LITHE RAMEN! 4 Feb 2014
Seriously, everybody loves Ramen! It's cold and snowy here on the east coast and many of us are either hibernating or under the weather, so this is perfect for right now. This Ramen is delish, nutrish, and a much healthier option than what we were all eating in college (Top Ramen). I like to use Kelp Noodles or Brown Rice noodles (shown above). Kelp noodles are pretty neutral tasting and have a crunchy consistency. They are actually made from kelp, which is a type of brown seaweed that is known for its high iodine content.
The picture of the noodles above is a bare-bones, no toppings Lithe Ramen that Mars loves. You can keep it basic for the kids, or you can go all out a la Momofuku style Ramen. Honestly, the only part of this recipe that I consistently follow is the he Kombu Dashi broth base. Kombu dashi is a kind of Japanese vegetarian stock made from dried kelp or seaweed. My toppings vary each time depending on my CSA or what's in my fridge.
Ingredients (2 servings):
1 package kelp noodles (substitute with brown rice noodles)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp olive oil
4 cups kombu dashi broth (recipe below)
1 tsp umeboshi paste
2-3 tbsp miso paste
2-3 tbsp tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos
Directions: Cut kelp noodles to desired length. Heat olive oil in a large pot and sauté the ginger and garlic. Add in the kombu dashi broth and the noodles to the sautéed ginger and garlic and bring to a boil. Add umeboshi paste and tamari (or Braggs). If you're adding veggie toppings, place them in the pot and allow them to simmer and soften.
While the soup is simmering away, add the miso paste to a small bowl with about 1 cup of the warm soup stock. Mix them together into a watery paste and set aside. Remove soup from stove, add miso paste, and stir well. Serve naked (above) or with your toppings of choice.
Kombu Dashi Broth (Japanese vegetarian broth): 4 cups water, 1/4 cup seaweed (You can find wakame or dulse at Whole Foods). Add water and seaweed to a large pot and let sit for 20 minutes. Bring to just about a boil and then turn off heat. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes, then strain seaweed out and set broth aside.
Green onions – chopped
Bamboo shoots – Canned, fresh or in chili oil
Snow peas – blanched
Enoki or shiitake mushrooms
Sliced Japanese fish cakes
strips of sea veggies (nori)
vegetables – spinach, bean sprouts, broccoli, bok choi and kale are my favorites
Image via Lauren