A few years ago, Delancey and Dino’s owner Brandon Pettit discovered packets of Portland-based Umi Organic’s fresh ramen noodles at PCC. Then he got busy—as one does running two pizza restaurants. One particular packet sat so long in his refrigerator, its contents started to ferment; the package ballooned with air. Pettit liked the noodles even better. “They got a little sour, in a good way.” Now he stocks up early on purpose and lets them ferment.
These noodles anchor a dish he makes at least a few times a month. It’s full of vegetables and ready in a flash. Best of all, it’s endlessly versatile—“more of a technique than a recipe,” is how Pettit puts it. Rice noodles or udon work great; even spaghetti would do in a pinch. “Some nights, if I want to have pad Thai or order ramen or have some fancy noodle thing, this takes five minutes and pushes the same buttons.”
- Garlic or other alliums
- Ramen noodles, fresh or dried
- Hearty greens, like kale, chicories, chard, or cabbage
- Other vegetables, whatever’s in the fridge
- Your choice of umami or spice, like fish sauce, coconut aminos, curry, or chili paste
- Eggs, one per person or per serving of noodles
- Fresh herbs like basil or cilantro, maybe a few crunchy vegetables (carrots, radishes, etc.) cut into matchsticks
- Chili crisp, to finish
- Boil a pot of water and add noodles.
- Heat a pan—cast-iron, a wok, or anything else—with oil.
- Add garlic to your pan and other alliums, like shallots, onions, or any combination of the three. Pettit has even used green onions and leeks.
- Next, throw in your greens, then other vegetables. Saute them over medium-high heat. “You can cook until crispy, or barely wilt them,” says Pettit. Turn the heat way down when they approach your desired level of done.
- Add a splash of umami or spice. Pettit defaults to fish sauce or coconut aminos, but avoids “the stronger, saltier flavor” of soy sauce.
- When noodles are ready, pull them out of the pot with tongs. Shake off the water and drop them right into the pan with your vegetables. Turn the heat way down, if you haven’t already.
- Crack your eggs into the pan. Mix vigorously with the noodles and vegetables so they scramble and cook. (You could also poach or fry an egg to drop on top.)
- Once it’s done, transfer to a plate or bowl.
- Add your choice of fresh herbs and additional vegetables for crunch. “If I have anything pickly,” says Pettit, “I’ll throw it in there too.”
- Finish with chili crisp.