Korean Rice with Wild Spring Veg Stirfry
Spring is almost gone and three of my favorite ingredients are now officially out of season. Ramps, fiddlehead ferns, and morels grow in North America and can be found growing in abundance in early spring.
I like to extend the season a little… I pack the fiddleheads in oil, dry some morels, and make fridge pickles with the ramps!
To dry morels, simply cut and clean them and arrange them on a mirror in the sun. They will give up their spores and you can scrape those off the mirror and use them to seed your yard (shaded areas with old mulch work best). To rehydrate them simply add hot water. The resulting broth is delicious as well.
Fiddleheads are the edible, new shoots of the fern plant. They are also simple to preserve. I salt them and let them sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning I drain them and cover them with very lightly spiced hot oil (a little fresh garlic and a pinch of pepper flakes is all it takes!). Preserved as such they’ll last a few weeks in the fridge.
Ramps are by far my favorite vegetable in the world. In spain they’re grilled and eaten with sweet and peppery romesco sauce. In the US they’re typically sauteed in butter and served alongside their forest neighbors, morels. Google has a number of great fridge pickle recipes, but once again I tend to try to keep my seasonings and spices to a minimum and focus instead on quality craft vinegar and the flavor of the ramps. I typically eat the green tops fresh and pickle the oniony bulbs and red stems. Only because I like the way they look!
These three wild, preserved edibles make excellent pizza toppings, are great with scrambled eggs or on risotto, or to accompany grilled meat or fish. But one of my absolute favorite things to do with them is to stir fry them and serve them with simple fried rice.
2 cups jasmine rice
2 ½ cups salted water
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp ramp pickle juice
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 cup pickled ramps, sliced in half
1 cup rehydrated morels
1 cup preserved fiddlehead ferns
4 fresh eggs
bring salted water, rice, vinegar and honey to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 min or until the rice is fully cooked. Scramble eggs in another tablespoon of the sesame oil. CUT and FOLD your scrambled eggs into the rice as well as a tbsp of sesame oil (never smash your rice with a spoon!) and a tbsp of sesame seeds.
In a VERY hot wok, cast iron pan, or stainless pan quickly sear the garlic and chili flakes. Once they start turning slightly brown add the ramps, morels, fiddleheads, pickle juice, and soy. Cook only until the liquid evaporates. These ingredients are already cooked so don’t leave them on the heat for more than a few minutes or they’ll lose their vibrant texture and color.
Place your rice in a bowl and spoon a generous serving of the stir fry over. Enjoy with a little sriracha or gojujan hot sauce!