Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spicy Miso Ramen Soup

It has been a cold and snowy winter and this is the soup that got me through. I have been so lucky this winter, most of the days that the snow was coming down an inch an hour I didn't have to go anywhere. I just happened to be on set the days that it wasn't snowing. And the days that it was I stayed home, snuggled into a sweater, and made this soup for lunch. I also haven't gotten sick all winter and it seemed like there were a lot of nasty colds going around. Maybe the soup helped? 

On those really chilly days I'd always be craving a big bowl of decadent porky tonkotsu ramen. But really, I'm not making that at home. Too much work. And the point was to avoid going outside in the terrible weather. But the miso based version of ramen seemed approachable so I did a little research and developed this spicy miso ramen broth. It hits the spot. Plus it's quick to throw together which is a lunch time requisite for me. I'll take on more elaborate cooking projects at night, and particularly on weekends, but lunch needs to be easy so I can get on with my day. (That said it could be a quick and easy dinner too.)
I had frozen a bunch of leftover thanksgiving turkey and was using that and homemade turkey stock to make this soup until I ran out. So good. I also made little Asian turkey meatballs once. Sometimes I chop up some leftover-from-the-night-before chicken. And very often I don't even add meat. Feel free to experiment. Recipe after the jump.

Spicy Miso Ramen Soup
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
1.5 cups water
1 tb miso paste
1 ts sesame oil
1 ts shoyu soy sauce
1 ts sriracha
1 ts fish sauce (optional)
1" hunk of ginger
1-2 cloves garlic

Bring stock, water, miso paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sriracha to a simmer. Using a microplane, grate in the garlic and the ginger. Add meat if you like and let it all simmer 5 - 10 mins until uniformly warm and all the ingredients have incorporated. When you turn it off, add the fish sauce and stir. Separately cook and drain noodles. Put noodles and other toppings into bowl, ladle broth over.
The above amount is for 1 person. Multiply recipe by number of people you'd like to serve. You can add a little more water if the broth is too rich for your taste. Use less sriracha if it's too spicy. Also it's probably good if either the soy sauce or stock is low sodium. I make stock at home so it's always low sodium, but the soup can get salty fast with soy sauce.

Topping ideas:
Noodles of choice. My current favorite are somen.
Leftover chopped up chicken or turkey.
Shaved carrots or radishes. I've been using purple carrots and they make the broth purple!
Pea shoots or alfalfa.
Scallions or shallots.
Seaweed. I use the roasted seaweed snacks and tear them into pieces.
Soft boiled egg.

This soup is so flexible.
Want it vegan? Use water or vegetable stock instead of poultry stock.
Want it gluten free? Use rice noodles and gluten free soy sauce.

Let me know if you try it!

Photography by Scott Rounds

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