we are all crazy for ramen around here (ramen in particular and asian noodle dishes in general). and since the fabulous mr. kato, our local ramen proprietor, closes up his shack from november to may, we were left to go without or make it at home. well, actually we usually head into the city and stop for lunch at momofuku, which is a really incredibly delicious experience, but we didn't have time and we don't want to have to rely only on david chang for our ramen enjoyment all winter no matter how outrageously talented he is. sometimes home is best. anyway, previously we have tackled recipes for soba and udon and chicken pho with some success. see here and here. it follows naturally that we would try to replicate ramen at home. plus, i have been wanting to find a good use for some yuba (magical dried tofu skin rolled into sticks) that i love and needed a good recipe. since it is hard to find homemade ramen soup recipes, everyone seems to use the mixes and packets at home, it required both creativity and strategy. it was delicious and i would eat it again right now if there was any left.
1 lb fresh ramen noodles (i used nasoy brand, but some asian markets sell locally made egg noodles)
1 cup chopped scallions or other green onions
2 hard boiled eggs (use david tanis' recipe from his book "a platter of figs..." really great)
1 cup sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
8 sticks yuba (dried tofu skin)
6 cups chicken stock
4 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp brown rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
like most asian noodle soups, you assemble the parts just before serving. everything is cooked or prepared separately. this keeps the noodles from over cooking and the vegetables from ever becoming soggy. a great market noodle stall tradition that is worth honoring.
first, make the hard boiled eggs. then, get the broth going. heat to boiling. check for flavor. should have just the right hot salty quality. keep on simmer. next, set the water to boil for the fresh noodles. also, soak the yuba in quite hot or just boiled water until tender (10 - 30 minutes depending on brand). chop the yuba. chop the vegetables. reserve scallions for garnish. peel and halve hard boiled eggs. now, saute veg on high heat. first add the mushrooms, saute in a bit of olive oil on high heat for a few minutes. add chopped napa cabbage or bean sprouts or asian greens. stir until just softened (maybe 2 minutes) add in yuba and 2 TBSP soy sauce. now cook the noodles for a few minutes according to package directions (takes only 2-3 minutes).
okay. everything is ready. assembly time. place noodles in bowls. add egg and veg on sides. add scallions in center. ladle broth over the whole thing. serve immediately with chopsticks and soup spoons.
note: some people in our house strongly prefer pork ramen. this is really a veggie ramen with a chicken broth. soon we will make homemade pork ramen with pork broth. i am looking forward to this day already. stay tuned.