Homemade ramen

Adapted from Damn Delicious

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (peanut oil works too)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (missing!)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (also had homegrown oyster mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine
  • 3 (5.6-ounce) packages refrigerated Yaki-Soba, seasoning sauce packets discarded*
  • 2 bok choy
  • 8 slices Narutomaki, optional*
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover eggs with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat; set aside for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and let cool before peeling and halving. (I might revise and post a different soft boiled egg direction because ours came out hard boiled!)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and scallions whites, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in chicken broth, mushrooms, soy sauce (and seasonings) and 3 cups water.
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in Yaki-Soba until loosened and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. (I used different noodles, which got sticky! Flavor still amazing though.)
  5. Stir in bok choy, Narutomaki (wish I had, got Vietnamese hot pot pork balls instead), carrot and scallions until the greens begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with eggs.

This was perfect for a cold winter’s meal. I wanted to use these fresh Chinese noodles I had, but they might have been not the most suitable. I will use real yakisoba noodles next time — Sun Noodles’ Shoyu and Miso flavors are good! Other classic ramen toppings I really love: Chāshū (sliced barbecued or braised pork), Seasoned Soy soft-boiled egg (“Ajitsuke Tamago“), Bean sprouts, Menma (lactate-fermented bamboo shoots), Kakuni (braised pork cubes or squares), Kikurage (wood ear mushroom), Nori (dried seaweed), Kamaboko (formed fish paste, only the pink and white spiral is called narutomaki), Corn, Butter, and Wakame (a different type of seaweed). Wiki I also grew my own oyster mushrooms — a gift from a friend for my classroom (pre-pandemic).

Next time for the eggs, I will 1) leave the eggs in the fridge until the water is boiling and 2) Prepare an ice water bath and 3) marinate them in soy sauce-sugar-mirin-sake for 2 days.

~Jessie

Peanut sesame noodles

Adapted from smitten kitchen and Ming Tsai

For the peanut dressing
creamy peanut butter (I had Dutch PB! Less sweet than the USA)
soy sauce
chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
rice vinegar
toasted sesame oil
honey
Dijon mustard
coarse ground coriander (if you have it, I did not)
canola oil
dried red chili flakes or a splash of your hot sauce or chili paste

Toss with:
500 g  soba noodles (spaghetti will work in a pinch, cooked and rinsed)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed (I didn’t have this time)
sesame seeds, toasted
chopped roasted peanuts for garnish (I didn’t have this time)

Mum’s Instructions:
Cook your skinny pasta, then rinse cold. In the meantime, mince 2 cloves of garlic, and soak them in 2 tablespoons of water. Mix your sesame sauce with water  and keeping stirring until it thins out. In another small bowl, mix soy sauce and rice vinegar, sugar. Julienne the cucumber and carrots thin. Toss the noodles in a bowl, then pour in the sesame sauce, then add the rest including your veggies. N.B. The noodles should be chilled before you mix in the sauces. Served cool, it’s the perfect meal for summer dining!

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My mum’s version

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My version

Alas, mum wins!

~Jessica

Udon with tofu and Asian greens

Udon with Tofu and Asian Greens: Cooking Dinner

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In an effort to be healthier, I’ve been experimenting with more vegetarian dishes. The recipe I found seemed fairly easy, and I had all the ingredients on hand so it was a winner for the night. I loved how crispy the tofu turned out, though I did cook it longer than the recipe called for. I’m still getting used to the electric stove in our apartment (can’t wait until we have a house with a gas stove!) and so the pan wasn’t as hot as it should have been when I first put the tofu in. I was still able to capture a crispy consistency without it getting too chewy inside.

I made a few changes to the recipe that I think worked out in the end. I didn’t add the reserved pasta water to the dish as I didn’t want the sauce to get too thinned out. Also I used 16 oz of firm tofu since that was the only size I could find at Trader Joe’s. I should have compensated with more spinach as well, so I’ll keep that in mind for the future. In the end the dish smelled delicious, probably on account of the sesame seed oil, and Josh loved it, despite it being vegetarian. A little Sriracha on the side and you’re good to go!

~Jennifer