You no longer have to make the difficult choice between ordering Ramen take-out, thanks to this amazing DIY dish.
The real beauty of creating your own ramen is that you can use whatever you have in the fridge/freezer – the more veggies the better.
I opted for BBQ pulled pork from Woolworths, but kept the rest of the ramen vibe somewhat traditional: a killer vegetable soup base with garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, lemongrass filled with squiggly ramen noodles and topped with fresh spring onions, toasted sesame seeds, basil and a soft-fried egg.
My dish is on the table in less than an hour and a half, that’s if you opt for store-bought protein – and while it might not be completely authentic, it’s a flavourful, comforting dish just in time for the unmistakably crisp, chilly weather.
For the broth:
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 big thumb of ginger, roughly chopped with skin on
1 red chili
2 tsp Sambal Oelek
1 stick fresh lemongrass, bashed and roughly chopped
2 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
3 whole cardamon pods, bruised with your fingers
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
4 cups rich chicken/vegetable stock
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apricot jam
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp coconut oil
For the toppings:
500g BBQ pulled pork/ any protein you feel like/have
100g baby Pak choi, sliced in half
1 packet of roasted seaweed with wasabi, torn in half
2 large free-range eggs
1/2 cup spring onions, sliced
3 nests of dried ramen/egg noodles
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and flash fried
1/2 cup frozen garden peas
Fresh chili, sliced
2 limes/lemons, sliced
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1h20
For the broth:
In a heavy-bottom pot add the sesame oil and coconut oil and fry the garlic, chili, ginger, star anise, cardamon, lemongrass, spring onions, sambal and cinnamon for 5 minutes. Then add the wet ingredients, honey, and jam; turn the heat right down and simmer for 1 hour, checking every so often.
Once the broth has been cooking for 1 hour, taste to see if the flavours are balanced (I added a squeeze of lemon juice). Then get out a large bowl and drain the beautiful broth through a sieve, throw away the cooked ingredients. Then add the garden peas and seaweed and keep warm.
Warm up your protein (this takes about 20 minutes in the oven).
Then you need to prepare:
- The mushrooms (flash fry in a bit of coconut oil, garlic, and salt)
- Pak choi (flash fry in a bit of coconut oil, garlic, and salt)
- Noodles (follow packet instructions)
- Toast the sesame seeds (on a non-stick frying pan – KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THEM)
- Fry your eggs in a bit of sesame oil
Finally, you can assemble the dish: top with sliced spring onions, fresh basil, lemon and the cooked ingredients.