Shoyu Ramen Soup

The old standard for hungry and broke students is the instant Ramen packs you see at the store for 99¢. Takes all of 10 minutes to make. This version takes a little bit longer, six hours longer.

Shoyu Ramen is made with soy sauce. You can leave out the soy sauce for a Shio Ramen. When using white miso (soy bean) that is a Miso Ramen. This Ramen I’m making will also have a touch of Dashi, which consists is Sweet Aji-Mirin (8% alcohol sake and a little sweeter than sake), and a dash of Kombo (sea kelp). The noodles in Ramen noodle soup don’t have to be like the ones you get with the store packet. They can be Udon (thick noodle) or a non-wavy Lo Mein, which is what I’m using in this dish. I start the broth with chicken wings, onion, peppercorns, a little celery, carrot and green onions. I cook for an hour, strain, return the chicken (discard the rest), return the strained chicken stock and simmer 4 to 6 hours while adding fresh garlic and fresh ginger. Chicken wings makes a “stock”, which is meat and bones. This is a labor intensive dish but worth the effort.

Serves 2:

Meat:
1 Lb. chicken wings
2 Chicken thighs

Vegies on top:
1 carrot, cut into match sticks
½ green pepper, cut into match sticks
2 baby bok choy,
1 batch of scallions (green onions)
6 dried shitake mushroom, rehydrated
1 hand full of spinach

Other:
1 boiled egg
2 cubes of chicken bouillon

Marinade the Chicken Thighs:
2 TBSP. Aji-Mirin
2 TBSP. Soy Sauce
1 Garlic clove chopped

Place the thighs in a plastic bag, add the marinade and let sit for an hour at room temp.

Ramen:
1 inch circle of cooked Lo Mein noodles, boiled ad dente

Stock:
¼ cup red onions
½ TBSP. peppercorns
1 small celery stalk chopped
1 small carrot skinned and chopped
3 green onions chopped
1 small strip of sea kelp (kombu)
4 TBSP. Aji-Mirin
1 inch ginger
3 cloves garlic
4 cups water

Add water, chicken wings, red onion, peppercorns, a little celery, carrot, 1 clove garlic and green onions. Cook for an hour, strain, return the chicken (discard the rest), return the strained chicken stock and simmer 4 hours adding 2 clove fresh garlic finely chopped and fresh ginger. Remove chicken meat from bones, return the bones and add the kombu and add 4 TBSP. Aji Mirin cook on low 1 hour.

Note: A drain lid pot with spouts works great here.

Strain the stock and return. Remove 1 cup of stock and add to another smaller pot.

Cook Vegies on top:
In the cup of stock cock 1 minute each until al dente
Add and cook the carrots and remove
Add and cook the green pepper and remove
Add and cook the spinach and remove
Add and cook the green onion and remove

Lo Mein Noodles:
Cook the Lo Mein (your noodles) exactly 12 minutes and strain

Glaze for Chicken thighs:
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 TBSP soy sauce

Chicken thighs:
Heat oven to 425. In a pan with parchment add the chicken thigh skin side down and cook 15 minutes. Mix the glaze. Turn the skin side up cook 15 minutes. Remove. Debone the chicken. Return to the pan and add the glaze and cook another 10 minutes, remove and slice the chicken to serving size for chop sticks.

In a serving bowl add the noodles, stock, top with vegies, chicken thighs and egg and serve.

Honey Glazed Garlic/Ginger Asian Pork and Stir Fry Veggies

This dish was absolutely perfect.

Ingredients
Meat:
1 LB pork shoulder
Dash Kosher salt
Dash black pepper
Salt/pepper pork and mix

2 TBSP Veg Oil
2 cloves garlic, run through zester
2 inch knob of fresh ginger, run through a zester

Sauce:
1/3 cup honey
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1 TBSP Hoisin sauce
1 TBSP Teriyaki
1 TBSP Sriracha

Veggies:
¼ red onion (sliced in banjo #2)
½ red green bell pepper (sliced in banjo #2)
2 carrots (cut into match sticks)
3 leaves of Napa cabbage (cut down center and into thin slices)
2 white mushrooms (sliced thin)
4 scallions (green onions, chopped small)

1 cup rice (Precook in rice cooker, ~1/2 hour)

If you like hot add a little Chiu Chow Chili oil on top.

Make the Sauce:
In a 2 cup liquid measuring add all sauce ingredients and mix. Set aside.

Cooking Meat:

Pour the 1 TBSP oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Brown the pork in batches and remove. Add garlic and ginger. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high and pour in the sauce mixture and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When the sauce is very bubbly and thickened like warm honey, toss the pork back in and toss constantly to coat everything and reduce the sauce to a thick, sticky glaze on the pork. Cover and cook stir fry veggies.

 

Stir Fry:
Add 1 TBSP of oil to Wok. Place veggies in and add a little soy sauce. Sauté until tender and ready to serve.

Serve rice, then veggie and then add the pork and serve.

Curry/Garam Masala Coconut Chicken

A wonderful dish. This is one of those dishes you have to actually taste. It is all about to taste. Start small and add as you go. It is all about you.

2 chicken thighs, 2 slices cut perpendicular to the bone
2 carrots cut into matchsticks
1 tsp. lime juice, squeezed
½ Red Bell Pepper, cut into match sticks
1 can coconut milk
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Cilantro, chopped
½ red onion diced
1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 TBSP Curry Powder
1 tsp. Garam Masala Powder
S&P to taste
1 tsp. Brown Sugar
½ Chicken bouillon cube
Rice, Serve over rice or Thai Noodles
¼ cup chicken broth

In a Dutch Oven brown the chicken in oil. Remove.

Add garlic, carrots, red bell pepper and sauté and remove.

Add 1 can of coconut milk to the pot. Add 2 TBSP curry and 1 tsp. Garam Masala or to taste and whisk. The thing about adding Curry and Garam Masala is it is all about to taste. Add brown sugar and then taste. Then adjust. Add chicken bouillon. Also to taste.

Add chicken and coat with the liquid curry, cook skin side down then half way flip over, bring to a boil and then turn heat to simmer. Simmer 20 minutes with lid on. Add ¼ cup chicken stock.

Return the vegetables and add the lime juice to taste

Serve with cilantro and red onions on top.

Serve over rice or Thai noodles.

Alternatively if you like it hot, drizzle Sriracha on top when serving.

Let pot rest 5 minutes and serve.

Korean Beef – Slower Cooker

1½ pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup beef broth
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Marsala wine or 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp garlic, grated
1Tbsp ginger, grated
½ onion chopped or ½ cup sliced green onions
½ Tbsp sesame oil
½ Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha or Tabasco
½ tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp oil

Pour oil on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chopped onions. Add the meat. Mix all else except corn starch in a bowl and stir. Pour in then cooker and cook two hours on high. Reduce the temp to Low. Mix the corn starch in a little cold water, blend and add to the dish and stir. This will thicken it. Cook until the meat is tender (~2 more hours). Serve over rice.

 

Chicken and Seafood Ramen Noodle Soup

Broth
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 3 cloves garlic (grated-mini grater)
• ½ TBSP fresh ginger (grated-mini grater)
• ¼ red onion (thinly sliced)
• 2 TBSP soy sauce
• 1 TBSP vegetable oil

In large sauce pot sauté onions, garlic and ginger in oil until the flavor appears to the smell, then add the chicken broth and soy sauce and set on medium heat to a light boil.

Chicken
• 1 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
• ¼ cup of chicken broth or white wine or sake
• ½ TBSP sesame oil

In a fry-pan, add the oil and place the chicken in hot pan and fry for 2 minutes exactly on each side. If you do this the chicken will not stick to the pan. Add the liquid (I used white wine) cover and steam the chicken several minutes. The idea is to lightly brown the outside and steam the inside to a pink color. The broth will finish cooking the chicken when added later. Use a plastic spatula to scrape the fond (brown stuff on the side of the pan) as the fond will be used in the broth. (Fond = “commonly refers to the browned bits and caramelized drippings of meat and vegetables that are stuck to the bottom of a pan after sautéing or roasting.”) Add the pan drippings from the fry pan to the broth. Center cut the chicken length ways and then cross ways into small ½ inch slices.

Seafood and Seafood Juice
• 6 shrimp with tails
• 1 Pollock filet (or any white fish)
• 1 cup of water

I use frozen fish here for many reasons. I will defrost the fish and shrimp in the same bowl in a cup of water so that when it defrosts I am left with a bowl of seafood juice, which I will add to the stock. Even in chicken or pork Ramen, the Japanese will use some sort of seafood flavoring back to include seaweed kelp (kombu) or a dried fish like skipjack tuna flakes (katsuobushi), dried baby sardines (niboshi) or my favorite dried Bonito (Hondashi). In this soup just the juice from the frozen fish will suffice. It is more subtle. If time permits, read up on how to make Japanese Dashi. Before adding to the pot, remove the shrimp shells and discard.  Cut the fish into bite size squares. (We use chop sticks to eat the solids so the meat has to be manageable)

In Pot Veggies
• Shiitake mushrooms (I use dried and then re-hydrate them in warm water)
• 3 Napa cabbage leaves (center cut length ways and then chopped cross cut 1/2 inch)

Garnish
• 1 hard-boiled egg (sliced in half)
• 1 carrot (cut into sticks) See trick below
• 3 scallions – green onions (chopped)
• cilantro (hand full chopped)

There is a trick to carrot sticks. I have a mandolin slicer. After peeling the carrot, I cut the whole carrot into 2” lengths. Then I slice them on the mandolin (setting 2) length ways and once more again to make perfect matchsticks. Place the carrots in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. The salt quickly makes them flexible and less crunchy. Rinse the salt off before adding to the bowl.

Ramen Noodle
You can use the noodles in the cheap Ramen noodle packs (do not use the seasoning that comes with it, too much MSG and will ruin the broth).  Maruchan Ramen noodle or I use Simply Asian Japanese Style Ramen Noodles (Walmart), which is separated into 4 packs. Boil in water 10 minutes separately from the broth then drain. If you place the noodles directly into the broth they will over swell and soak up most of the broth.

In stage one of the broth, cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, then add the “In Pot Veggies”, the chicken and the seafood. Cook another 15-20 minutes on a lower setting. Turn off heat and let stand until the temp is right for eating.

In a large bowl, add the Ramen noodles, then ladle in the broth, veggies and meat, then place the garnish on top and serve. We use chopsticks for the solids and an Asian soup spoon for the liquids, or just crab the bowl and drink the liquids directly from the bowl.

All the ingredients for this dish can be purchased at Walmart.