Ramen: Take 2

There is a ramen-sized void in my life that has been there since leaving Austin. I mean, there was Strings in Chicago and Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City, but I haven't been able to find good ramen in Asheville—if you know a place, help a sister out!

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and attempt to make a bowl of ramen that didn't suck—some delicious Japanese-inspired sustenance I could add to the recipe rotation and satisfy my aggressive ramen cravings.

You may recall my initial attempt at ramen. It was a bandaid over the gaping wound in my heart that a lack of decent ramen options has left, but it definitely wasn't "recipe rotation"-worthy. Fast-forward to tonight. You guys, I think I did it. Like, I was so excited, that after eating a second helping, I rushed to write and publish the recipe.

Look!
Ramen

For real, this ramen kicked my last ramen's ass so hard. For starters, I got my shit together and soft-boiled the egg correctly on the first try. I used actual ramen noodles instead of sad ass, last ditch effort, not ramen noodles from the grocery store. Lastly, I prepared everything separately—the broth, the veggies, the noodles, and the egg—then assembled the components once everything was done. I'm pretty sure that last part allowed me to focus on better executing each component, instead of worrying about everything being done at the same time.

I know I'm a decent cook, but the only thing I really take credit for is the fact that I've never harmed anyone with my cooking. I am so proud of how this dish came out, and I've already started noodling—see what I did there?—on variations to improve it the next time I make it.

So, without further ado, here's the damn recipe already!

Vegetarian Ramen v2.0

Serves 4-6, but probably closer to 4, because it's fucking awesome.

Broth

  • 1t grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 8C vegetable broth. I'm a big fan of Imagine No Chicken Broth.
  • 1T soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery, sautéing until onion is translucent and beginning to brown, and celery is slightly tender. Remove from heat and transfer into a slow cooker. Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, and a small amount of salt and pepper to the crockpot and stir to combine. Cook for 20 hours on low heat, or don't. You could probably simmer in a stockpot or do a shorter cook time, but after two 10-hour cycles in my crockpot, this broth was super flavorful.

Vegetables

  • 2C brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1C carrots, diced medium
  • 2C broccoli florets, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 5t soy sauce, divided
  • 1t sriracha
  • Bean sprouts—you don't need to cook these, just set them aside until it's time to assemble the bowl.

Place brussels sprouts, sriracha, and 2t of soy sauce in a sealable container. Cover container and shake to combine ingredients. Let this sit, refrigerated for at least two hours, turning occasionally to distribute marinade.

Preheat oven to 375º. Spread marinated brussels sprouts, broccoli, and carrots on a baking sheet, and cover broccoli and carrots with remaining 3t of soy sauce. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring the vegetables at around the 20 minute mark. You'll know they're done when the sprouts and broccoli are golden-brown, and the carrots are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

Soft Boiled Egg

  • Egg(s)—seriously, however many you want to make.

Fill a pot with enough water to cover your eggs, and bring water to a rolling boil. Add eggs to boiling water, reduce heat to a simmer, and let eggs simmer, uncovered for 7 minutes. Place eggs in an ice bath or run under cold water, then peel.

Noodles

Cook your ramen according to the instructions on the package. This should be the last component you prepare, and you should always use fresh noodles in your ramen. Seriously, they don't take that long to make, and they are way better than bloated or sticky day-old noodles.

Assemble that shit!

  • Place desired amount of ramen noodles in bowl
  • Spoon several hearty ladlefuls of broth over the noodles
  • Top with roasted vegetables and bean sprouts
  • Slice soft boiled eggs in half lengthwise, and place on top, yolk-side up.