So I am leaving to Japan for two weeks in 2 days (!!), and I thought it would be interesting to share my simple, non traditional ramen recipe before Japan and re-create the recipe after Japan with differences I noticed in ‘”real ramen”. I’m going to Japan with 15 other girls from around the world through Girl Scouts. It’s crazy, I’ve been in Girl Scouts all of my life and only realized the opportunities it can give you last year, so basically if any young girl scouts are reading this blog.. keep on scouting. Last year I went to Peru through scouts as well, so I might do some peruvian recipes later if I can remember some of them. Anyways I will update this blog after two weeks with my thoughts on authentic Japanese cuisine. I’m secretly hoping I will go to Japan and be like “MY RAMEN IS BETTER” (this probably won’t happen, but the dream is still there). Goodbye for two weeks, and I hope you give this recipe a shot.
My sister and I were inspired to make home made ramen a long time ago when we realized we didn’t have the budget to back up our frequent ramen cravings — seriously though, can we talk about how expensive ramen can be? I’m not talking about 89 cent ramen, but good quality ramen with the toppings and all. Normally good ramen is around 10-14(!!!) dollars, and even crappy ‘good’ ramen is generally around 8 dollars. So being really into ramen can get expensive very quickly. Also I find a lot of restaurant ramen to be so salty and HUGE that you basically feel like carb filled crap for the whole day. Really with any meal, if you cook it at home the salt content will naturally be much lower, because you are controlling everything that goes in. So even though this isn’t designed to be a healthy ramen recipe, it will be a hell of a lot healthier than any restaurant ramen, and I guarantee just as satisfying!
Anyways, ramen is fairly simple to make, but the number of toppings you add can add another layer of complexity to the dish. The process of prepping all of your toppings to ensure that the stock, noodles, egg, etc are ready around the same time is a labor of love so be ready to not have a minute to spare in the kitchen. I like to think of it as an engineering-esque problem: How can I prep these items as quickly as possible, have them be done around the same time, and use as few pots/bowls/utensils as possible (to minimize waste and clean-up). I personally like cooking alone, so to do this I have to make some allowances for which toppings I don’t mind getting cold — i.e. spinach or corn– because the broth will warm them up, and which absolutely need to be hot/fresh– i.e. boiled egg and broth.
I guess traditional ramen uses home made pork broth, but the process of making pork broth adds another half day to the recipe, and I find that chicken or veggie stock works perfectly fine.
Also, if you have an asian/japanese market nearby, you can get fresh ramen noodles. I personally don’t like the thickness of the fresh ones my market sells, so I buy these 2-packs of semi-fresh noodles in the refrigerator isles at my local asian market (they come with a flavoring packet that I toss).
Ok i’ll stop rambling. Go make some ramen.
-This recipe is “meatless” but not vegetarian because of the chicken stock used, but vegetable stock can easily be substituted to make this recipe vegetarian.
-This is not traditional at all. I have made home made ramen multiple times now and have solidified this recipe/ combo of ingredients because these ingredients are easy to find, quick to put together, and never fail to satisfy my ramen cravings.
INGREDIENTS: (for 2-3 people)
- Ramen noodles
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 in piece ginger
- vegetable oil
- sesame oil (optional)
- 16 oz Chicken, Pork, or Vegetable Stock
- 2 tsp dashi stock powder/granules
- Soy sauce
- Chili oil (optional)
- 1.5 Tbs miso paste
- Dried Seaweed
- Tofu – Soft, medium, or firm based on preference
(not included but great toppings: bean sprouts, green onions, potato, pork loin, etc.)
- Grate garlic and ginger or finely mince so it blends into the broth. Add garlic, ginger, and a few teaspoons of vegetable oil to pot. Cook for a minute or so until fragrant. If desired, add 1/2 tsp sesame oil to the pan as well.
- Add chicken stock and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer.
- Add dashi granules and stir. Cover pot and cook on medium heat while prepping other ingredients (toppings, noodles, etc.) About 10-15 minutes
- When ready to serve, take off heat and stir in miso paste. Add 1-2 tsp soy sauce and a few drops chili oil if desired. Season with salt to taste after miso is added.
NOODLES + TOPPINGS:
- Set a small pot of water to boil while stock is coming to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, prep frozen corn and spinach in the microwave. Microwave spinach, with wet paper towel on top, for ~45 seconds-1minute. Spinach should be bright green. Squeeze out water and set aside.
- Prep tofu by cutting it into small pieces and pan frying in vegetable oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. (add crushed red pepper flakes to oil before frying for aded spice).
- Once water is boiling, cook noodles (I prefer to cook 1 portion at a time). 3-4 minutes for fresh noodles. Place in serving bowls immediately after noodles are done cooking. Do not drain water, simply lift noodles out of hot water with slotted spatula/frying tool if possible.
- Bring water to a boil again. Once boiling, place eggs in water and cook for 6-8 minutes. 6 minutes for the runny egg shown in the pictures, or 8 for a more set center.
- Arrange toppings on top of noodles in each serving bowl. Pour piping hot broth over the noodles+toppings and serve with dried seaweed if desired.