Compost Bin Ramen
Makes 2 healthy-sized portions
Also called Quarantine Ramen, White Trash Ramen (which, in some circles is redundant) or Redneck Ramen (ditto). Ivan Orkin and David Chang, famous chefs known for their ramen, would probably stab me for insulting their thousand ingredient, long simmered odes to Japanese/Chinese noodle perfection. Why I did put this lowbrow recipe on my website? Because it’s simple and tasty. Not everything I cook is locally inspired and highfalutin. We cook this in the McMillin house when we are stuck inside and don’t want to go to the grocery store. Enjoy.
- 3 packs of your favorite pork, chicken or soy flavored ramen noodle from the grocery store
- Water, roughly a quart (though it really doesn’t matter)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil (or whatever oil you have)
- ¼ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- Any vegetable scraps moldering or near moldering in your fridge (bell pepper, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, celery, green onion bottoms…I’ve used all of these)
- ½ bunch cilantro, black leaves discarded, minced (about 3 tablespoons for the soup+2 tablespoons for garnish)
- ½ lime, juice only (cut the other half into wedges for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- A few thinly sliced rings of your favorite chile (I use serranos or jalapenos, or whatever is getting soft in the hydrator drawer in the fridge)
- 1 soft boiled egg, quartered (optional, you won’t find this in my home version)
- Hoisin sauce, for garnish
- Sriracha sauce, for garnish
- A moderately functioning brain and a small saucepan
Sweat the onions in the sesame oil until fragrant, then add the water, vegetable scraps, 3 tablespoons of cilantro, juice of ½ of lime and simmer together for a few minutes before adding the noodles.
Add the noodles and simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, add the butter and stir until it coats the noodles.
Split the noodles between two bowls and garnish with the rest of the cilantro, lime wedges, slices of chile, egg, hoisin and sriracha sauce.
In the McMillin house we discard most of the liquid and eat the buttered noodles and garnishes like pasta. But whatever floats your aqua luna.