I am writing this as I disintegrate in the 35 degree heat. I am thinking of the cold, fresh weather that I enjoyed in Japan not so long ago.
Recently I returned from a two week trip to Japan and although it was short, it was an extraordinary experience. This is my second trip to Japan but my first time visiting Tokyo. It’s amazing to see that each city in Japan has a very different sub-culture.
As the trip came to a close my friend Esther and I reflected back on all the delicious food we had consumed and realized that Ramen was a daily occurrence.
Ramen really is the perfect meal, It leaves you satisfied and happy- there is no faulting it.
The best ramen we had in Japan had to be from Ippudo a lovely little restaurant in Tokyo. The broth had been infused masterfully, the flavours were perfectly combined and the egg had been boiled so that the yellow yolk oozed when pierced.
It was difficult to adjust to the food back home as I found that Ramen is just not the same here. Which is why I decided to recreate it myself and I have to say it turned out pretty well, although not quite the same as a bowl of traditional Japanese Ramen.
Ramen is a food that can be adjusted easily to your personal taste. So feel free to add more chilli or to have a miso soup base instead or to even make a vegetarian version of it.
Now, truth be told, the secret of a truly great bowl of Ramen is all in the broth; It should be seasoned and aged and carefully brewed over time. Unfortunately I have not yet attempted infusing the broth properly but I do encourage you to give it a try if you feel up to it.
Now on with the recipe!
- Protein of choice ( I choose turkey because that’s what I had) Pork, minced meat and tofu all work well
- A handful of spring onions
- An egg
- Ramen noodles
- Chilli flakes or whole chilli minced
- Half a sheet of nori
- Bean sprouts mixed with sesame oil and chilli flakes
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Handful of baby spinach
For the broth
- 2 tsp chilli oil
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp grated, fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp of Sake
- Small handful of spring onions
- 2 cups of preferably homemade chicken broth
- 1 tbsp of Mirin
Prepare pork (or protein of choice) by cooking it until it’s slightly underdone.
In a pot place the ginger, chicken broth, spring onions and bring to the boil. Add your pork and let it simmer in the broth, covered for 10 minutes.
After simmering, let the pork cool for a bit and then thinly slice it and put it aside.
Now cook your ramen noodles according to the package instructions.
While the noodles are cooking add the remaining ingredients into the broth (sake, chilli oil, soy sauce and mirin) and let it simmer until the noodles are cooked.
Now it’s time to prepare the rest of the toppings. So, boil your egg until it’s softly boiled, toss your bean sprouts in the seasoning, dice your spring onions and tear you nori sheet in a few squares.
Pop the noodles in a bowl, add the soup and top it with the boiled egg, pork, spring onions, bean sprouts, spinach, sesame seeds and nori sheets.
Devour the ramen.