Penne For Your Thoughts: Send Noods

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REBECCA KLINGER // THE FLAT HAT

TIPS FOR TURNING YOUR UPSETTI SPAGHETTI INTO A RAMEN CONCOCTION WORTHY OF FINE DINING

After going home in the spring, I got to eat my mom’s good but repetitive cooking — sorry mom — or I cooked dinner myself, which almost always meant Asian night. I had gotten really good at preparing stir fry and Mongolian beef. Upon moving back to Williamsburg, I had to completely restructure my cooking style to accommodate only myself. I utilized a rice cooker and have been making extreme amounts of fried rice without a recipe, relying on my limited knowledge of Asian foods. Earlier this week, my legs brought me into the pantry, and while blankly staring at the shelves, I rediscovered a box I had placed on the floor back when I first moved in. Last semester I was gifted a box full of ramen packets, and never put that ramen to use. Now, I have so much ramen to eat, and I need a little variety in my life. Thus, I have come up with three ways to prepare ramen noodles.

REBECCA KLINGER // THE FLAT HAT

1. Ramen Tartar

This is my go-to depression snack: when I can’t cook myself food but know I should eat, this is usually what I eat. This snack helped me survive living in Richmond Hall, a hike from any dining hall. All you will need for this one is a single pack of ramen, and maybe a plate if you want to contain the crumbs. This dish puts the “raw” in ramen, and has very simple steps. First, I’d suggest you get a plate or paper towel. This step is entirely optional but recommended due to the sheer crumbage of this dish, but if you can’t leave your bed, your chest should do just fine. Next, open your ramen package and place the brick on your desired surface. Depending on your flavor palette, you may want to sprinkle a desired amount of the seasoning packet on the brick (the seasoning is very concentrated, I would not recommend using more than half and maybe slowly add it in little by little to make sure it is spread evenly), I don’t do this step anymore because it adds to my prep time. Lastly, break the ramen brick into bite-size pieces and munch.

2. Classic Ramen

This one is easy, just follow the directions on the packet.

3. Someone Call PF

This one has been my personal favorite, but does require cooking materials and extra foods, which makes it less dorm-friendly. Living off-campus was probably the healthiest decision I’ve made in my college career, not just for my mental health — I could not imagine trying to live on campus during this time, props to all that are navigating that. This recipe is probably done best without measurements, rather adding the ingredients to taste, but I’ll give you this recipe as a starting point. The most important thing to remember while making this dish is that we all have different palettes and you can add or remove anything you want.

REBECCA KLINGER // THE FLAT HAT

Directions

To start, follow the instructions to prepare “Classic Ramen” noodles. When this is done, strain your noodles. To maximize efficiency, you can prepare the other ingredients while waiting for your water to boil. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, water and sriracha. In a pan on medium heat, add the oil then sauté the onions and garlic. Add the egg to the onions and garlic and scramble these all together. Next, add the frozen peas and corn, then add the noodles and soy mixture to the pan, mix to evenly color the noodles in sauce and spread the vegetables and egg throughout. This is where you should taste a noodle and figure out if you need to change anything.

If the soy sauce is too heavy, add honey; if the noodle is sticky, add water; feel free to mix in extra spices as you please — maybe more sriracha — random spices from the cabinet, this is truly your time to shine and make this dish the best possible taste for you.

Right before taking your noodles off the heat, mix in some scallions, then plate your masterpiece.

This last step applies for every dish: make sure you clean up after yourself. If you hate this step, I would suggest sticking with Ramen Tartar, which results in the least amount of dirty dishes. Don’t be the person in your living situation that leaves your mark all over the kitchen. If you’ve made it this far, good on you, and I hope you are able to learn something from my nood tips.