I have very fond memories of what my mom used to make for me to eat during my childhood (click image to enlarge). She used to make me Totino’s Party Pizzas for breakfast, (I had one a couple days ago and noticed that either they’ve gotten a lot smaller or I’ve gotten a whole lot bigger). She used to make the wonder of wonders, turkey spread as well, which consisted of mayonnaise, sweet pickles, leftover Thanksgiving and a Cusinart – I would have that and some more mayo on crackers and it was divine. One thing that I must say really stood out was a breakfast dish she would make for me. She called it ‘Spaetzle,’ but it was a little different than this:
Spätzle[ˈʃpɛtslə] ( listen) (Swabian diminutive of Spatz, thus literally “little sparrow”, also Spätzli or Chnöpfli in Switzerland or Knöpfle or Hungariannokedli or galuska) are a type of egg noodle of soft texture found in the cuisine of Germany and of Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Alsace and South Tyrol.
While I’m sure spaetzle is quite good, this is something that transcend multiple cultures. Let me explain…
The noodles my mom originally used were Nissin’s Roasted Ramen. This was available for a short period in the 80’s and then ceased to exist. What we found out was that Nissin Roasted Ramen is the exact same thing as Nissin Chikin Ramen, the instant that came out in 1958 and was the first instant noodle to be sold commercially. For quite a while, we were able to get the Chikin Ramen at Uwajimaya in Seattle’s International District. Uwajimaya is a big Japanese supermarket which my parents would take me to often. I remember going there and to the family’s favorite Chinese restaurant Sun Ya when we were down there. I remember we went to see Chinese New Year festivities down there one year and saw a demonstration during the Tienamen Square protests in 1989.
Things have changed since then. I don’t usually have turkey spread or the Party Pizzas anymore. Nissin Chikin Ramen is not at all readily available. I do have instant noodles often and thought today ‘it’s been years – I oughtta make some Spaetzle…’ So I did. Here’s the recipe, probably a little different from the way my mom made it but comes out almost identical.
The Ramen Rater’s Mom’s Spaetzle
- 1 pack Top Ramen
- 3 eggs
- Cooking spray
- Salt and pepper
- First thing you need is to start cooking the noodles – cook them as directed on the package. Use the seasoning packet too. If you want your noodles to be more flavorful, use less water. To get them ‘al dente,’ I would cook them about one and a half minutes in the boiling water, stirring and separating with a fork.
- Drain the noodles. See, if you use less water and the flavoring is more concentrated, the more flavor gets into the noodles, got it?
- Take a frying pan and spray it good with the cooking spray. Get it up to a good heat and drop in your noodles. Stir ’em and mess with them quite a bit – they have a tendency to stick unless you do. Mess with them in this was for a couple minutes or so.
- Crack three eggs over the noodles and then stir, stir, stir. It’s a kind of bizarre and nasty, sloppy mess for a bit here but don’t give up! Stir everything around a lot for a couple minutes.
- Finally, make sure everything in the pan is flat and covering the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and turn the heat off. Let it sit there for a couple few minutes.
- It’s done! The bottom should be crisp but not burnt. Fold it over like an omelet and salt and pepper to taste.
There’s a little bit of my childhood for you to try out. It’s a really basic recipe and very few ingredients, but hey – same amount as a PB&J, right? Kinda? I’m sure my mom wasn’t the only one who made eggs and Top Ramen like this. Also, I’m sure she used butter instead of cooking spray. Anyways, enjoy and thank my mom in the comments below if you like it.