I always love to come up with creative and fun menus for when I have friends over for dinner. It’s great to have recipes that have a lot of ingredients and everyone can personalize their own dish. For example it’s fun to have a taco or pizza bar when entertaining, that way everyone makes their own and it can fit their exact taste.
Last night I created a new instant favorite with this same idea in mind, a build your own Ramen bowl! I had all the ingredients ready and the broth simmering and so everyone could put what they wanted into their bowl. It was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed the flavors.
The options here are endless you can make this vegetarian like I did or you can also include a selection of meats such as pork or prawns too. I did find that the broth tasted better today as it sat over night so if you have time make the broth the day ahead and then just gently reheat.
Even though it’s dry January and I’m not drinking I did think about what wines would pair well with this meal. With the slight heat and salty umami flavors of the ramen I think a nice glass of bubbles would be amazing. The perfect sparkling wine that comes to mind is the Chinese Cuvee from Iron Horse Vineyards, at $65 it’s not your every day bubble but it would be fun to have a casual Ramen dinner and indulge on this delicious sparkling wine. For a more classic everyday drinker pairing I would recommend the Efeste Evergreen Riesling. At $20 a bottle this is an affordable option that will pair well with your Ramen feast. The dry Riesling will balance with the spice and umami of the ramen bowl.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 inches of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 dried chilis or 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 package fried tofu cubes, cut in half
- 1/4 head of green cabbage, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 2 cups fresh shiitakes, sliced
- 1 14.5 ounce can baby corn
- olive oil
- soy sauce
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- cilantro leaves
- sesame seeds
- red chili flakes
- sesame oil
- poached egg per person
- dried ramen noodles
- In a heavy bottom pot or soup pot heat over medium high heat. Add coconut oil and wait till melted. Add onion, garlic and ginger to pot and sauté until onions are starting to brown and you have a nice brown flavor layer to the bottom of your pot. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Deglaze pot with a splash or two of the broth and scrape up all that flavor that has formed on the bottom of the pot.
- Pour remainder of broth, soy sauce, shiitakes, and chili peppers to the pot. Bring mixture to a low boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer broth for 1-2 hours.
- After an hour whisk in the miso and sesame oil. As I noted above it's best to prepare broth the day before and reheat before serving for best flavor.
- Before serving strain solids from the broth, you can slice up the dried shiitakes for in ramen or discard with the rest. I like to put the strained mixture into a pitcher so everyone can pour the broth into their ramen bowls at the table.
- Start by making the 'stir fry' of veggies. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a very hot wok. Add the cabbage and shiitakes, baby corn, and peppers. Toss and cook until crisp tender. Season with a drizzle of soy sauce to help pick up any bits stuck to the wok. Remove from wok, keep warm.
- Next, add another drizzle of olive oil to the wok and toss in the fried tofu, toss and cook until heated thru, 5 minutes or so.
- While you're doing the first two steps you can also poach your eggs.
- Noodles, I just used top ramen packaged noodles, I found 3 packages for 5 people was plenty, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add in the noodle blocks and boil for 2 minutes or so, drain and rinse slightly with warm water.
- First add in desired amount of noodles, then some of the veggies, tofu and a poached egg on top. Pour broth over to fill bowl and garnish with green onions, cilantro, sesame oil, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. YUM!