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4 Types of Ramen You Have to Try!

As our fascination with the East intensifies, so does our love for a certain staple that has been enjoyed time and time again; Ramen! Anyone can heat up a bowl of instant noodles in a microwave. After all, heat and water is all that's necessary to make it suitable for consumption. However, why not take your Ramen skills up a notch and jazz up your meal with these 4 awesome variations; Just because it's convenient, doesn't mean it has to be boring!




1. Meaty Miso Mania: This Japanese inspired dish is guaranteed to hit the spot and serve up a blend of mild flavours that complement the meat of your choice!



Lachlan Hardy|Flickr


Ingredients: Serves 4

6oz Ramen Noodles

3 Cups Miso Stock

1tbsp Soy Sauce (Light or Dark)

2 soft/hard boiled eggs

Handful of bean sprouts (Washed)

Meat of your choice (Beef or Pork go very well with the dish-Slice them thinly)

*2 cartons of Tofu-use as a substitute for meat if you are a vegetarian/vegan

3 Scallions (Chopped)

Gomasio (sesame salt)

Toasted sesame oil with hot chili

10 ounces sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)


Instructions:

Boil the ramen noodles and eggs by adding them to a pot of boiling, salted water for as long as the package states. (This is usually 3-4 mins) The eggs should take around 5 minutes to be soft-boiled and 7 minutes to be hard-boiled. Once the eggs are cooked, transfer to cold water to stop the cooking process. While the noodles are cooking prepare the stock by boiling 3 cups of water in a saucepan.


Once the water boils, turn the heat down to medium and add a dollop of miso paste. (It can be quite salty so use it sparingly) Add the slices of meat along with the vegetables and cook for an extra 2-3 minutes or so on high. The meat should be wafer thin so it will cook in seconds. Turn off the heat and transfer the stock into 4 bowls. Then gently add in the ramen. Peel both eggs and cut in half. Place each half in each bowl.


*If you wish, you can add extra garnishing, using cracked seaweed or more scallions.


2. Loaded Veggie Ramen: A mouth-watering option for all vegans and vegetarians, the more variety, the better!



Chotda|Flickr


Ingredients: Serves 4

8 cups good low-sodium vegetable broth

1 ounce dried shiitakes (15-20 mushrooms)

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon good butter

1 tablespoon white miso paste

1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)

10 ounces baby spinach

4 eggs

10 ounces sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms

4 servings fresh or dry ramen noodles*

One 6-ounce package baked tofu, at room temperature

2 to 3 scallions, white and green parts sliced

Pinch of sesame salt

Toasted sesame oil with hot chili


Instructions:


Combine the vegetable broth and dried shiitakes in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let mushrooms steep for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.


Remove mushrooms from pot and roughly chop. Add mushrooms to a blender with one cup of the broth and puree until perfectly smooth. Add this mixture back to the stock pot along with the soy sauce.


In a frying pan, heat one tbsp of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, two minutes more. Add this mixture to the stock pot.


Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for about a minute, until just wilted. Remove from pot and set aside.

Add eggs to pot, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove eggs to an ice bath and carefully peel when cool enough to touch.


Return water to boil, then add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and divide noodles among four large bowls.

While noodles cook, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil to the same frying pan used for the onion and heat over medium-high. Add the sliced shiitakes along with a couple of good pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced in volume and nicely browned in spots, about 10 minutes.


To assemble the ramen, bring the broth back up to a simmer and then remove from heat. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, miso paste and mirin. Ladle some broth over the noodles in each bowl, just shy of the level of the noodles. Arrange a little pile of spinach and of shiitakes in each bowl. Slice the tofu and arrange a few slices in each bowl. Cut each egg in half and place two halves in each bowl.


*Sprinkle with scallions and a little toasted sesame chily oil, with extra garnishes to pass at the table. Serve with chopsticks and large spoons.


3. The Fiery Army Base Hot Pot: A much loved Korean classic, this dish is best served when entertaining a large group of people you hold near and dear.


LW Yang|Flickr

Ingredients: Serves 4

4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock

200g (7 ounces) Spam, thinly sliced

4 cocktail Frankfurt sausage (150g, 5.3 ounces), thinly & diagonally sliced

250g (9 ounces) tofu, sliced (about 1.5cm, 1/2 inch thickness)

200g (7 ounces) enoki mushrooms, base stem removed & stems separated

200g (7 ounces) king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced length ways

100g (3.5 ounces) shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced

1/2 cup ripened bite sized Kimchi

110g (3.9 ounces) instant ramen noodles

50g (1.8 ounces) Korean Rice Cakes, soaked in cold water for 15 mins if it was frozen

30g (1 ounces) green onion, thinly & diagonally sliced

1 or 2 slices of cheese


Sauce for Stock:

2 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru)

2 Tbsp rice wine (mirin)

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 Tbsp Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

A few sprinkles of ground black pepper


Assemble the main ingredients (except for instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion and cheese) in a shallow pot. Add the sauce in the middle. Pour the stock in the corner of the pot. Close the lid and boil it on medium high heat until the stock starts to boil (about 8 mins).


Add the remaining ingredients – instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion and cheese on top of the pot and boil uncovered until the noodles are cooked (about 2 to 3 mins). Reduce the heat to low (if you’re cooking on a portable burner and sharing the food at the dinning table).


Start dishing out soup, protein and vegetables onto your own soup bowl. Serve with steamed rice! It's as easy as that.


4. Hearty Chicken Ramen Soup: Perfect for a cold and frosty night or even when you're sick and in need of some major TLC!


TMAB 2003|Flickr

Ingredients: Serves 4


4 chicken breasts (boneless, skin-on)*

Pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to season

2 tbsp unsalted butter

4 tsp sesame or vegetable oil

4 tsp fresh ginger, minced

4 tsp fresh garlic, minced

3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

21/2 tbsp mirin

8 cups rich chicken stock

11/2 Cups oz dried shitake mushrooms

3 tsp sea salt, to taste

2 large eggs

1/2 cup scallions, sliced

2 (3 oz) packs dried ramen noodles

Fresh jalapeño slices, for serving *option

Black sesame seeds


Instructions:


Cook the chicken*: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown and releases easily from the pan, about 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until golden. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil until ready to serve.


*Ask your butcher to remove the rib bone from the chicken breasts (leaving the skin on), or use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and increase the oven roasting time 5-10 minutes, as needed. You can also cut your ramen prep time in half by using a store-bought whole rotisserie chicken, simply slice off as much as you wish, and add to the ramen. If you're in the UK, Tesco's sells really tasty BBQ style rotisserie delights!


Make the ramen broth: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the soy sauce and mirin, and stir to combine. Cook for another minute. Add the stock, cover, and bring to boil. Remove the lid, and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, then add the dried mushrooms. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes, and season with salt, to taste.


Make the soft-boiled eggs: Fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs, and bring to a boil. Gently lower the eggs (still cold from the fridge) into the boiling water, and let simmer for 7 minutes (for a slightly-runny yoke) or 8 minutes (for a soft, but set-up yoke).


Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. When the timer finishes, transfer the eggs to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Wait at least 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle, then carefully peel away the shell and slice in half, lengthwise. Set aside until ready to serve.


Assemble the ramen bowls: Meanwhile, chop the scallions and jalapeño (if using). Slice the chicken into thin pieces. Set aside. When the eggs finish cooking, add the ramen noodles to the boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft, then divide the noodles into two large bowls. Add the sliced chicken and the ramen broth. Top with the fresh scallions, jalapeño, black sesame seeds and the soft boiled egg. Serve immediately.


There you have it! The 4 types of Ramen you absolutely must try at home! Not only is it delicious, but it's also one of the most flexible dishes out there! What ever your dietary needs and preferences, there is always a tasty alternative that will pair well with your meal!


*Ramen Bowl-Affiliate Link

*Chopsticks-Affiliate Link

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