I had my first stir-fried ramen when I was in eighth grade. I don’t remember who cooked it, but I do remember that it came topped with a sunny-side up egg and chunks of beef. Over the years I tried different ways to better the dish, till I one day I used black mustard seeds to flavor the dish. And that was it…I had found the elixir. Mustard seeds give the ramen a nice smokey flavor.
This dish is also bit personal because I earned lot of brownie points when I made it for my wife when we were dating. Now it has become our most favored comfort food.
Two essential aspects about this dish are the mustard seeds, and second – I cook the ramen as doing pasta (I boil it for about two minutes, drain the water, and stop the cooking by running cold water). Rest of the ingredients are personal choices. I always use eggs, green peas and pepper. Additionally I sometimes add chicken, beef or shrimp.
Ingredients (for 2 or 3 servings)
1. 2 packets of ramen noodles with seasonings*
2. 2 diced red poblano
3. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4. 1/2 cup green peas
5. 15-20 small shrimp
6. pinch of paprika and turmeric
7. 2 eggs
8. 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
9. Salt to taste
Boil water is a sauce pan and add ramen, and cook for slightly less than 2 minutes. Drain water, run under cold water and set aside. Marinate shrimp in paprika, turmeric and salt.
Beat eggs, add black pepper and salt and make omelette. Cut into small cubes or strips.
Heat one teaspoon oil in the same pan and splutter the mustard seeds**. Lower the heat to medium and stir fry shrimp for about one minute. Then add green peas, poblano pepper, and the ramen seasoning and cook for additional two minutes. Add two tablespoons of water for everything to mix well. Add the ramen noodles, mix well and stir-fry on high heat for a minute.
Plate and serve.
ramen noodles with seasonings* – I find the seasonings that come along with the ramen in US more salty than the ones in India. Fortunately you can the Indian brands/versions at most of the Indian grocery stores.
mustard seeds** – To splutter/pop/cook mustard, heat oil in a pan till it is really hot (it should not smoke). Drop the mustard seeds into the pan and immediately cover with a lid or splatter screen (This is very important unless you want mustard art on your ceiling, and really want to clean up the stove top and floor). You will hear the seeds popping/jumping around in the oil for few seconds and then the sound will subside. Lower the heat, and remove the lid/screen and follow with the cooking.