One to impress the housemates with.
Whenever I am make homemade ramen for dinner I am greeted with the same 3 responses of shock. “God that’s a lot of work”, “Bet that’s expensive” or “ You must have a lot of time on your hands”. But ramen can be the perfect simple, cheap comfort food for the winter months.
Once you’ve purchased the initial ingredients for the broth, you can reuse them time and time again, only topping up the fresh ingredients that can be completely dependent on what you fancy that day. There are endless recipes, combinations, and variations of ramen, traditional and not. Take this simple ten step guide as a base, and tweak if to your taste, what’s in season, and what’s in your cupboard.
For the Broth:
Chicken (or vegetable) stock cube
4 tbsp Soy sauce
Chinese five spice
2/3 garlic gloves sliced into thick chunks
A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and in chunks (can use powdered ginger)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of chilli flakes/spoon of chilli oil (dependent on if you can hack your spice)
As I said previously, the toppings can vary to preference so don’t feel obliged to use the ones below. Go rogue and add cabbage/mushrooms/tofy, whatever you fancy.
1 chicken breast/pack of firm tofu sliced into thin chunks
3 pak choi leaves (Spinach tends to be a good alternative)
4 sliced Mushrooms (size to preference)
Pack of Thin Egg Noodles (though rice or udon would work just as well)
Oil, preferably sesame, if not rapeseed/sunflower
Pop your egg in to boil for around 6 minutes, then place on the side to cool. We’ll come back to this later!
Mix 500ml of water in a saucepan with all the ingredients you are adding to your broth. Bring to a boil briefly then allow to simmer and reduce for 5-10 mins.
Keep tasting the broth as you go, adding sugar, chilli, or salt to taste. It’s your ramen, tailor it.
Drizzle a dash of oil in a frying pan and add your chopped chicken breast/tofu chunks. Allow to brown slightly in the oil, once cooked transfer to the simmering broth pan, and turn down to a low heat.
Then add your chopped mushrooms to the same pan, a pinch of salt and pepper, cook for a couple of minutes, adding the pak choi for the final minute to blanch through.
Whilst your veg is cooking, it’s a good idea to pop your noodles on to boil, again add a pinch of salt to the water.
Once the noodles are cooked, whack the heat up on your broth for about a minute.
Transfer the broth to a bowl, adding the drained noodles. Arrange the browned tofu/chicken pieces on top to your liking.
Peel the egg, chop in half, and add it to the bowl (I like to put it smack bang in the middle).
Layer your pak choi, mushrooms, chopped spring onions and a drizzle of chilli oil to the dish.
Eat up and enjoy!
Ramen isn’t that difficult after all. Make sure to take a pic and tag @mancunionfood on Instagram!