Ramen, quite understandably, has become inseparable from Japanese cuisine. And the dish is quickly gaining ground in Britain, with ramen restaurants opening their doors frequently. Quick and satisfying, this recipe for Bamboo and Mushroom Ramen encapsulates what has made this noodle soup so ubiquitous in its country of origin.
My current obsession with ramen began when the, now successful, Sticks’n’Broth opened its doors on Baldwin Street in Bristol. Styled as a sort of fashionable street food restaurant, the ramen served at the establishment is phenomenal.
Having said that, making ramen at home is so quick and easy to get right that heading out to eat it isn’t necessary. It’s simply a case of brewing up a delicious broth with stock and a few added ingredients, stir frying some vegetables and serving it all with an egg and noodles.
What you put in your ramen is up to you. I had a bowl recently that was topped with a whole leg of confit duck. Though that’s not exactly frugal. But my bamboo and mushroom ramen certainly is.
Vegetable-based ramen, when prepared correctly, can be as delicious and filling as any meat-based ramen. It’s all about the broth; if your broth is flavourful and well-considered, you’ll end up with a satisfying and moreish bowl.
Bamboo & Mushroom Ramen
- 150g dried noodles, egg or wheat
- 1 large leek, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 dried red chillies
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 125g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 225g bamboo shoots
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 eggs
- 100g pak choi
- 50g beansprouts
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- Take a large saucepan and cook off the leek and garlic in 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil. Once the leek is starting to caramelise add the bay leaves and dried red chillies.
- After a minute tip in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow the flavours to infuse for at least 15 minutes (lid on).
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining sunflower oil in a wok until smoking. Tip in the bamboo and mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the sesame oil and set aside.
- Put your eggs on to boil in a smaller saucepan. Once boiling they’ll need exactly 5 minutes.
- While the eggs are boiling, strain the prepared broth to remove the leek, chillies and bay leaves. Return it to the stove and add the noodles. Season with the soy sauce.
- Just before the eggs are ready add the mushrooms and the bamboo to the broth. Transfer into two bowls.
- Peel the eggs and slice in two. Place face up in the ramen and garnish with the pak choi, beansprouts and sliced spring onions. Serve with optional soy sauce.
Cost: Though ramen gives the impression of being rather an indulgent, expensive dish with a bit of everything, it can be prepared without too much expense.
Using inexpensive vegetables like mushrooms and bamboo, this bowl of ramen can be served up for as little as £3.60.
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