So, all that to say I think writing down recipes for the blog could be a good way to keep track of my kitchen adventures, and maybe a few of you might enjoy trying them out. I know this has nothing to do with writing, but if you search this blog you'll find I've talked myself into a corner on that subject and it's time to throw a few other things into the mix.
Okay, on to the Ramen. I should have probably gotten more pictures of the process, but I wasn't planning to do this when I made it. Next time! I will get fancy like that.
To many Americans, ramen is looked at as this cheap food only fit for desperate times or college students. When we think ramen, we think blue package with dried noodles and powdered sauce thing. Poor ramen. In its native land this dish is a beautiful bowl of noodles served in all sorts of broths and topped with a variety of ingredients.
Mmm. Ramen. It's served spicy, mild, with pork or egg or both. It can come with onions or bamboo shoots or daikon or bean sprouts. It even comes cold in the hot summer months.
Alas, it's not easy finding Ramen like this where I live in Utah. I can't speak for the rest of America, but I'm willing to bet there are very few ramen houses here in general. And if your local Japanese place does serve ramen, it only comes one way.
So what do you do if you want some real ramen on a cold winter day? Well, in Utah you search out the one decent Asian market in the county, buy the ingredients you need, and make it yourself.
On to the recipe! (And disclaimer: This isn't like the be-all-end-all of how to make ramen. This is just how I made it, and I probably did stuff wrong and I know there are even better ways to make it if you have time to make the stock from scratch. But I liked how this turned out, and it was pretty easy.)
Ingredients (For the ramen at the top of post):
• 3 cups water mixed with 1 1/2 tsp Hondashi (This is a Japanese fish broth stock, basically, and is the key to that distinct flavor you find in Japanese soups like miso, udon, and ramen).
• 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken or pork, if you like)
• 2-3 tsp minced ginger
• 1-2 cloves minced garlic
• 1/3 cup soy sauce
• 1/3 mirin (or apple juice if you don't do alcohol [mirin is a Japanese cooking liquor])
• 1 tsp chili oil
• 1 tsp sesame seed oil
• Add all ingredients to a fairly large pot and bring to a boil.
• 3 Packs fresh "yakisoba" noodles. (These are about the same as ramen. I couldn't find fresh noodles labeled as ramen around here, but it may be different where you're at.) Wash these noodles under warm water until they are loosened, keep moist until ready to assemble.
• Dried, actual ramen noodles. (Not from a cheap pack at the store, though I suppose you could go that route if you wanted, but dry ramen you'd find at the Asian market. They are straight, not all crinkled.) Cook these noodles for 4-5 minutes in a separate pot of water, drain, keep in cool water until ready to assemble.
• 3-4 green onions, sliced
• 1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed
• 1 cup spinach, rinsed and chopped
• 2 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1. Get a large bowl, put desired amount of noodles in.
2. Ladle broth over noodles until they're covered.
3. Add desired toppings, submerging in broth so they cook.
4. Let rest a few minutes while vegetables get tender.
Note: If you like more heat, I add a little sriracha to my bowl, but I make it fairly mild so my kids can eat it. You can also add any type of meat you like, but I make it vegetarian because my husband is.
Hope you enjoy it if you try it!