Ramen

RamenBeats Mr. Noodle any day of the week! If my kids had the choice they’d live on nothing but Mr. Noodle 7 days a week, but I can’t get past the MSG, high levels of sodium and generally processed structure of it. My recent venture into the world of David Chang and Momofuku pushed me into a whole new level of ramen enlightenment. Although this ramen doesn’t meet the standards of Japanese tradition using dashi, katsuo bushi and konbu I feel it comes pretty close in regards to flavour profiles. Besides, with a busy family life, I don’t have the luxury of time to properly prepare those ingredients…”sigh”.

Ingredients:

~Ramen broth
  • 2 tbsp peanut or sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, whites
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1L (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
~Ramen contents
  • 180g ramen noodles
  • 2 baby bok choy, quartered lengthways
~Ramen toppings
  • 2 thick slices of smoked bacon
  • 2 tbsp char siu sauce (Chinese barbecue sauce)
  • 2 poached eggs
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, greens
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • two 3-by-3-inch sheets of nori for each bowl

Method:

~Broth
  1. Heat 1 tbsp peanut or sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced, white scallions, garlic and ginger, then cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the stock, soy and fish sauces, and 3 cups (750ml) water. Bring to a simmer, then add the noodles and bok choy. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm.
~Ramen toppings
  1. Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium high heat until it’s rendered its fat then turn the heat down to low and brush both sides with the char siu sauce, sautéing until the sauce is well married with the bacon.
  2. Warm two to three inches of water in a medium saucepan to a low simmer until bubbles form, but don’t rise to the surface, maintaining a temperature of about 180 deg F. Add about 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar to help keep the egg whites together. Crack the egg into a small bowl so you can easily slip the egg into the water. Swirl the water and slip the egg into the vortex and poach for about three minutes for a nice soft poached egg with a runny yolk. Swirl the water occasionally to discourage the egg from sticking on the bottom of the pan
~Assembly
  1. Use tongs to transfer noodles and bok choy to a bowl, ladle the broth into the bowl to just below the rim.
  2. Top off the broth with the poached egg, bacon, green scallions, two pieces of nori and a dash of cayenne pepper.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, although you shouldn’t need it.