I think the flavor of ramps in early spring is quite delicate, I like to eat it raw, in a salad.
In some Chinese noodle shops (Northern China style shops), they serve a cold potato salad that is not much more than julienned or shredded potato briefly blanched, vinegar, and sesame oil. They also sometimes serve thin slices of cold pig ears (braised) seasoned with soy sauce. You eat these snacks while you wait for your noodles or dumplings. Depending on the noodle shop, sometimes the snacks are the highlights of the meal for me.
Bringing these elements together makes a pretty nice salad while you cook your noodles (or anything else) at home. What I have here is more of a method rather than a recipe. —nowarmsoda
What You'll Need
Potato (not too starchy variety, Yukon Gold works fine)
braised pig ears*
- Cut potatoes into long match sticks and blanch in boiling water for ~1-2 minutes until soft but still slightly crunchy. Rinse with cold water and drain.
- Cut ramps crosswise into ~2 inch pieces, half the thicker stem pieces lengthwise. Slice braised pig ears* into thin slices.
- toss the potato sticks, ramps and pig ear slices with rice vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, a little bit of sesame oil, thin slices of a small hot pepper, and sprinkle some toasted then grounded szechuan peppercorn.
*You can find already braised pig ears sold whole at those Chinatown places with roasted ducks hanging in the window. Or braise your own in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, water, a knob of ginger, a few scallions and five spice for ~1 or 1.5 hours. Pig ears don't take on flavor easily, so keep your braising mixture pretty salty and spicy, season your salad accordingly depends on how salty your pig ears are.