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Author Notes: This recipe was born out of my intense ramen cravings recently, and created from what I had on hand in my kitchen. More often than not, I cook sans recipe, making things up as I go. This time, I decided I needed to write the process down or I wouldn't be able to pull it off again!
The broth is a tad spicy, a bit creamy from the miso, and soul-satisfying. And, it's easy enough to make on your very own stovetop. There are few meals out there as warming and comforting as a big bowl of hot flavorful broth, and noodles.
My fiancee (aka my at-home food critic) slurped it down and didn't leave even a drop behind. He declared it the best ramen I've ever made.
Notes on the broth: I adjusted the miso and water until it was as salty as I like it. If you go overboard and add too much, it's a simple fix: just add more water. I also found that the "kick" or spice level varies with the jalapeño. If you don't like it that spicy, I'm certain it would be fine without. I also see no reason that you couldn't add another protein of your choice if you're feeling meaty. —stephanieRD
Serves 2 generously
- 3.5 cups water
- 3 tablespoons yellow miso paste
- 1/4 teaspoon dashi granules
- 1/4 teaspoon black bean chili sauce
- 1 jalapeño, sliced
- 1 block of firm tofu, cut into cubes or triangles or whatever shape you fancy
- 2-3 large handfuls of shredded cabbage (you will want about 3 cups)
- 1/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms (already sliced), soaked in hot water
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I used low sodium)
- 3 dashes of sesame oil
- 1 bunch of dried ramen noodles (I used the Himen Brand, from my local Japanese market)
- 1 sheet of nori, cut into strips
- 2 eggs
- 3 green onions sliced, for garnish
- Prepare your broth: Add water, miso paste, dashi granules, jalapeño slices and black bean chili sauce to a pot and bring to a boil. Once it's boiled, turn it down and let it simmer away, letting the flavors get to know each other a little better.
- Cook the noodles: Bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook your noodles until they're a little past al dente (about 4 minutes). Drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Brown the tofu: blot the tofu dry as much as you can with a paper towel. I find that browning tofu works best in a cast iron skillet. With just a bit of canola oil in the pan, put all your tofu pieces in and let them brown on each side for about 3 minutes or so. Get each side nice, golden, and crispy. Set these aside once they're done; you will need them when assembling the ramen bowl later.
- Prepare the vegetables: With a bit of canola oil in the cast iron pan, add the shredded cabbage and the shiitake mushrooms and let them cook down a bit. Once they're starting to wilt (about 4 minutes), add the soy sauce and let it cook down until the veggies develop a brownish hue. They will cook for about 9 minutes total. Once they're softened up, add some sesame oil and toss it together. I like them pretty soft and wilted in my ramen. More sesame oil doesn't hurt either!
- Assemble your bowls: Put noodles into each of your bowls. Add tofu, veggies, green onions (if using), and nori strips.
- Poach your eggs: Boil another (yes, another) pot of water and add a splash of vinegar. When the water is "rumbling" gently lower your egg and using a slotted spoon, swirl the water around it to keep everything together. It is done when it looks formed and firm. Remove with slotted spoon and add to your ramen bowl. Repeat with the other egg. The yolk adds a delicious silkiness to the broth.
- Grab a ladle and add the hot broth to each of your ramen bowls.
- Serve, and dig in.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Noodles