Spicy Miso Ramen

Monday, 6 April 2015

As seen in Suitcase Magazine...

For me, ramen is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Many traditional dishes around the world have harnessed the natural goodness of a good old homemade stock. These recipes, centred around a wholesome, nutrient loaded broth do wonders for the body, strengthening the immune system, aiding digestion and alleviating symptoms of many well known conditions, most commonly, the cold.  One such traditional dish, is the ramen, a noodle soup, revered in it's native Japan.



Ramen can take many forms, from tonkotsu (pork bone broth) to shio (salt), there are a number of varieties. Here, however, I have based my ramen on possibly the newest variety, miso also often known as Sapporo. Miso is undoubtedly one of my favourite ingredients. This fermented bean paste, triumphed in Japanese cuisine has a delicious salty, sweet, umami flavour which works wonderfully in a ramen. As well as adding deep flavour to the broth, miso also brings its own host of health benefits. Not only is it vitamin rich and contains healthy doses of vitamin E, vitamin B12, but it is also a traditional probiotic.
Topped with a piece of sustainably sourced protein (be it chicken, pork or fish as I have done here) and filled with a bunch of greens, ramen can very quickly and easily become not only a delicious broth, but a very nutrient rich meal. Go on, give it a go...

For two big bowls of steaming ramen, you will need:
2 nests of ramen noodles
1 litre good quality, preferably homemade, hot chicken stock

for the egg:
1 free-range egg
200ml soy sauce

for the miso base:
2tbsp white sweet miso
1 red chilli, deseeded
2 spring onions
1 small piece of peeled ginger
1tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari
1tbsp mirin

for the fish: 
2 fillets of sustainably sourced salmon
1tsp dark soy sauce or tamari
1tbsp sweet white miso
1tsp honey
black sesame seeds

toppings:
thinly shredded spring onions and chives
sweetcorn
beansprouts
shredded greens, I used char sui but bok/pak choi would work equally as well
thinly sliced shallots fried in a little oil until crispy.

Method:
At least a couple of hours before, or even the night before prepare your egg. Cover the egg in boiling water and simmer for 6 minutes exactly, no more, no less. Run under cold water until completely cold. Remove the shell from the egg, being careful to remove it all. Cover with the soy sauce and leave for at least a couple of hours.

To make the miso base for the stock, blitz all of the ingredients together in a food processor until you are left with a smooth, dark paste.

Mix together the soy sauce, miso and honey for the fish. Brush this on to your salmon fillets and put them into a hot oven (at around 200ÂșC) for roughly 10 minutes, depending on the size of your fillet.

Pour boiling hot water over your noodles. Cover, and leave them for roughly 5 minutes, or until they are to a texture you like.

Get all of your toppings and other ingredients laid out at this stage...you are now ready to finish the dish.

Place 1 tablespoon of the miso base into each of your two bowls. Pour over the hot stock and whisk thoroughly until completely blended. Check the taste of the broth, you may want to add a little more miso.

Divide the noodles between the two bowls. Carefully slice the egg in half, the yolk should be beautifully runny and the edge of the white stained by the soy. Top each of your bowls with half an egg and a salmon fillet sprinkled with black sesame seeds. Finally finish with the corn, shallots, greens, beansprouts, spring onions and chives.

Grab your chopsticks and dig in...

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