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! 🍜🍜🍜

Indian Spiced Cawl

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I’m so excited that it’s soup season again!Β  Not only is it the perfect meal to come home to when you’ve been out in the cold, but it’s also so easy – whether you get it out of a tin or cook it from scratch.Β  And when it gets cold enough here in Wales we don’t sip soup, we slurp Cawl.Β  In case you didn’t know,Β Cawl is a Welsh soup traditionally made with lamb and whatever root vegetables happen to be lying around in your cupboard (the word “Cawl” can also mean to make a mess of something).Β  Β For this version I’ve spiced things up a bit; I’ve kept the base recipe traditional, but have flavoured the lamb and stock with some Indian spices and fresh coriander.Β  It’s all served up with some toasted naan bread – yum!

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Indian Spiced Cawl (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Neck of Welsh Lamb
  • Β½ a white onion roughly chopped
  • 1 echalion/banana shallot roughly chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes roughly chopped into chunks
  • 1 large parsnip sliced
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Β½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • Handful of chopped fresh coriander
  1. Place the lamb in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.Β  Skim off the fat, then leave to cool overnight.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan and fry off the onions with the cinnamon.
  3. Slice the lamb off the bone and cut into rough chunks, then add to the pan along with the rest of the spices (set aside the water – that makes up the soup stock). Coat the lamb with the spices and leave to fry for three minutes.
  4. Add the potato and parsnip, then stir in the stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat and leave to simmer for an hour.
  5. When ready to serve, add the chopped coriander. Serve with warm naan bread.

Have a great weekend everyone! πŸ™‚