Ramen is the staple of single life. It’s cheap, it’s easy to buy a case of it for less than $10, and it takes less than 5 minutes to cook, so planning is not something that has to go into a Ramen meal. There are some drawbacks to Ramen; there’s nothing there. When you’ve eaten Ramen, you’ve eaten a bowl of noodles and salt water. If you’ve offered to make your honey a late snack and come back with Ramen, you’re likely to get a grunt of thanks rather than a look and a snack-fueled erotic assault on your person.
But we still buy the stuff. I mean, Ramen, right?
There are, however, ways to create something out of nothing. Ramen is one of the best bases for a good meal that you can come up with, for all the reasons that single people live on the stuff. Cheap, easy, fast, no planning necessary.
- Some Rameny things to do
- Spicy cheese-n-Ramen
- Elegant Ramen and Vegetables Orient
- Chicken Salad with Ramen Crunch
- Ramen Alfredo
No, this isn’t a mac-and-cheese variant. This is dorm cooking brought to gourmet levels, which is where I learned it. When I lived in a dorm, there was a huge, I mean enormous man in the room next to mine. We didn’t speak much, that was fine, he was there to drink and carouse and find loose women to drink with and carouse with him. One night when he had worn out the women he was playing with, I found out he had a key to my room. I found this out by waking up and seeing him lit by the eerie light from my mini-fridge.
“‘S’up, Shanks? I need me somethin’ to eat, man. Tchu ain’t got much in here, you know?”
This guy, I may have mentioned, was big, and drunk, so it seemed in my best interest to just sort of let things flow. I kept quiet, and a watchful eye on Goodman, and discovered one of the simplest, most satisfying recipes of my life.
G-man (he insisted we call him G-man) rummaged around and found that I had a single slice of American cheese food (guaranteed to have been in contact with some part of a cow in its past), a pack of Ramen, and one of those little packages of crushed red pepper that comes with pizza. He seemed to feel he had all that an enormous drunk needed when breaking and entering, so he stole my bowl and spoon and departed for the common room. I was curious — and wanted to keep track of my only bowl — so I got dressed and followed him out.
This is what I saw him create.
- Ingredients & Equipment:
- Ramen, any flavor
- (1) slice cheese food — fake cheese, the faker the better
- (1) packet or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Break the Ramen into the bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning packet over the noodles, add a pinch of the red pepper. Add water enough to cover about half the Ramen.
Pop it into the microwave and nuke it about a minute. The noodles that were covered with water are now kind of soft, so stir things around until the crunchy ones are under water. Nuke it another minute. Repeat until the noodles are all soft. Most of the water will be absorbed.
Sprinkle the rest of the red pepper over the noodles. Cover with a single slice of Cheese Food. Note: real cheese is not the same thing. Cheese food melts faster, doesn’t burn as easily, and is much, much cheaper.
The steam from the noodles will already be softening the cheese. If this is working all right, just let it sit. If it isn’t melting the cheese quickly enough, nuke it for 10-15 seconds.
Eat and enjoy. Go easy on the crushed peppers; the oil in the cheese food will dissolve the capasin, and too much red pepper will make this far more spicy than you can eat.
Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry