RAMEN NOODLE SOUP

This isn’t the instant kind, my friends. 

Ramen noodles are synonymous with Japanese culture. It is possible to make ramen at home without spending hours simmering broth. Since I love ramen and eat it quite regularly, I had to find a quick method at home (that doesn’t involve a packet of freeze-dried vegetables and salt). I love a culinary challenge!

I found these great dry noodles (also available at Whole Foods) that are vegan, organic, and non-GMO. And at $2, they’re pretty affordable as well. They cook reasonably fast and is a perfect serving size for a single person meal. 

The broth, or dashi, is the heartbeat of the ramen. In traditional Japanese ramen or udon establishment, the chefs may take up to a day to develop the flavor in the broth. Since I don’t have that kind of time, I created a shortcut using just a few ingredients: vegetable broth (a great base for vegans), bonito flakes (or dried seaweed), mirin (rice wine vinegar), and star anise (for depth). While the sauce is simmering, prepare the toppings. 

The variations of toppings are limitless but the common vegetables used in toppings are bean sprouts, scallions, cabbage, wakame seaweed, English spinach, corn kernels, Chinese cabbage, buck choy, carrot, roasted seaweed, or preserved bamboo shoots. Pork is a popular topping, but any kind of meat or tofu can be used as well. 

I use two cook tops when making ramen — one for cooking noodles and one for stir frying, and an electric kettle to boil water for the ramen soup. The recipe below makes just one serve of ramen, but using this method you can make ramen for several people at once. The only adaptation would be the amount of water to boil for the ramen soup and the quantity of noodles and toppings. 

30 minute ramen noodle soup

10 minute prep + 20 min cook time, serves 1


INGREDIENTS

3.5 oz ramen noodles

8 oz vegetable broth

star anise

pinch of kombu or one dried seaweed sheet

splash of mirin

1 egg

enoki or white mushrooms, sliced

carrots, thinly sliced

scallion, thinly sliced

strip steak

extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons garlic, minced 

1 tablespoon garlic, sliced 

METHOD

Rub steak with garlic cloves and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

In a small saucepan, combine the broth, soy sauce, and mirin. Add the star anise and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the kombu. 

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully add egg one and boil gently for 6-7 minutes. Egg yolks should be shiny yellow and the whites should be firm. Drain egg and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking; let cool. Peel and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet to medium-high. Sear steak for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set on plate to rest. 

When ready to serve, add noodles to a large bowl. Remove the seaweed from the saucepan (if you used) and pour hot broth over the noodles. Cover with a plate. 

Slice the steak, thinly across the grain. Add all the remaining toppings to the bowl of noodles, finishing off with the steak. 

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