It’s Courtney again, and this time not doing dessert! This is a recipe I throw together on cold nights, and here in Boston we went from 70 and sunny to freezing rain. You can put this together quickly, with pretty much any proteins or vegetables in the fridge – or none at all, if you for instance, just got back from Zumba and don’t feel like cooking much.
I should also note that often Japanese broths are made with a dashi base, which is based off of bonito flakes. It’s not particularly fishy but has a strong umami flavor. I don’t ever have instant dashi on hand, which is why I use the chicken broth and soy sauce – but if you have some, go for it! This is all about creativity.
Cooking Notes: The ingredients and proportions listed below are the basics and can all be altered to taste preference.
Rainy Day Ramen
~2 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken broth (or pork or vegetable)
~2 tsp miso paste, white or red
Dash of soy sauce
1 tsp minced (or crushed) garlic
Dash of ginger
~2 cups water
Small handful of ramen noodles (whatever size portion is enough for you!)
Pinch of baking soda
Begin by boiling some water for the noodles and throw in a pinch of baking soda. This makes the noodles slightly alkaline, which contributes to that distinctive ramen taste.
As your ramen water heats, begin making your stock over low heat. Combine the water and bouillon, soy sauce, and garlic, and set to a very low simmer. Taste this continuously and alter it to suit – add sesame or chili oil for some heat, a smidge of sake for sweetness, or whatever floats your boat. This dish doesn’t judge.
When your ramen water is boiling, place the noodles in. Only let them cook for about three minutes – maybe even less, depending on your specific noodle. What’s important is they should be slightly harder than al dente as they will soften in the broth.
About a minute before your noodles are ready, turn off the burner for your stock and stir in the ginger and miso paste. You can keep the broth warm, but after you put in the miso do not allow to boil! When finished, put your noodles in a bowl, cover with the stock and eat!
For alternative flavors, you can put in eggs, greens, protein, veggies – you name it. Just be sure you cook the broth, noodles and any accents, separately. Also, if you can find them, go for fresh ramen noodles (or at least not the freeze-dried Top Ramen). They can be found at many major supermarkets and many Asian stores. Fresh angel hair can also substitute, but be careful not to overcook the noodles.
It’s the perfect things to clean out a fridge or to warm you up on an unexpectedly chilly evening, and it can be as simple or complex as you feel like. Happy eating!