"Let's cut off the bulb and try growing them!" — Mom
I've been raving about ramps to Mom since the season started this year, referring to them as a fancy scallion. So when I bought a bus ticket home to visit her for Mother's Day, she also requested I bring one bunch back for her to inspect. Per the recommendation of Aunt Six, she already has a few various types of allium growing in the backyard and wanted to know if one of them were ramps — despite me telling her that ramps grow in the wild and must be foraged, like when we went hunting for truffles in Italy.
Since she and Dad switched to empty-nester status, they have been obsessed with gardening and growing enough vegetables to sustain them through the fall. "It's environmentally-friendly AND wallet-friendly," Mom says every season.
So now she's on a mission to grow ramps. Is it do-able? Research says TBD, but that's not going to stop Mom from trying. I mean if anyone can do it, it's this woman. I bought her orchids for Mother's Day four years ago, and somehow they're still thriving — mine died after two weeks. Maybe after you've raised two kids, you have a knack for keeping things alive?
Only time will tell if Mom's successful. In the meantime, the bulbs may be cut, but that leaves (pun intended) the whole rest of the ramp and what better way to cook it than tossing it in a Mom-approved classic fried rice?
Prep: 45 mins. | Cook: 15 mins.
INGREDIENTS (FOR 2)
|1 cup jasmine rice|
|1 bunch of ramps|
|1 large clove of garlic, minced|
|1 tsp minced ginger|
|1 tbsp soy sauce*|
|+ oil for pan|
|fried turkey egg|
* Fish sauce is a great substitute for soy sauce in this recepie, but it's personal preference as both provide a distinct umami flavor.
1. Make the rice in either a rice cooker or the stove top. The minute it's done, remove from heat and let it cool. Harden rice makes for better fried rice. You can even refrigerate it overnight, in fact, Mom use to make fried rice from leftover rice.
2. As the rice is cooking, chop up the ramps by first separating the stem from the leaves and then finely chopping both, but keeping it separate. The leaves will wilt faster in the pan, so that's added towards the very end.
3. Crack the eggs and use a fork to whip the eggs.
1. Toss some oil on a pan and turn the heat on high. When the oil starts to shimmer, throw the minced garlic, ginger, and chopped ramp stems in, and stir for a minute (being sure that it doesn't burn).
2. Fold in the rice and use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps that may have formed. At this point, incorporate the leaves of the ramps.
3. Add the eggs and mix well with the rice. Then add the soy sauce and give the pan a few really good tosses, it will help bring out the flavor.
Your ramp fried rice is ready to eat, but if you're like me and want to be extra, then try adding a fried turkey egg (which you can find at select farmer's market) and some sriracha. If you so desire, you can also serve your rice with a side of vegetables as I did. We paired the ramp fried rice with overwintered kale.