Last week Megan McCaffrey had a great story about Ramen in Westchester. Chef David Chang, catalyst of the ramen movement in America, says “ramen is dead.” I’m with Megan on this one and say NO! Ramen soup comes in many varieties, and believe it or not, can be easily made at home. In fact, this past weekend, inspired by Megan’s story, I pulled together some leftovers and made a delicious batch for us. Just how easy is it? Let me show you …
First you want to start with a good, flavorful broth. Last week I wrote about making a broth from scratch. For this soup I used my gingered beef broth version. If you don’t have the scratch version look for a good broth at the store and add a LOT of flavor!
I pulled together a bunch of leftover ingredients from the ‘fridge and pantry. Rotisserie chicken, bamboo shoots (from a can), firm tofu, shiitakes, scallions, carrot, garlic and ginger. Use your imagination with the ingredients.
I started with about two inches of ginger grated, 1/2 cup of white and pale green part scallion, 3 garlic cloves minced and 1 teaspoon of sambal oelek, sautéed in 1 tablespoon each of canola oil and sesame oil. After about 2 minutes I added a cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms. Don’t get hung up on my amounts though, the measurements don’t really have to be precise. If you like your soup more garlicky, add more. Same with ginger. Once that got nice and fragrant I added one quart of my gingered beef broth and a couple of shakes of low sodium soy sauce.
While the broth was warming up I busied myself with getting the rest of the ingredients prepped. Two cups of chopped chicken, 1/2 cup the tops of the scallions, two tofu blocks and 1/2 cup of carrot. I used this nifty little gadget to make carrot shreds, but you can buy it pre-shredded in a bag.
I also wanted to add an egg, and this gadget works like a dream. Completely fail-safe!
My last part, the noodles. I had some really yummy Canton noodles in my pantry. These were purchased at Apple Farm, in Port Chester and White Plains. Check your local grocery store or Asian Market. You want a quick cooking noodle, and remember to only put in as much as you need. They cook fast, but get mushy over time.
Garnish with your eggs and scallions. If you have a little cilantro and fresh lime juice add that too. Nothing beats slow cooked ramen from a great restaurant, but if you have a craving on a Sunday afternoon, doing it at home can be fun and delicious too. Plus, you can tailor your dish with all the great things you like the best.