Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Make That 31

Ramen Hacks: 30+ Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Instant Noodles
Ramen in the U.S. has come a long way. Once known only in its 10-for-a-dollar instant-lunch form—a staple of offices and dorm rooms all around the '80s and '90s—high-end real ramen shops are springing up left and right on both coasts and everywhere in between. As a half-Japanese kid in the '80s, I grew up eating instant ramen at least once a week, and it still holds a special place in my gut. The real stuff is great, but sometimes only the add-hot-water pack will do.

That said, my tastes have changed and expanded considerably over the years, and sometimes that little flavoring packet just isn't enough. As such, I've spent a lot of time devising ways to upgrade my ramen in cheap, easy ways. Ghetto gourmet, if you will.

As a card-carrying member of the Ramen Transmogrification Society of Greater New York,* it is my duty, my honor, and my privilege to share with you some of our methods and recipes.

For full, step-by-step instructions on any of these dishes, please click through the slideshow above.
Now, once upon a time, Ted and I used to do a lot of hunting up in Oregon, on a patch of land owned by a small corporation that belonged to a number of families who were friends of Dad.  Ted and I went there a lot, and hunted and generally traipsed around and did juvenile things.  On one trip, Ted had decided to boost his meager income with fur trapping, and set out a few traps for beaver in the stream.  The next morning we went to check the traps, and there were no beaver, but there was a pissed off raccoon stuck in one of them.  His dog, Spook, a lovely dog with murder in his heart for all things small and furry, attacked it straight away, and killed it before we could do anything, taking unfair advantage of its being stuck in the trap.

So, what do we do now?  Coon pelts weren't worth much, and we hated to waste it, so we skinned it out (I think I might have let Ted do the dirty work, I don't really remember), and took the carcass and skin back to Dad's geodesic dome for lunch.  It was my assignment to make lunch, so without further ado, the recipe for:

Coon Suey

Take one small dead raccoon (fresh is preferable)
Remove dog
Skin and debone (coon, not dog)
Cut meat into 1 inch cubes, (more or less)
Brown in a skillet, using whatever oil you have available (bacon grease is probably best)
Meanwhile, cook two Ramen Noodle packets
Drain cooked Ramen noodles
Add to browned coon cubes
Add Ramen Noodle seasoning packages, stir
Season to taste with whatever additional spices you can find
Eat.  Use a fork if you're concerned about manners.

I tanned the pelt, and it's still floating around in a closet here somewhere, with the holes that Spook put in the pelt with his teeth.

1 comment:

  1. What impressed me most about the whole affair was how tough the skin on that raccoon was. As I recall when we skinned it we found that pretty much the whole body was a mass of bruises caused by the mauling that Spook had given it but he had only managed to puncture the skin two, maybe three times.

    The only other comments I would make on the recipe are these. Remove all the fat, it tastes pretty bad, that and raccoon tastes better then porcupine, at least a small raccoon vs a large porcupine.

    Raccoons are tough. Cinnamon, for those who don't know, my 95lb Rhodesian Ridgeback bitch has tangled with three of them that I know of. One I think left the garage bleeding and the other two got away from her and got over the fence. In fact the third one was far and away the largest of the three and Cinnamon had it pinned up against my reloading shed and was (wisely I think) backing away from it when I came out the back door. At which point she decided that I had her back and went back for it. By this point however it had managed to climb over the fence into the neighbors yard and got away.

    A flattened 22Short shot from a bolt action rifle with the muzzle held up to a raccoons chest makes VERY little noise and puts the little buggers down right now.