Ramen is complex and simple at the same time.
Why complex? Well, If you try to unravel its secrets or to find the definite and true recipe you can go mad on the process; there are as many versions as regions or cooks in Japan and all around the globe! Making the broth from scratch takes a lot of time, ingredients and patience, but that probably might be the key to a good ramen, then it is possible to be as playful as you desire with the toppings and garnishes! By the way, the home-made ramen stock reminds me of the Spanish cocido broth because of its meat cuts and cooking method, it’s interesting to find this connection points between such two different and distant cultures through their cuisine.
And why simple? Because ramen also allows to be simplified and transform into a healthy, delicious and creative dish for the every-day easy to put together meal. I just use a good quality stock and the rest is pure inspiration!
Although I usually choose to go for the extremely simplified version of this soup, I love this guide to Ramen, it provides a lot information classified in a very clarifying way, its like the Ramen encyclopedia!
- a dash of sesame oil + olive oil
- 1 teaspoonful of grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 200 g beef, thinly sliced
- 1/2 litre fish stock (or dashi if available)
- 1/2 litre beef stock (I actually used cocido stock)
- a dash of sake
- a dash of Mirin
- soy sauce to taste
- chilli flakes to taste
- 2 soft-boiled eggs
- Wheat noodles
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Nameko mushrooms
- Bean sprouts
- Sweet maize (corn)
(I used tinned toppings, drained and rinsed)
- Heat the oil in a cooking pot, add the ginger and garlic, sauté a few minutes. Stir in the meat and brown.
- Pour the stocks, season with sake, mirin, soy sauce and chilli flakes to taste.
- Bring to a boil and simmer some minutes till the meat is cooked through.
- In the meantime boil the eggs in salty water during 6 minutes for a soft yolk, then rinse under cold water. Peel carefully and set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, generally 3-4 minutes in boiling water are enough. Strain and set aside.
- Strain and rinse your toppings. Put them into bowls.
- Assemble the ramen by putting the noodles into bowls, pour the stock and beef over them, garnish with the toppings and the halved soft-boiled egg. I like to take the toppings bowls to the table to add some more while eating!
- Serve and enjoy!