Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ramen Suits Me Just Fine

*I haven't forgotten my promise of chili.  I just didn't have enough money to get the ingredients.  I ended up making stuffed peppers, instead.  I used rice and green lentils rather than ground beef or pork like I normally do.  I can post the recipe later if you like!

My husband and I went to Ajisen last week.  It's a little ramen shop on Yonge Street just north a little bit from North York Centre station on the subway.
I'd blatently steal BlogTO's image from the shop, but then I'd feel like a jerk.  If you want to see the cute little Ajisen girl with a giant bowl (of Ramen?  I hope!) click here.
I've been on a bit of a ramen kick since.
Today, I made my own broth and tossed in some Mr. Noodles noodles.  They weren't so hot.  I much prefer the Nissin noodles with the tasty oil flavouring packet.  Yummy!
Suggestions to liven up ye olde boring ramen lay below!  Read on!

  • Toss in some veggies.  That's right.  The Japanese have a penchant for corn.  You may have noticed corn hiding in your ramen Cup o' Noodles.  If you don't mind the corn, try adding some to your regular ramen!  I also recommend some sliced up scallions (green onions) or chives.  Other good veggies: bell pepper strips, red onion, peas, shredded cabbage, napa cabbage (or chinese cabbage). shredded carrots
  • Try out some fungus! Explore the world of fungus and throw them into your soup.  There are some ramen recipes that involve shiitake mushrooms boiled for broth.  Regular old button mushrooms sliced and tossed in just before serving are good too!  Get yourself some vitamin c, selenium, or iron depending on the type of mushrooms you use!  They also provide a good meaty texture. Yum!
  • Meats.  Not all ramen has to be made with freshly pan-fried pork cutlets or fancy meats.  Try a little leftover chicken or chop up a chop from the night before.  I like to throw in ham and sometimes roast beef.
  • Spice!  I like to toss in Tabasco, Sriracha Chili sauce and other peppery delights.  If you're hip to Korean spices, gochujang 고추장 (fermented pepper paste much like miso but with peppers in it!) is a wonderful addition.  I use about a tablespoon of it in a pot of ramen along with the flavour packet.
I hope those suggestions help you lift ramen from its lowly place as "Japanese Jail Food" or "starving college student" fodder to its rightful place as a filling, nutritious sort of occasion!
Feel free to post your own suggestions for livening up the ramen bowl in the comments!


Ray said...

I love to take some regular beef instant ramen and throw in some broccoli pieces, some sliced green pepper, and some carrot (bias-cut so it's easier to spear).

The way I do it is to submerge the ramen in a bowl of tap-hot water, toss it in the microwave for 2 minutes, take it out and add the vegetables (added later so as to keep them just crisp enough), and put it back in for another minute, take it out and drain most of the water, and season. YUM-E.