We all know ramen noodles are a staple in today's generation. Whether it’s just a busy night or just a cold day out, we always crave ramen under our roof. Being the picky eater I am, I always like to play around with my Shin Ramen, just so I am not eating the same thing every time. However, one day when I had no ramen in my pantry and I simply couldn't resist my cravings, I decided to make some from scratch. By the end of it, this became my "How to clear your fridge out" meals, and still manage to make something delicious. Honestly, it wasn’t that tough. Once I had the base of my broth, I just dug into my pantry to find the right ingredients to bring out that addictive taste of ramen noodles.
Since my gluten intolerance, I have experimented with many alternative noodle options, but my personal favorite is Soba noodles. These buckwheat noodles have a very similar instant noodle texture, and they are honestly a much healthier option; not that I care much about my food being healthy. So even if gluten isn’t your battle, give it a try.
The secret to a delicious soup, no matter what kind, is the broth. The more flavorful the broth is the better your dish. With this recipe, I used a lot of vegetables to create the base of the broth, but additionally, I did add some beef broth powder I found at my local Korean market (H-Mart), and that's what really lifted up the whole dish. However, you can use any type of broth you want. Living on the coast of Vancouver, I search for seafood goodness in every corner so next time I make this dish I would try using some fresh fish broth.
For this recipe, it is very hard to quantify the amount of vegetables and condiments to use. Some people like less, others like more so play around with your options. One thing I can say is that the more the better, so don’t hesitate but Make It Your Way!
INGREDIENTS 1 carrot chopped 1 small onion chopped 1.5 cups of chopped mushroom 3-4 cloves of garlic 1 small orange habanero sliced (or your choice of chili) 3 sprigs of green onion chopped (Leave some for garnish) 1.5 cup of beef broth (Usually I add 1 cup hot water to 1 heaping tbsp of stock powder) 1 cup of water A hand full of soba noodles 1 tbsp coconut oil Assorted fish balls (To your choice) Pinch of sugar 1 tsp soy sauce 1/2 tsp fish sauce
STEPS In a pot, heat coconut oil and add onions and garlic. Once garlic is slightly browned, add carrots, spring onions, mushrooms and fry for a few minutes. After about another 2-3 minutes, add the broth and let it cook into the vegetables. Add in fish sauce, soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Taste the broth and make sure the flavors are balanced and if you don't like what you taste, play around with the ingredients. If you end up adding too much salt, you can always add a bit more of the water to balance it out.
Once the broth is boiling, add in the noodles and let them cook. I usually just add my noodles into the broth, that way it just saves me from using another pot and the flavor seeps into the noodles as well. After about 5 min, when the noodles are about half way done, add in the fish balls and habanero and cover lid. Should take about another 5-7 min. At this point, make sure you like the flavor and check whether the noodles are cooked through. You don't want to overcook the noodles, so 10 minutes in boiling broth should be good. If you're happy with the taste and readiness of the noodles, pour into a deep bowl, sprinkle some spring onions and enjoy!
Variations: I used fish balls in this recipe because that is what I had in my fridge at the moment, but you can always use chicken, beef, seafood or just more vegetables! If you’re adding meat then I would fry it with the veggies in the beginning before adding the stock, but if you’re adding more veggies then I would add it towards the end, so they are cooked, but still have a slight crunch.