Sunday, July 23, 2006

Zen Ramen

This recipe's inspired by watching an episode of Japan Hour. It's really simple to do, really cheap to make, although it takes some time to prepare because it's best used with home-made stock. It's Zen because it's so simple - just stock and noodles, and what you use as toppings is really up to your preference.

Zen Ramen
Pork bone - Use one for a litre of water, or two for up to three litres of water. Get your butcher to split the bone open, too, so that all the flavour comes out.
Egg noodles - or use instant noodles if you don't want the hassle.
1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Pork cutlet
Spring onions, chopped.

1. THE STOCK: Is the most important part to this recipe. None of that msg nonsense, if you want to do this right, you get a big pot of water, throw in the bones, a dash of salt and pepper, and simmer for at least two hours. This picture was taken at two and a half hours, but I only actually cooked the Zen Ramen at 4 hours. The liquid should turn murky white. Top up with water where necessary.

2. After that, it's real easy. Measure out the amount of soup you need and use it to cook your noodles. Meanwhile, add the soy sauce and sesame oil into your empty bowl. Pour everything - noodles and soup - into the bowl and let the flavours infuse.

3. Place your toppings. I fried a breadcrumbed piece of de-boned pork chop and then sliced it a la tonkatsu. Top it all off with a generous handful of chopped spring onions. The spring onions really make a difference.

4. The soup can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. After the first spell in the fridge, you can skimm the solidified fat from the surface of the stock.

5. Other toppings you can consider: egg (crack an egg while the soup is still boiling, turn off the heat and let it slowly cook); fried onions; sliced lettuce, seaweed.



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