Excerpted from

STREET FOOD DIARIES

by Matt Basile. Photography by Kyla Zanardi.

INGREDIENTS

6 cloves garlic

2 Spanish onions

1 leek

1 cup finely chopped green onions

¼ cup canola oil

2 tbsp. freshly minced ginger

1 tbsp. chili paste

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup Marsala

1 cup thinly sliced water chestnuts

1 cup thinly sliced brown mushrooms

1½ lb. ground fatty lamb

1 tbsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground fennel seeds

2 tbsp. basil paste

2 cups warm beef stock

6 eggs

1 ½ lb. dry ramen noodles

1 bunch fresh spinach leaves, stems removed

1 cup bean sprouts

METHOD

Jammin’ to the lambin’ ramen

Finely chop the garlic, onions, leek and green onions. In a large pot over high heat, warm the oil and add the garlic, onions, leek, green onions and ginger with the chili paste. Sauté for approximately 2 minutes and then add the soy sauce, Marsala, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Allow to cook for approximately 5 minutes and then add 2 cups of water to bring down the temperature of the stock.

While we wait for those flavours to take over the boring ol’ water, take the lamb meat and season it with the salt, pepper, cumin, fennel and basil paste. Work all the ingredients into the meat, and using your hands, form them into little imperfect meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Roll all the balls using the palm of your hand. In a non-stick pan, sear the meatballs, approximately 10 balls at a time. Add the cooked meatballs to the stock every time you finish a batch. Once all the meatballs are in the stock, add the 2 cups of beef broth (or if you can find it, lamb broth). Let the soup simmer, uncovered, for approximately 1½ hours.

Okay, now soup for you

When the soup is almost ready, boil the eggs in a separate pot of water for about 8 minutes. Carefully remove them from the boiling water and place them in a bowl of ice water. Meanwhile, put the noodles and spinach in the broth. Let the noodles cook in the warm broth and start to spoon the soup into individual bowls. Peel all the shells off the eggs and cut each egg in half. Place some bean sprouts and two egg halves in each bowl of soup. Serve immediately.

SERVES 6