By Sarah Boutwell
I compliment the craftily ripped T-shirt my coworker is wearing.
“Oh, thanks, I made it!” You mean you don’t have to live in a little house on a prairie to know how to make your own clothes? If I made my clothes, I’d look like a lost boy.
I compliment the necklace my barista is wearing.
“Oh, thanks, my friend made it!” Your friend made a chain necklace with artfully placed beads and a boiled-clean half mandible of a small rodent? Can she make me one too?
There is one thing all of us here are great at: being creative. All you really need is that itch for putting things together.
For those of us that don’t pretend to be good or great at daily activities like making homemade lasagna, sewing quilts or trimming our hedges into animal shapes, there’s hope. After some casual experimentation and note-taking, I have come to find that in terms of cuisine and art, there are budget and time efficient ways to become a savant in the kitchen.
Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray are fine, but there’s more than one way to do a dinner party. Attempt, enjoy.
This first recipe I’m introducing you to is the ramlette. The inspiration comes from “okonomiyaki,” which is a sort of Japanese pizza-pancake. After making a few modifications, international cuisine has now become casual cooking.
So enjoy this tasty and cheap meal on days when you just don’t feel like being healthy or cooking something that takes more than 15 minutes. Or save it for when you’re really hungover.
The Ramlette – Simple and delicious.
1 packet of ramen
toppings of your choice: for example, sriracha hot chili sauce
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Step 1: Boil the ramen noodles. If you want it done faster, nuke them.
Step 2: As a student, you have the superpower of multitasking. So while the noodles cook, crack two eggs into a bowl.
Protip: The Casual Chef recommends chicken flavor. Oriental (even though it’s not politically correct) and Beef flavors are also tasty.
Step 3: Add your packet of ramen seasonings to the bowl. Stir furiously, or gently, depending on how tired/hungover/weak you are.
Step 4: Drain your noodles in a strainer.
Protip: If you do not have a strainer because you are a serious casual cooker, poke holes in a plastic bag and use that as a strainer. I’ve tested this and it works; just make sure the holes are smaller than your noodles.
Step 5: As you drain, run cold water over the noodles. This helps them not stick to the eggs. Isn’t science awesome.
Step 6: Get out your one frying pan and place it on the stove with some cooking oil/spray covering the bottom. Turn on medium temperature.
Step 7: Pour noodles into egg mixture and stir until evenly mixed.
Protip: Chop the noodles up as much as possible. This helps make the pancake shape.
Step 8: Pour egg-noodle mixture into pan. You’re basically cooking a pancake now. Cook on medium-high. Let cook until the edges begin to crisp. This takes about five minutes. Flip.
Protip: If your ramlette is too large to flip because you’ve chosen to double the ingredients because you’re that hungry, cut it in half and flip each side individually.
Step 9: After flipping the other side, it is now time for toppings.
Step 10: Let cook until bottom is crispy and toppings are gooey. Then eat. But get a plate first.Contact Sarah Boutwell.
Editor’s note: District and its staff do not condone or encourage the consumption or possession of alcohol by minors.