Felt an incredible rush of inspiration today. It’s currently finals week here at JWU, after the incredible mess this semester turned out to be, I’m feeling a bit burnt out and I need a little unwinding. Insert Ramen! Chowder (Boston’s online foodie resource) tweeted a city ramen guide sometime last night, yes I’m using the same corny title – all credits go to them, and the thought of brothy soup has lingered on my mind into this midday. So before I plunge into the vast sea of studying I have planned, I’ve decided to try my hand at Japan’s staple dish.
Let me point out, I don’t know too much about the specific techniques and which authentic ingredients to use for traditional ramen. It’s a vague concept I’m adhering to. The concept of intensely flavored broth, soft, delicious noodles, and toppings galore.
Referred to Anthony Bourdain (my go to guy, whether that’s a good thing or not – I can’t say) for a bit of clarification:
Here’s a prime example of kitchen improvisation. I didn’t do any grocery shopping tailored to this recipe, just had to go with what I had available. So forgive me if the ingredients seem a bit bizarre, it’s delicious, I promise. A bit of neutral oil (canola, vegetable) in a hot pan, half an onion (sliced), 4 cloves of crushed garlic, and a 1″ section of dried chili pepper from my mom’s summer garden – I doubt you have dried chili peppers from my mom’s garden though, so a sprinkle of chili flakes will do. Added 1 tsp each of paprika and powdered mustard, and 1 tablespoon of dried oregano. Deglazed with 3 tablespoons (1 oz.) of soy sauce, added _ cups of water, 1/4 cup of dill pickle brine, 4 dried shitake mushrooms, and 2 3″ pieces of knotted dried kombu. Stirred up the witches brew, brought to a boil, then lowered heat and simmered for about 30-45 minutes. Boiled the noodles at the 10-minutes-left point, strained and sectioned into bowls. Poured broth in until noodles were covered, and “garnished” with sliced button mushrooms, chickpeas, and some unfrozen veggie medley (carrots, peas, and green beans).
Basically, throw anything into the broth (ideas), salt at the very end according to your taste, and top with whatever your heart desires! I was in NYC last winter, it was cold and rainy, and incredibly unpleasant, but on our way back to the apartment we stopped by this little shop for some warmth and nourishment. Suddenly the clouds parted, the sun shined brightly, and people started dancing in the streets! If only…
And now, I move on to hospitality marketing, because that just sounds so enticing.
p.s. More ramen to look at! The Mind of a Chef