Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
And no, I'm not talking about a whole barbecued octopus with two equally out-there sides. These three dishes are just a little beyond the norm, but doable. I came across them in a new food quarterly from chef David Chang called Lucky Peach. While the issue focuses on ramen, there are some hidden, non-ramen gems inside.
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Sauteed lettuce. This is part of a ramen-crusted skate recipe, but I'd skip the fish (leave dredging skate in instant-ramen breadcrumbs to Chang) and go straight to the vegetable: Add a head or two of iceberg or butter lettuce, torn, to a skillet that's already sizzling with a tablespoon of grapeseed oil and a "nice big knob of butter." Toss in a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the lettuce is wilted but not completely slack, one or two minutes. Chang gives bonus points if you season it with a dash of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.
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A soft-hard-boiled egg. Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who runs a ramen restaurant in Tokyo, swears by this method for making a "not-quite-boiled egg," where the white is firm but the yolk is meltingly soft: Boil for six minutes and 10 seconds, plunge into ice water and peel. Cut with a piece of fishing line just before serving.
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A recipe in haiku form. I've seen shorter recipes (take a look at @cookbook on Twitter if you haven't already; her 140-character recipes are genius), but none as poetic as Corn with Miso Butter and Bacon by Peter Meehan. Told in three haikus, it reads:
Render the bacon,
Add the corn. Jump and sizzle
As gold turns to brown.
Miso and butter
Join'd in equal proportions
Plop! Into the pan.
Splash stock, then toss. Glaze.
Crack slow-poached egg to crown like
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