Saweetie’s taste buds aren’t meant to be understood. It’s as if the receptor cells on her tongue live in another dimension inconceivable to mere mortals. The West Coast rapper isn’t limited by traditional human classifications of taste—salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami—or even what many would believe is edible.
When Saweetie debuts a new recipe on social media, the world shakes with fear, trepidation, and excitement. Like an alchemist, Saweetie is unafraid of tempting the boundaries of experimentation. Ketchup and barbecue sauce drench seafood; Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sit on the rim of mixed drinks, forcing salt and sugar off their long-held throne; and McGangbangs aren’t reserved for the days of misguided adolescent youth. Saweetie’s cooking philosophy feels like it’s culled from the Top Chef quick-fire challenges of yore. It’s as if the spirit of Tom Colicchio is constantly on her shoulder, challenging the 27-year-old to concoct new recipes using only items you could buy at a gas station or from a vending machine.
Saweetie joined The Ringer Music Show this week to discuss her upcoming album, Pretty Bitch Music, and also to break down a few of her most controversial recipes. What follows is in an attempt to understand one of the most dangerous minds in the gourmet world.
Oysters à la Top Ramen
Yield: Serves two
Time: 30 seconds
1 pack of Chicken Flavor Top Ramen seasoning
Crystal hot sauce (optional)
The life of a culinary trailblazer is rife with experimentation that might seem taboo to the untrained (and even trained) eye. Through the years, Saweetie has used the oyster as a seafood canvas. An array of sauces, seasonings, and condiments including barbecue sauce, ketchup, and hot sauce have covered her mollusk of choice to perfect the art of the “hot oyster.”
“I definitely like my oysters hot. I just like my oysters spicy,” Saweetie says. “If not, I’ll settle for a heavily saturated lemon juice oyster, but it definitely has to have some flavor on it.”
On a recent vacation, Saweetie also began to wonder about her food’s freshness and ask questions that could blow the entire culinary industry open. “I just left the island and there was certain food that we couldn’t eat because they weren’t in season but, living in L.A., everything is always in season,” she says. “So it’s like, are you all freezing the food and we just eating it later? They have to operate around seasonal foods. But I feel like in major cities, that’s not the case. I’m just like, hmm. It just makes me scratch my head.”
Obtain some preferably in-season oysters.
Open a package of chicken-flavored Top Ramen. Separate the seasoning packet from the ramen and set aside for later use.
Sprinkle seasoning packet evenly across the dozen oysters. Dab oysters with a drop of Crystal hot sauce.
Hidden Valley Pasta
Yield: Serves three
Time: 20 minutes
1 box of spaghetti or your pasta of choice
2 cups of marinara sauce
1/4th cup of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
One of Saweetie’s most controversial dishes concerns pasta and an update of a classic marinara sauce. For Saweetie, the secret is simple. While most chefs consider ranch dressing to be the protagonist of salads and occasionally wings, Saweetie has used the creamy concoction to give her sauce a bold and deep flavor.
“I grew up eating my spaghetti like that,” Saweetie says. “Ever since I could remember, my family eats our spaghetti like that. So for me it wasn’t like a new invention. I just thought everybody did it. Apparently not.”
When done right, this dish uses the milky texture of Hidden Valley ranch to cut the acidity of the marinara sauce, thus creating an Italian masterpiece that effortlessly merges two worlds. According to Saweetie, the secret to this recipe lies in the dressing far more than the type of pasta. “I love me some Hidden Valley ranch. I can’t even lie about that,” Saweetie says. “Ain’t nothing changing but the noodle, but the flavor stays the same. So I’m not really picky when it comes to the noodle.”
Boil the spaghetti until al dente. Discard the water and leave pasta to rest.
Warm marinara sauce and mix into the pasta.
Once pasta is evenly coated with sauce, slowly pour in ranch dressing.
Ramen With Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Croutons
Yield: Serves one
Time: 10 minutes
1 Cup Noodle
1 Bag of Hot Cheetos
A trademark of Saweetie’s style of cooking is layering bombastic and audacious flavors on top of each other (also a lot of salt). For one of Saweetie’s most intense dishes, she fuses—and elevates—two late-night staples into one fiery dish.
“Getting chicken Top Ramen and putting in the Hot Cheetos as is, it’s kind of lazy,” Saweetie admits. So her trick to sprucing up this dish is chopping up the Hot Cheetos into croutons and using them throughout the dish as mini flavor bombs. “I’ll probably mush it up to make them into little crumbs and then I’ll put it in the Top Ramen,” she continues.
Another key component to this meal is making sure to have the right amount of broth. Too much and the croutons will be reduced to mush, but not enough and the crunchiness of the Hot Cheeto croutons will throw off the meal. “I like for it to be half soupy,” Saweetie says. “So I’m throwing a little bit of the water away. I don’t want to throw away the seasoned broths, so I’m going to pour out a little bit of water. And then I’m going to pour the rest of the seasoning in.”
Pour boiling water into the Cup Noodles container and let steep. When noodles are fully cooked, slowly pour out 1/4 cup of the boiling water.
While the noodles are cooking in the boiled water, open a bag of Hot Cheetos. Chop the Cheetos into smaller pieces.
Season ramen until the water turns brothy. Then sprinkle croutons on top and serve.
Bonus Recipe No. 1: “Nice and Crunchy Pizza”
1 slice of delivery pizza
1 bag of hot Cheetos
If you find yourself with leftover Hot Cheetos after making the croutons, Saweetie has a side dish that also employs the crunchy cheese snacks and can spruce up a simple pizza night. The key to this dish is simplicity. “Cheese or pepperoni,” Saweetie states firmly. “That’s what I put with my Hot Cheetos.” Too many toppings can interfere with the factory-engineered heat that comes off the Hot Cheetos.
This dish is also one of Saweetie’s most versatile creations, pairing nicely with any pizza on hand. “Honestly, I love Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Little Caesars, Domino’s,” she admits. “I’m not picky. I mean, people have their preferences but I like all those pizzas. Ooh, DiGiorno.”
Bonus Recipe No. 2: Saweetie’s Secret Alfredo Sauce
When asked for a “Top Chef–level” recipe, Saweetie can think of only one recipe that she keeps close to the chest. Like the Krusty Krab secret formula, Saweetie will speak only of the components, but will not reveal the intricacies of how she uses them.
“I do make my Alfredo sauce from scratch,” Saweetie says. “I use manchego cheese for that. So some milk, a block of cheese. I put a little bit of lemon and then some, and then seasoning. Everybody’s different with our seasoning. I like my Alfredo to taste a little zesty.”
The only other hint Saweetie gives away is what the sauce should be paired with. “Seafood pasta, so I might throw some scallops, some squid, and some shrimp in there.”
Pasta of your choosing
To hear more of The Ringer Music Show’s interview with Saweetie, click here.