of enhancing packet ramen with traditional flavors,” Williams said. “Both my grandma and great-grandma are from Japan and have been feeding me cuisine from there since I could chew, so maybe one day I’ll show them my newly-refined ramen-making skills.”

Lin thinks it is important that students were allowed to be creative and individual in the cooking process.

“[It] allowed students to take their personal estate with Asian practices as they cooked their own bowls,” she said.

To Lin, ramen is a “quick and easy meal that unites people.” She saw that unity at the event.

“I really liked walking about and talking with everyone while they made their own and seeing everyone work with each other,” Lin said.

Williams appreciated the environment ACC created and the opportunities for cultural immersion she found.

“There was a great vibe with a warm welcome, good music and a great selection of ramen. My friend who encouraged me to go was working a station and helped me through the process and convinced me to try new things,” she said. “Making the ramen was fun but eating it was even better! It was all you could eat, so I helped myself to a few bowls and left feeling super content.”