Ok food loving people…let’s talk Ramen! Who doesn’t LOVE Ramen? I mean you have a broth bursting with umami, silky al dente noodles, and the ever so heavenly ramen egg! Plus whatever veggies and protein your heart desires. I mean it really is a bowl of perfection. It is a big favorite in my house and I make it often. Especially since I have perfected a fairly easy version that we all love!
Ramen can be a little bit of a pain to make because it is best if all of the components are done separately. You will end up with a bowl of delicious ingredients, but you can’t cook them all together in one pot. With a little prep and planning, it does come together pretty easily in the end.
Finding a good store bought ramen broth has definitely simplified the whole process. The broth is pretty important since it gives the dish much of it’s flavor. NO seasoning packets for this ramen! Since ramen has become so popular lately, I have seen more and more ramen ingredients readily available at different markets. I am able to buy amazing fresh ramen noodles and great quality broth at many of my local markets. Easier ramen means more ramen, more often!
**For my local peeps, see the notes below in the post summary on where I find my ingredients.
These are the ramen broths that I use. I actually bought the Ramen Broth and the Miso Broth that Ocean’s Halo makes to try both and discovered that I love the combo of the two mixed together. If you can’t find this brand there are some other good ones out there. Trader Joes carries a good miso broth that I have tried. Another option is to make a simple broth from vegetable or chicken stock which I have done before. This is an easy recipe to follow if you want to make your own.
These are the noodles that I love. They are so delicious! If I couldn’t find them locally, I would order them from the company by the case! Look for them or other fresh noodles at your local market, or use a good quality dried noodle if you can’t find fresh. The key is to cook them separately and quickly (they only take a minute or two) and then rinse them with cool water to stop the cooking until you are ready to serve them. DON’T cook them with your broth…you will likely overcook them. You want them to have that perfect chewiness and not be too soft. If you are cooking 4 servings of noodles, make sure you have a large pot of water and make sure it is at a full boil. You want to cook them quickly and then after rinsing in cool water and draining well, immediately divide them into serving bowls so they do not get too sticky sitting all together in the colander. Some other ramen noodle brands I like are Hakubaku Organic Ramen, Hime Japanese Ramen Noodles, or Ocean’s Halo’s Organic Ramen Noodles. Lotus Foods makes a great dried rice ramen noodle if you avoid wheat.
Next you need some veggies (although I would not be opposed to eating a giant bowl of just noodles and broth). This is where you can get creative and use whatever you or your family likes. I have used cabbage, broccoli, and bok choy. For this recipe, it was miso roasted brussels sprouts, which I have to say, took this ramen to the next level. Miso paste is one of my favorite Asian ingredients and adds so much flavor to sauces, dressings, or roasted veggies like these brussels sprouts. You can find miso paste in the refrigerated Asian food section (where you would find the tofu or fresh Asian noodles). A few sliced snap peas and shaved carrot completed the dish. Oh and don’t forget the shiitake mushrooms…they are a must in all ramen IMO!
A protein is optional. I have used everything from leftover grilled chicken, spicy ground pork (ground pork cooked with some soy sauce and Sambal), or even rotisserie chicken. We all love baked tofu so since this was our “Meatless Monday” dinner, tofu was the pick. Baked tofu is worlds apart from the squishy, spongy, flavorless tofu that comes out of the package. You can find baked tofu where the tofu is sold, or you can make it yourself. The packaged, pre-baked tofu is great and just needs to be cut into cubes and crisped up a little in the oven. It is already seasoned and usually comes in a couple different flavors. Making baked tofu is very simple but does require more time. You start with extra firm tofu, get it as dry as possible, marinate it, and bake it. I use this method.
Last but NEVER least, is the ramen egg. For those of you that don’t like the whole runny egg thing, look away… it’s about to get real. A perfectly cooked ramen egg is the icing on the ramen cake. The jammy yolk that runs into the broth are the things that food dreams are made of. The eggs are marinated in a simple mix of soy sauce and mirin for more flavor. You can just throw a regular old hard boiled egg in, but don’t try and instagram it…you will be mocked.
To sum it up…
- Make your ramen eggs the morning of or day before so they have time to marinate (see recipe at the end of the post).
- Prep and cook any veggies you are using. Some are best kept raw like the scallions, snap peas, and carrots for a little added freshness and crunch.
- Cook or heat whatever meat or tofu you are using.
- Sauté your mushrooms and simmer your broth.
- Cook your noodles
- Assemble and serve!
- Nona Lim Noodles: Gelson’s Market or Whole Foods
- Ocean’s Halo Ramen and Miso Broth: Ralph’s Grocery Store, Whole Foods, or Sprout’s Market
- Wildwood Organic Baked Tofu: Ralph’s, Gelson’s or Whole Foods
Ramen with Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Baked TofuCourse: EntreeCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
4 ounces snap peas, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler
12 ounces baked tofu (2 packs)
1 tbsp olive oil
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (remove stems and discard)
2 quarts store bought ramen or miso broth, or home made ramen broth
16 ounces of fresh or dried ramen noodles
4 ramen eggs (see recipe below)
Garnishes: sliced jalapeño, toasted sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, whisk the miso paste with the rice vinegar, then whisk in the olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts and toss with your hands until they are completely coated. Put them in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and roast until golden and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, checking half way and giving them a stir to cook evenly.
- While the sprouts roast, prep the rest of your veggies and tofu. Thinly slice your scallions and snow peas and shave your carrots. Cut your tofu into small squares and put them on a foil lined baking sheet and add them to the oven with your brussels sprouts for about 10 minutes to crisp up. Slice your jalapeño if using.
- In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the mushrooms. Sauté until golden (about 5 minutes). Add the 2 quarts of broth or your home made broth and bring to a simmer. Depending on your taste, you may need to add a little salt, soy sauce, or tamari to your store bought broth. The one that I use needed a pinch or two of salt and a splash of soy sauce. Some will already be well salted, so just taste and see. Keep at a low simmer with a lid on until ready to serve.
- While your broth simmers, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Cook your fresh or dried noodles according to the package directions…usually just a minute or two at a rolling boil. When the noodles are done, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking and drain well. Make sure all of your other ingredients are ready to go before starting your noodles. Once they are done, you want to be ready to assemble.
- When you are ready to assemble, add a portion of noodles to a bowl. Top with the roasted brussels sprouts, baked tofu, raw shaved carrots, raw sliced snap peas, and the scallions. Slice your ramen egg in half carefully and place on top of the noodles. Ladle approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of broth/mushrooms over the noodles. Garnish with the sliced jalapeño, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds.
- **Store any left over noodles and broth separately so the noodles don’t get soggy.
How to make Ramen Eggs:
- Bring a medium pot of water (large enough to fit 4 – 6 eggs and be covered by 2 inches of water) to boil. Carefully and gently add your eggs with a large spoon so that they don’t hit the bottom of the pan and crack. Keep at a low boil (so they don’t move around too much) for 7 – 8 minutes. The egg below was cooked for 7 minutes – whites completely cooked and yolk runny in the middle. 8 minutes will give you a less runny yolk, but still soft.
- After 7 – 8 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and put into an ice bath for 5 minutes to cool. While the eggs cool, add 2 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce, 2 tbsp Mirin, (Japanese cooking wine found in the Asian food section), and 2 tbsp water to a zip lock bag (use a cup to keep the bag up right as shown in the photo above). Carefully peel your cooled eggs and add them to the bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a week.