Vegetarian Ramen with Grilled Sweetcorn

…for all the hopeless (flu-infected) ramen-tics out there…

Tell you what, I might as well paint a massive red “X” on my front door to ward off all potential visitors, because the winter lurgy finally came a-knocking last week. Sunny became a walking fountain of mucus first, and then – even though for a while it looked like I was going to dodge it – I got that tell-tale scratching feeling at the back of my throat and knew I was doomed. I’m currently writing this bundled up in my dressing gown, ponging of Olbas Oil and chained to a box of tissues. Breathing through your nose is such an underrated luxury. I miss it.

There’s nothing quite like a massive bowl of ramen when you’re sick, is there? I mean, any and all soups are pretty good when you’re a walking plague victim, but ramen – for me anyway – is the ultimate winner, and I’ll tell you why. All soups are warm and comforting, but ramen goes one step further. It’s full of healthy fresh greens (which you can pick and choose), it’s packed full of flavour (enough to get through to those flu-muffled taste buds), the noodles are filling (so you feel like you’ve actually eaten more than just a bowl of hot water), I defy anyone not to smile at the sight of a perfectly gooey soft boiled egg floating in front of them… and the added chilli garnish will do wonders for a blocked nose.

Now, normally I’d either cart myself down to Wagamama for a bowl of their Shirodashi Ramen (YAS), or pick up a one of the Blue Dragon Ramen Kits, but last week before my cold spiralled out of control and I was still more or less functioning – I felt like making some from scratch. Anyway, I came across a picture of a ramen bowl with grilled corn in it and I was intrigued. I’d never thought of putting sweet corn in a bowl of ramen before, but tell you what – it was a game changer. The sweetness, the crunch, the buttery charred bits… oof. It was exactly what my noodle bowl had been missing all this time. Added to the mushrooms, spring onions, cabbage and obligatory soft boiled egg, it was a winner. πŸ™‚

Vegetarian Ramen with Grilled Sweetcorn

Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp yellow miso paste
  • 600ml water
  • 500ml good quality vegetable stock
  • handful of spring onions, sliced
  • 1 large corn cob
  • handful of shittake mushrooms
  • handful of sliced red cabbage (throw it in as late as possible otherwise it’ll turn your broth blue!)
  • two dried noodle nests (or enough for two)
  • 2 soft boiled eggs
  • handful of Ito Togarashi or chilli flakes to serve
Method
  1. Warm up your wok or a deep pot on a medium heat, then add the sesame oil. Next create the base for your broth by throwing in and stirring together the mirin, rice wine, soy sauce and miso paste, as well as the garlic and ginger pastes.
  2. Next add the vegetable stock (the better the quality, the better the broth!) and water. Throw in your shittake mushrooms and half of your spring onions. Bring the broth up to the boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and then leave to simmer for at least half an hour.
  3. In the meantime, slice up your garnishes (that’s the rest of the spring onions and the cabbage) and prepare your corn cob. Slather the corn cob in butter, then wrap it in foil and cook it in the oven at 200Β°C for 20 minutes. Once cooked, slice into strips.
  4. Check the packet instructions for the noodles – usually you’ll add them to the broth about 10 minutes before you’re ready to eat.
  5. To serve up, first use some tongs to take out the noodles at pop them in the bottom of the bowl. Then ladle the broth over the top. Lastly, garnish with your fresh spring onions, cabbage, corn, soft boiled egg and chilli.
  6. Slurp away!

Have a great week! 🍜🍜🍜

Pork Belly “Tonkotsu” Ramen

R-Amen that we live in a world where bowls of warm noodle soup exist, amiright?Β  There’s something about Ramen that always puts a smile on my face (and my husband’s; which is no mean trick because he’s one of those “Soup isn’t food it’s just sustenance!” kind of people).Β  It’s far easier to make than you’d think, provided you can get hold of all the Japanese cooking essentials like Mirin and Miso.Β  I used to make it a lot when I lived in London because there was a Japanese Centre in Piccadilly where all the ingredients could be easily found.Β  Nowadays, the local supermarket has pretty much everything you need to make an easy peasy bowl of ramen. πŸ™‚

Pork Belly “Tonkotsu” Ramen – Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Pork Belly Strips
  • Egg
  • 1 tbsp of Mirin
  • 1 sachet of Green Miso Paste (I used the packet kind you can find in the supermarket)
  • 500ml boiling water
  • Dried Seaweed
  • Chopped Spring Onions
  • Noodles of choice
  • Carrots (cut into thin strips)
  • Pea Shoots
  1. First, cook the Pork Belly: I roasted mine in the oven for an hour at 190Β°, turning once to make sure both sides are nice and crispy.
  2. Next, cut down the pork belly into thin slices and add to a deep saucepan (at this point you can fry them in a little oil to crisp them up a bit more if you like).Β  Add the mirin and the miso paste and then pour on the hot water.
  3. Add the chopped spring onions and carrots and then leave to simmer for about an hour.
  4. Meanwhile, boil your egg for five minutes and then drop into a bowl of cold water to prevent the yolk from cooking any further.
  5. Add the noodles to your stock (how long they take to cook will depend on which noodles you use – but usually they’ll only take a couple of minutes).
  6. Split the noodles between two bowls and then pour on the stock with the meat and veg.Β  Garnish with seaweed, pea shoots and half a soft boiled egg.
  7. Slurp away! 🍜

How’s your week been?Β  Have a great weekend everyone!Β πŸ™‚