Exactly a year ago today, Pim and I got off the plane in Japan, where we spent an entire month of gazing at temples and blossom trees, soaking in hot springs, getting lost in translation and eating the food of our dreams. So, what better way to celebrate our Japanniversary than to eat Japanese food again? And yes, that is a rhetorical question. Ever since I’ve known him, Pim has been a real ramen addict. His day isn’t really complete without a bowl of hot noodle soup for lunch. This used to mean instant noodles, but since we’ve discovered they all contain palm oil (and not the sustainable kind!), he’s started to make his own. This light, vegetarian miso ramen is one of the recipes from his growing collection. It uses vegetable stock, but for a more authentic taste you could always use dashi, and if the taste is a bit too subtle for your liking you can tweak it with as many condiments as you like. It’s okay, the Japanese do it too.
Ajitsuke tamago is a Japanese, marinated, soft-boiled egg. It’s delicious on every kind of ramen and with about everything else. The trick is to boil them for exactly 6 1/2 minutes for set whites and creamy yolks, and to marinate them overnight for maximum flavour. You can add other ingredients to the marinade if you like, but this super simple version with mirin and soy sauce is all you really need. In fact, they’re so good, I’m reusing the marinade tonight to make some more eggs for tomorrow’s lunch. Can’t wait.
for 1 bowl of miso ramen:
1 nest (about 60 grams) of organic quick-cooking wheat noodles
300 ml light vegetable stock
1 heaped tsp organic brown rice miso
1 heaped tsp organic white miso
wakame seaweed, soaked in cold water
1/4 spring onion, thinly sliced
for 2 ajitsuke tamago, soft-boiled marinated eggs:
2 medium-large free range organic eggs
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp water
- Start the evening before by putting two eggs in a pan of boiling water and boiling them for 6 1/2 minutes.
- Take them out and plunge them in a bowl with (ice) cold water or rinse them under a cold running tap to stop the cooking process.
- Make the marinade and pour it into a plastic zip-lock bag.
- Gently peel the eggs and put them in the marinade bag. Make sure they’re fully submerged and put them in the fridge overnight.
- The noodles we use aren’t officially ramen noodles, but they have a nice texture and their main advantage is that they don’t give off any starch, so they can be cooked directly in the broth. If using ramen noodles, boil them in a separate pan, then drain and add to the hot broth.
- In your ramen bowl, use your chopsticks to mix the miso with a little bit of water until smooth.
- Add the soup and noodles and stir through.
- Add the soaked wakame and sliced spring onion and top off with the ajitsuke tamago.