We had a fantastic dinner at the Midytte - Hunter house, ribs done in the bourgeois style Tim has been experimenting with, smoke-braised in the barbecue with a fantastic rub, served with baked potatoes dressed with sour cream and winter chives and some delicious spinach, finishing off with excellent espresso and homemade berry-citrus ice cream. We then came home and did nothing for the rest of the evening, which made Heather hungry. Knowing I can't compete with the ribs she politely asked forspecial ramen. Special ramen is regular four-for-a-buck ramen noodles with the broth dolled up a little. While th noodles are cooking, I fortify the broth with some soy, thai fish sauce and vegetable boullion. In the bowl, I beat an egg yolk with a little Siracha, vinegar, minced garlic and sesame oil. When the noodles are done, I drizzle the soup into the egg, beating it to incorporate it. This is where it sometimes goes wrong and the egg curdles into a sort of stracciatella, but last night it worked fine and the broth just got slightly thicker. The egg has the effect of holding the flavors in suspension in your mouth so they linger a little longer, particularly the garlic and sesame, and combined with the fish sauce and soy, gives the soup a nice umame quality. I loaded the noodles in and chopped some fresh ginger, parsley and cilantro for a garnish and the soup made its way into Heather. If I'd had some scallions or winter chives, they would have been cut very fine and scattered on there too. Heather uses a fork for ramen, which I find really awkward so I use takeout chopsticks, but I used to have a couple sets of nice Japanese hashi that were perfect. I lose everything don't I. I wish I didn't lose everything little and cool.
I've had magical ramen in Japan, and pretty good ramen in the US at a few specialty shops and Japanese markets, so I know this is not legit ramen, but I've always liked the way a couple of extra ingredients and five minutes can make even pre-packaged bachelor fodder like this into something tasty. Tonight I'm playing poker until pretty late, but when I get home I could make another one of these in a few minutes. (vg without fish sauce, v without egg)