Silly me, I called out a dangerous sentence in my household this morning. I should have known better, or stopped myself when I felt it coming on, but nonetheless, “I’m doing a shopping list, what do we want for dinner?” fell out of my mouth. Such a question will result in one of two responses: a shrug of the shoulders and non-committal grunt of “I don’t know”, or a very excited, specific request.
Today, I got the latter. The 12 year old Japanophile piped upped almost instantly, “Ramen!” and of course, he didn’t mean the cheap, quick 2 minute noodle style (thankfully, because I really don’t care for those). I tried to point out that even in Japan, people don’t make ramen at home, they go to a noodle house. He saw right through that, and I found myself at the huge Asian supermarket not too far from my house.
As grumpy as I sound, I am of course, quite pleased with the outcome. I cook a lot of soup, even a lot of Asian style soups, but I think this might have been the best yet. I got a little inspiration from Nigella Lawson, a little from the Japan cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu, and a little from years of eating ramen and never coming across one I didn’t love. I won’t claim pure authenticity, but I will claim deliciousness. And healthfulness – it’s pretty wholesome at only 450 calories a serve.
20g dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms
5 cups dashi or chicken stock
2tsp minced ginger
2tsp white miso paste
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1tbs soy sauce
2tsp olive oil
300g pork loin, thinly sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper
400g udon noodles
2 bok choy, shredded, or 100g baby spinach
8 slices narutomaki
scallions, sliced thinly, to serve
1 small chilli, sliced thinly, to serve.
- Place mushrooms, stock, miso and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. In the last 3 minutes, add radishes and soy sauce. Meanwhile, continue with the following steps.
- Saute the pork in the oil over high heat until just cooked through, Set aside.
- Boil eggs for 6.5-9 minutes, until set to your preference. We like a 6.5 minute egg, where it’s hard around the outside of the yolk and still slightly soft toward the middle. When done, remove with a slotted spoon, reserving the water, and run under cold water, peel and set aside.
- Place udon in the water from the eggs and cook for 4 minutes, or to package instructions. Drain and rinse.
- To assemble, place noodles in bowls. Add spinach/bok choy and pork, then ladle in soup. Top with narotmaki, scallions and chilli.