It’s ramen time

I LOVE ramen, I mean who doesn’t love ramen.  I feel like if you don’t like ramen, then there’s a good chance we can’t be friends…haha!

But seriously, ramen shops have been popping up everywhere recently and I think that’s a good thing, sort of.  One of my favourite things in Japan is the fact that there is a noodle shop of some sort on basically every corner.  They serve great food, for a pretty cheap price and are open very early to very late, if not 24 hours.  You’re pretty much always able to get a good meal in Japan.  There have been some great ramen shops that have opened in Calgary that serve some pretty decent food – but I’m not yet sold on the hours of operation or the price.  $15 + for a bowl of ramen is pretty steep.  In my opinion it’s a price that reflects the trend more than the actual value.

I will write a big review on ramen in Calgary in the coming weeks, but for now – I decided instead of going out, I would stay in and to try making my own ramen. Yikes!!!

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For me, ramen is all about the broth and the noodles…because you could eat it with nothing else.  But, the toppings are the fun part – because you can get very creative.

So where did I start – I started with the broth. Lucky for me, I always have broth in my freezer, usually a few different kinds like chicken, duck, beef and pork.  This week I had chicken stock, beef stock and some beef fat. Not quite what I wanted, I was hoping for pork broth but – I’m pretty good at working with what I got!

So here is my recipe for ramen, it’s not necessarily traditional but it tastes damn good and I’m pretty proud of it for a first go.

YIELD (4 servings)

INGREDIENTS

Broth:

  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1/4 cup of beef fat
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce + 1 tbsp. for the pork
  • 1/2 cup shiro miso (white miso paste)

Toppings and Garnishes:

  • 16 oz. ramen noodles (I used the ramen noodles from Hung’s Noodle House)
  • 12 oz. sliced pork belly
  • 3 oz. oyster mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 oz. enoki mushrooms
  • 3 oz. bamboo shoots (canned)
  • 3 oz. baby corn (a guilty pleasure)
  • 3 green onions (thinly sliced)

DIRECTIONS

  1. first thing is to add the chicken broth and the beef broth together in a pot, along with a little of the beef fat and set it on medium heat to warm up.
  2. as it heats up, add the miso, soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin to the broth and then the bamboo shoots and baby corn.
  3. soak the pork belly slices in soy sauce, turn a medium-sized pan on to high heat and brown the pork belly on both sides. Then add to the broth.
  4. as you’re getting the broth and toppings ready, boil noodles in a separate pot with well salted water.
  5. drain noodles and add a portion to each bowl, top with hot broth (arrange the pork in each bowl and dish out the corn and bamboo shoots), then arrange oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, and green onions on top.

 

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Then slurp slurp slurp away!!!

I hope you enjoy my ramen recipe.  But, don’t be afraid to put your own little spin on it.  There’s so many items you can add: seaweed, fish cakes, boiled and seasoned eggs, corn, bean sprouts, cabbage, pepper, chopped garlic, pickled ginger and much much more.

Till the next recipe,

Kristen xo

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