All American Ramen
A chopped hot dog and creamy parmesan cheese make for a tasty All American Ramen.
(Credit: Sean Michael Beyer)

We’ve all been on a budget and stocked our cupboards with instant ramen noodles, but they can quickly become boring and unsatisfying. Not to mention, the “flavor packet” contains 800-1000mg of salt (including MSG). That’s almost as much salt as the average adult should have in an entire day. No bueno.
This easy-to-do recipe uses common things most of us have around the house and really takes simple ramen to the next level. After boiling a hot dog, you’ll use the same water to boil your noodles. Yup, that water is loaded with flavor. Think of eating a juicy hamburger right off the BBQ. That juice is fat. Fat is flavor and your hot dog just flavored your ramen noodles. That plus a simple creamy parmesan sauce will revolutionize the way you eat old school instant noodles.
So toss out the flavored salt, grab a hot dog, and let’s make some All American Ramen!

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Yield: 1-2 servings

Ingredients

1 Hot dog
1 Package store-bought ramen noodle
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese, shredded (or 2-3 packets, such as delivered with pizza)
1/8 Stick butter (1 Tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon olive oil (double the butter if you don’t have olive oil)
1 Teaspoon dried parsley, divided
A pinch or two red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
2 Cups water

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, add the water and the hot dog and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for about 3 minutes or until you see the seam (on most wieners) split. Carefully remove the hot dog to a small plate and set aside. DO NOT turn off the heat or discard the hot dog water, as this is now your ramen noodle water. The water should still be boiling and perfect to add your noodles. Boil them for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Then cover your pan and carefully strain out the majority of the water into the sink, by creating a tiny gap with the lid. BE CAREFUL not to put your face directly over the sink or you’ll get a smokin’ hot facial!

Put the lid back on the pan and return to the stove, making sure the heat is turned off

Grab your trusty chef’s knife and cut the hot dog into thick nickel-sized rounds (do your best to keep them all the same size).

Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a sauté pan (also known as a frying pan) and once it begins to thin out, carefully add the chopped hot dog, making sure the pieces lay flat. Sauté for about a minute until they begin to form a nice brown crust, then carefully turn over with tongs or a spatula (use rubber tongs/spatula if your pan is non-stick). Cook for another 30 seconds, then add the butter and half of the red pepper flakes (if using), and half the parsley and black pepper. Continue cooking until the butter melts (keep on eye on this so the butter doesn’t burn).

Carefully pour your ramen noodles into the sauté pan. Toss in half of the Parmesan and give it a gentle stir until combined.

To serve, pour the mixture onto a plate or large bowl and top with the remaining Parmesan, parsley and red pepper. And voila! You’ve made some rockin’ All American Ramen! Bon Appetite!

NOTE: Because most hot dogs and Parmesan cheese contain a good deal of salt, no additional salt was added to this recipe.

Once you’ve got this down, try sautéing some chopped onions and bell peppers, then toss in some chopped tomatoes at the last moment to make some REALLY All American Ramen!

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Sean Michael Beyer is a freelance writer, graphic artist and The Guerrilla Culinarian. Recipe suggestions, comments, feedback: food.editor@campuscircle.net