Ramen noodles are good. I don’t care what anyone says, they are a quick and easy lunch, snack or as here, dinner. The folks over at epicurious.com recently published something on Korean ramen, that messes with the cooking procedure. They could be on to something….I’m trying to use up the cache of foodstuffs I still have in the freezer and pantry. The Goddess hates to waste food. Now, The Goddess could absolutely miss a meal or 4 and she would be better for it. But wasting food, just isn’t part of her DNA. Too many people, particularly children, don’t have enough to eat…it truly is criminal that in a country such as ours, with the abundance we have, anyone goes to bed hungry. She know she’s not saving the world, but she’s trying to use up those odds and ends that lurk in the corners of her world. She had a couple of packages of ramen, it was afternoon and she and The Youngest One hadn’t had breakfast. Things happen…what can I say? So she poked around in the freezer, found some Trader Joe’s gyoza, some edamame and lemongrass. She had celery (remember the salads?), a few spears of asparagus, some green beans and onions…and of course, eggs. She always has those, no matter what. I have no pictures of the process, but you’re smart people, you really don’t need any…that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
Anyway, she boiled the water (2 cups instead of 2 1/2) with some lemongrass and minced garlic, added 2 flavor packs, threw in the edamame, gyoza, onion and celery. When the liquid came back to the boil, she popped the lid on and let that simmer for 2 minutes. She even set the timer (sometimes she’s so organized and at other times she can’t remember why she came into a room…it’s scary!). Then came the asparagus, green beans and the 3 whole cakes of dry ramen. We’re told to leave them whole and to resist breaking them up. Those fine people at Epicurious told us to submerge the ramen “cakes” and keep them there, so The Goddess did as she was told. After about 1 minute, she noticed that she could “tease” the noodles apart. So she did just that. She’s always been a bit of tease, you know….
Now this is where she and Epicurious parted ways. They said to fan the noodles. Seriously. They really said that. Their whole point was to not overcook the noodles, so she stirred about 4 ice cubes into the mixture, turned the heat off, popped the cover on and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then, she gave it a good stir, turned the heat on and the moment there was evidence of simmering around the edge (maybe 1 minute), she broke 4 eggs into the pot. She set the timer for 2 minutes, popped the cover back on the pot and got the bowls out, did her nails, scrubbed the floor, wrote a symphony…yeah, she’s that efficient. After 2 minutes, she turned the heat off, but left the lid for another 30 seconds. Off came the lid and she carefully placed noodles and gyoza into the bowls, topped each serving with 2 eggs and poured some of the “soup” over the top; we like limited liquid, but you should do what tickles your buds. She decided a little squeeze of lime juice was needed and that’s it. I took longer to cut up and locate the veggies, than it did to cook the ramen.
You could add any number of veggies and this is a terrific way to use up leftover veggies…remember her aversion to waste? Throw in some leftover chicken or pork (I think you could add ground pork when you start heating the water and the pork will be done cooking sufficiently by the end). Now, these were Szechuan and Mongolian “flavored” ramen…I have no idea what that really means, but both places have a tendency toward the spicy. I sprinkled some torn up, fresh Thai basil over the mixture, squeezed some sriracha and hoisin sauce on my portion and damn, it was good. I also added about 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce to the liquid when I was heating it. I think that little bit of sweetness was nice. There was good balance.
While I was slurping away, I kept thinking how good this would be on a cold, snowy evening (or any evening, for that matter)…not that there’ll be too many of those in Miami…thankfully the globe isn’t that warm. Not yet anyway.