Anyone who’s lived in Vancouver knows that ramen is a local staple.
Ramen works for everyone. It’s a student favourite, rainy day comfort food, and a lunchtime regular that never fails to hit the spot. The traditional Japanese dish consists of broth, wheat noodles, and works with a slew of different ingredients like savoury beef and fresh vegetables. More than this, ramen’s helped to define food culture as an entree that allows others to create their own creative version.
Most Vancouverites will attest to the ramen obsession. Especially popular on a rainy day, ramen restaurants attract devoted fans you’ll find slurping instead of chatting. The passion for this dish is relentless, so much that you’ll see ramen amateurs returning as part of a weekly routine.
The amazing news is that virtually anyone can make ramen, even if they’re not domestically-inclined. Amp up your culinary skills by transforming your kitchen space into a ramen cook-up with this recipe that’s guaranteed to have you, your friends, and family coming back for second helpings.
2 cups (500 mL) water
4 cups (1 L) low sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried wakame seaweed
½ medium sweet onion, diced
5 crimini mushrooms, stem on, cleaned and quartered
5 oz (150 g) enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed and mushrooms separated
¾ cup (175 mL) store bought kimchi
4 leaves napa cabbage, sliced into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL) silken medium firm tofu, medium diced
3 tbsp (45 mL) white or red miso paste
1 cup (250 mL) Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened almond beverage
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
1 lb (500 g) rice or wheat ramen noodles of your choice
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
8 sprigs fresh cilantro, washed and left whole or leaves picked off
1 tsp (5 mL) black sesame seeds, toasted
If you haven’t already, chop all your vegetables.
Place a 4-quart (4 L) soup pot on medium high heat. Add water and the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add in the wakame seaweed, onions, both types of mushrooms and kimchi to the pot. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the nappa cabbage and tofu. Simmer for another 2 – 3 minutes.
Scoop out the unwanted foam with a ladle and discard.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the miso paste with Almond Breeze until smooth. Pour the miso mixture into the soup pot and simmer for another minute. Taste and season the soup with soy sauce. Turn down the heat to low to hold the soup while you make the noodles.
Meanwhile in another 4-quart (4 L) pot, bring 2 quarts (2.5 L) of water to boil on medium high heat. Cook the noodles as per package instructions (usually 3 – 5 minutes). When the noodles are cooked, drain the noodles in a colander and drizzle with sesame oil. Hold until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, transfer a portion of the warm noodles into individual bowls and carefully ladle hot soup over them. Garnish the bowl with scallions, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds and serve hot. Remaining raw enoki mushrooms can be arranged on the side as an additional fresh garnish.
Per Serving (635g): Calories 436, Fat 10g, Cholesterol 61mg, Sodium 1367mg, Carbohydrate 64g, Fiber 7g, Sugars 7g, Protein 23g
Now that your mouth’s watering, grab this recipe and head over to the closest grocery store. Don’t forget to grab some Almond Breeze to add a healthy twist to this traditional Vancouver meal.