Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Thing to Do With Instant Ramen
Chef /raconteur/hater of California rolls Anthony Bourdain has never needed white table clothes, tuxedoed waiters or plates meticulously prepared using tweezers to convince him that food is worth eating. He likes what he likes and he definitely does not care if you are impressed. To that end, he did an AMA on Reddit yesterday afternoon to promote Raw Craft, his web series with The Balvenie. His answers were quintessential Bourdain.
He wrote that his favorite comfort food is not some impossible-for-Americans-to-pronounce noodle dish from a food stall in Singapore, instead it’s good old fashioned mac and cheese, made by the vatful in a fast food kitchen.
I have an unholy and guilty attraction to fast-food macaroni and cheese. During the morning I get these horrendous cravings for Popeye’s mac and cheese, and, uh, I will often disguise myself to try to slip into Popeyes. Or in a pinch I will even go to the Colonel. There, I admit it. And I’m always recognized. I hate Twitter, because immediately they take a picture of me holding the evidence in my hand. It’s like getting caught coming out of a porn shop with a video in your arms. Very embarrassing.
Honestly, the most embarrassing thing about that answer is that he still thinks people need to get their porn on videos at a shop.
But our favorite answer was to the question about the best thing to do with cheap, crappy, store-bought ingredients.
I would say the ultimate broke ass, dorm food, for people who don’t have a lot of money, for people [who] aren’t good at cooking, if you only have a hotplate, is a Korean dish called Budae Jijgae, also known as Army Stew or Korean Army Stew…It’s an unholy mix of ramen, hot dogs (or Vienna sausage), spam, beans, kimchi, and Korean spices. I know that sounds like just a horrible train wreck, it’s really delicious and you can pretty much train a reasonably intelligent Doberman to make it. It’s perfect. When there was a lot of poverty and necessity during wartime in Korea, it perfectly reflects the need to improvise, innovate and make the most of what you have on hand.
If you have or are a reasonably intelligent Doberman, here’s a recipe for Budae Jjigae
And if you want to see Bourdain rub elbows with impressive craftspeople like knife maker Bob Kramer or saxophone designer Steve Goodman check out Raw Craft over on YouTube.