All You Need is Ramen!

If there is one glorious thing I’ve learned about cooking, it’s that you don’t need to go to a restaurant to eat a dish you crave. No, no. In a world where there are more cookbooks in bookstores than stars in the sky, a reliable purchase will lead the way to complicated cuisine like a trusty atlas. Lucky for me, my husband loves books. This beauty arrived at our doorstep a few weeks ago.

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This cookbook is written by an expatriate married to a Japanese farmer. I tried out the Ramen Noodle Soup recipe.

bowls

Ramen Noodle Soup has all the heartiness of a wintery Chicken Noodle Soup. In a cast iron pan, roast 4 chicken thighs with carrots and 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes.

chicken

Remove two chicken thighs, place in a big pot with a large amount of water, chopped onion, the roasted carrots, and bring to a boil. Boil on a low simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Strain, and save the liquid. I wanted to use all the chicken on hand so I used my own previously made turkey stock (which I lacerated my thumb hurt my finger on a turkey skeleton turkey bone making).

Nori, or edible seaweed available in dried sheets, should be cut into thin strips to be tossed into the soup at the final moment.

noriBlanched greens go into the soup at the end as well. I recommend bok choy since mustard greens are horrid. Hold the the greens by the tops and stand in boiling water for 20 seconds so the stems soften.

blanchedDrop greens into boiling water for 1-3 minutes.

blanchedpotSqueeze greens out, chop into smaller pieces, and dress with a tbsp of soy sauce.

dashiDrop some of the remaining carrots into the broth (or chop additional carrots and cook for 10 minutes). Shred the remaining chicken and add to the broth. Heat through.

Noodles: Ramen noodles are delicate, curly noodles that can be prepared from scratch, like any fresh pasta. If you would rather conserve your energy, I pick up fresh Ramen at a Japanese grocery store. I bought fresh Ramen the first time I tried out this recipe and it was delicious. For the second try, I cheated and  bought Korean noodles, equally good, but more akin to Udon noodles than to Ramen. I prepared the noodles separately from the broth.

Add a tbsp of miso to each soup bowl (or 1 tsp of soy sauce).

miso

Add some broth, and muddle the miso. Add more broth with the chicken and carrots. Add the cooked noodles. Top with the blanched greens and nori…

soupiiand for the truly adventurous…

egg

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