Many folks I know ate ramen as a cheap way to eat there way through university. The packets you bought at the grocery looked something like this.
Back then, it was full of MSG, and who knows what else, but when you buy ten for a dollar, you really do not ask questions. Ramen has changed a lot since I was in college with restaurants specializing in the art of Asian noodles in a bowl. I, too have changed. I now create my own noodle bowls. They may not be authentic, but they taste good, and that is all I need.
And yes, I did a similar post when I first started the blog. As a matter of fact, it was my fourth post. It is a more measured version if you need precise measurements. I thought it was time to revisit.
Ramen Noodle Bowl
with Everything but the Kitchen Sink
I say everything but the kitchen sink because I throw whatever I find in the fridge and pantry that will taste delicious. I like sour, and I like spicy, so I usually start with those flavors in mind.
If you have never done created your own ramen bowl before, I suggest that you cook the noodles separate from your broth. That way if you mess up the soup with too much spice or salt, you have only wasted a can of chicken or vegetable broth.
I start with a can of low sodium chicken broth and half a can of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling turn heat down to medium but still bubbling.
In a separate pan, add enough water to cover the noodle block. Turn on high heat and once it boils, add in the ramen. Cook until done, per the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Then start adding in your spices, liquids/sauces, and herbs to create a flavor that you enjoy. Again I like sour and spicy, so this is what I pull from the pantry to get me started. Also, pull out all the vegetables and meats you plan to add all at this time, so you can envision the final product.
Start out using small amounts and taste as you go. You will know when it hits the spot. First I start with the garlic and ginger because they are raw and need to cook. If I had to guess, I probably used 1 1/2 to 2 cloves of garlic and about a heaping teaspoon of fresh ginger.
Next comes the dry spices, which for me included smoked paprika and onion powder. They are followed by the hot sauce and chili garlic paste. Remember to taste as you go. Now I add my soy sauce (about a 1/3 cup) and rice wine vinegar (about a 1/4 cup). Next, I add a handful of matchstick carrots.
I followed that with a leftover slice of grilled pork loin. Sliced and chopped.
Side Note: I forgot that I had this leftover meat. I was going to matchstick slice up several pieces of Bresaola. I have also used Teriyaki Jerky, either beef or pork.
At this point, the flavors should have come together. Taste!! For me, it was missing acidity. I had to decide, do I add some homemade tomato salsa or lemon ponzu. I chose the ponzu (probably added a third cup), but I am confident the salsa would have worked as well.
Just a few more steps to go.
The broth has the flavor I want, so now it is time for the finishing touches. Start by adding a couple of handfuls of arugula. The mustardy, peppery flavor goes great in this soup.
Drizzle on sesame oil, to taste.
Then finish off with Louisiana Red hot sauce. Dinner is served.