Not quite ramen.

I lived for ramen when I was in Japan. We were skiing in the mountains inland from Tokyo at Hakuba. The snow was deep, the temperature cold, and ramen was a nutritious, delicious way to warm up after a morning on the slopes. It was also invariably well priced and very well made.

12208283_10155125058502228_2229439237229553170_nRamen is a catch all name for different styles of Japanese noodle soup. This story from Lucky Peach outlines how ramen differs by region, but loosely speaking they can be grouped as being shoyu, miso, shio, or tonkotsu, although there are variations on a theme at a restaurant level. Ramen has it’s origins in China, and all soups share the same elements of noodles, broth, tare and toppings. When I came home from Japan, I desperately wanted to make ramen myself, but the only really good recipe I could find (this one from Bon Appetit) requires 3 days to complete.

So I took the elements, roughly, from that recipe, plus a couple of others, and shortened the process to make it a bit less unwieldy and more of a quick Sunday/Monday dinner for when you have left over roast meat in the fridge that you need to use up. I used roast pork in this instance, but you can change out the ingredients for chicken which would work as well. Not completely authentic, but completely delicious.

NOT QUITE RAMEN2016-11-13 19.49.09.jpg

For the broth:
2 litres of stock (either chicken or pork. I used the pan drippings from a roast and thinned with water)
1 sachet dried dashi powder
2 Tbsp grated ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine (sake or similar, or use sherry at a pinch)
1 Tbsp mirin

100g ramen noodles per person, cooked to manufacturer’s instructions

To assemble (choose any of the following):
Roast pork or chicken, thinly sliced
1/2 hard boiled egg per person
Nori sheets
Spring onions
Bamboo shoots
Sweet corn kernels
Spinach
Chilli oil
Sesame oil
Shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice mix)

  1. Cook all the ingredients for the broth together in a large pot. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes
  2. Place noodles in the base of large noodle bowls, and ladle over hot broth
  3. Top with any of the above ingredients as desired
  4. Serve with chilli oil, sesame oil or shichimi for diners to add to their taste.

 

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