It’s soup day!
Today was a super rainy, wet one in Manchester and you could find me cozing up to a steaming bowl of ramen for dinner as rain battered roof tops all throughout the parish (and the country). I’ve been obsessing over ramen for months now and just finally worked up the courage to have a go at it. Ramen is one of those dishes you spend hours in the kitchen to make and is notoriously known to have big, bold flavours from fatty meats like pork. It’s not the healthiest of foods, what with all the meat fat swimming around in the broth, but we live in a wonderful world where you can cook almost anything almost any way we want to, so I made a ‘light ramen’ that you can tweak to make it completely vegan.
I used chicken stock, which I made from scratch. Now, I know you’re thinking this is a technical, super cheffy process and you’d be right but I took some short cuts and wrapped up my stock in about 3 hours, which is actually more time than I’d give a normal stock, but this isn’t a normal soup, right? So all I added to my stock was thyme, escallion, carrots, onions, dried oregano, garlic (a lot), black peppercorns, pimento seeds and tons of chicken bones and chicken tid bits. I simmered everything in water (just enough to cover the chicken parts) and strained it after three hours. It was super chicken-y and flavourful. I didn’t add salt to the stock after I made it because I prefer to season the ramen broth separately. Use only the vegetables to make a purely veggie stock if you’re a vegan.
For my first ramen, I really went all out and stacked this baby up with all the fixings! The broth itself was the chicken stock, two bulbs of ginger, soy sauce (a super flavourful one and a mushroom one), fish sauce and escallion. In true ramen style, I added some meat in the form of beef balls for the meat eaters and simmered those in the broth as well; this is where you’ll want to substitute a vegetable meatball for the beef if you aren’t a meat eater. I simmered everything together for about 30 minutes. Oh, I also stirred in minced chilis and scotch bonnet pepper to give the broth a kick!
The veggies I used, besides the mushrooms, were pretty much the ones I had in my garden and I picked them right before the broth was done.
I cut some beautiful callaloo leaves which I left whole, some sweet corn, juicy carrots, bean sprouts and baby okras. the baby okras are super tender and will easily cook in the hot broth; if you use larger okras, you’ll need to slice them or cook them a bit in the broth. I got these from a few of my okra plants which have been giving us some really great okras!
I did farm fresh, soft-boiled eggs to go along with the veggies and beef ball and it adds some of that richness that you may miss from traditional ramen. I did two noodles, egg noodles and thin rice noodles; both were delicious but the thicker egg noodles won over the thinner rice noodles. When you’re making this, go with the egg noodles if you can.
So its assemble time and the first thing you wanna add to your bowl is the noodles, then you’re gonna pour some broth over top. You wanna work quickly after pouring the broth and fill the top of the noodles and broth with the meat, veggies, egg half and garnishes. Working fast will ensure the broth is still hot by the time you start eating it and still has the ability to cook the uncooked veggies you added to the top (yeah, it’s that hot!). Garnish with sliced escallion and sesame seeds then slurp away!
If you wanna try this lighter version of ramen soup, click here to get the recipe.
Drop me a comment, I wanna know your thoughts!
I hope you shine today!