Fried Fish with Ramps

I laid down a few rules for myself before I started this website. No using that word that starts with “food” and ends in “i-e.” No going into detail about things like the interplay between quince paste and aged gouda. No fetishizing. No buying into the whole two-week ramp frenzy that takes over farmers markets and f–dies this time of year. (Aren’t there more important things to get excited about, like, for instance my daughter’s 15-second solo in the 2nd Grade Songfest last week? I’m sorry. I’m sorry. No bragging should probably also be a rule. I’m sorry! I’m sorry!)

But the thing is, I do happen to love those wild, earthy, oniony ramps — mostly because, like daffodils and magnolia trees, they are one of those first fleeting signifiers of spring. And probably also because I don’t actually have to personally partake in the frenzy. The frenzy — how’s this for lucky? — comes to me! Every year, my friend Yolanda (that’s her kick-ass family travel blog, Travels with Clara, over there in my blogroll) shows up on my doorstep or in my office carrying a bouquet of them like a prom date with a corsage. This year, she met me on a busy corner of Soho just to hand me my share of the ramp bounty that is her Catskills backyard. So what am I supposed to do…not get excited? I didn’t. Honest. I just sauteed the things in olive oil, fried some fish, and played it cool.

Fried Fish with Ramps

olive oil
1/2 cup seasoned flour, on a dinner plate for dredging
1 egg, lightly beaten, on a dinner plate for dredging
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 large filets of delicate white fish such as flounder (about 1 1/4 pounds)
salt and pepper to taste
ramps, however many you’ve got
tartar sauce (or ketchup) for dipping
lemon wedges for squeezing

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Set up your dredging stations. One plate flour (salted & peppered), one plate beaten egg, one plate panko bread crumbs.

3. Dredge your fish filets: first in flour, then in egg, then in panko. Add to skillet and fry 2-3 minutes a side until cooked through. Remove from skillet and tent with foil to keep warm. (Or don’t.)

4. Add a little more olive oil to skillet, then add ramps and sautee until wilted, about 3 minutes. Serve atop fish filets. Add a dollop of tartar sauce for the fish.

Note: Andy made a quinoa salad tossed with sauteed mushrooms, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt. Kids did not eat.

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Jenny, love your site. Thanks so much for making family dinner seem like so much fun (and I do believe that it is, or at least mostly is).
I’m a sucker for anything that’s “going fast,” so I bought some ramps during my weekly trip to the farmer’s market. I served mine with fried fish, too, but tried something a little different (for me): I actually wrapped the fish with the leaves of the ramps before dredging in flour & egg. I happened to use cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs, but only because that’s what I had in the pantry.

Then, I sauteed the bulbs as you did and served them alongside the fish. The leaves were bit difficult to taste tucked between the fish and the breading, but they added to the texture and it was actually fun to do. And, my daughter ate it… which is usually not the case when I serve her a green leafy on its own.

Thanks again for all the great posts.


I tried this last night and loved it. I’ve never had a ramp before. Ive actually never heard of one before i came upon your website. thank you for your sage advice!