© Abby Hocking

But it's not just any instant ramen.

March 31, 2017

I have a confession.

Sometimes, after dinner, after deciding I’m too stuffed for more but sharing three desserts anyway, I’ll come home, change into my oversize Goose Island shirt and make myself instant ramen.

It’s sort of ridiculously gluttonous, I know, but this is not just any instant ramen. It’s Indomie, an Indonesian version that packs five, yes, five little seasoning packets—thick sweet soy sauce, oil, fried onions, surprisingly spicy chile sauce and mystery savory flavor dust. 

About six months ago, Indomie was just a random add-on to my typical Amazon order. A fluke, a small luxury for me, the usual Maruchan slurper. But now it’s become a shelf staple at my home—there’s always a box of 30 or so hanging out in the cupboards—and my all-time favorite instant ramen.

So life-changing is this ramen that a couple of months ago, I got it tattooed on my body. There's now an uncooked square of those curly, carboardy noodles on my right arm.

Is this what a slightly delayed quarter-life crisis looks like? Or a serious obsession I need to confront before that packet of seasoning, magic and MSG preserves my insides? I don’t know. (Wow, I hope not.)

But what I do know is that my intense love of the instant stuff is now permanently on display on my arm, and artistically so, thanks to JK Kim, a tattoo artist at New York City’s West 4 Tattoo, where customers on file include Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner. Kim is known for food-inspired tattoos. People come to her for doughnuts, pizza slices, lemons and, no, not instant ramen. (I’m unique!)

“I’m very passionate about food and I definitely enjoy translating them into minimalist line drawings,” says Kim. So much so, that the whole month of April, she’s offering a deal on food-focused ink: Any 2-inch tattoo only costs $150.

If you’re in New York City and in need of a way to show the world your love of your favorite food, then you know where to go. And if you’ve run into an instant noodle rut, you know what to buy next.