Time used to work round the clock. It was busy minding our hours, at all hours. Morning was reserved for breakfast, day for work, night for sleep. Now we shop whenever, watch whatever, and work forever. Frequently we splice together shopping, movie and work, at once. Abandoning the clock to the corner of the screen, where it ticks off many an overburdened minute.
In the new time economy, the kitchen suffers confusion. Is morning still about sunny-side up? Do noodles still stay up late? Both puzzles are solved by breakfast yakisoba — a happy tangle of bacon, eggs and ramen. Early-morning staples and late-night stars mix it up. Why not? The rest of us scramble the schedule, and sometimes the results are timeless.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 2 servings
For reasons unknown, this recipe is named after Japanese buckwheat noodles (soba) but calls for wheat noodles (ramen). Look for ramen noodles in the Asian foods aisle. Choose plain noodles, not the instant soup packages. Other noodles (including soba) work too.
4 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
4 oz. ramen noodles
2 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch tabs
1/2 cup quartered white mushrooms
1 cup diced green cabbage, in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced red onion, in 1/2-inch pieces
2 eggs beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh tomato
Dissolve: In a large bowl, stir together soy and sugar.
Boil: Heat a large pot of water to a boil, drop in noodles and cook just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water, drain again. Slide noodles into the bowl with the soy and toss to coat.
Brown: Heat a wok (set on a wok-ring) over medium-high heat or a cast-iron skillet set over medium heat. When hot, toss in bacon. Cook, stirring with chopsticks or a wooden spatula, until crunchy and brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Scoop out bacon, leaving rendered fat in the pan.
Stir-fry: Slide mushrooms into the pan and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cabbage and onion. Stir-fry until vegetables are nicely browned, about 5 minutes.
Toss: Slide noodles into the pan, toss until hot, about 1 minute. Pour in egg and scramble with noodles until egg is just set, about 1 minute. Toss in reserved bacon.
Serve: Scoop noodles into two shallow bowls. Top with tomato. Dig in.
Provenance: Inspired by Wagamama Restaurants.
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