Truth: I went to an adorbale Japanese bistro last weekend.
I ordered (a long name that I don’t remember) udon noodles. Mind: blown. I couldn’t stop thinking about that delicate broth and those golden crunchy tempura flakes on top, not to mention the thick, chewy, perfect noodles for dayyyys. Oh Noodles. ♥
Truth: this post was going to be udon noodles. Buuut…
Truth: I didn’t have time to go out to an Asian grocery store to get the fresh udon noodles and the other special non-small-grocery-store ingredients to make everything authentically and appropriately. If today is your day for an authentic Japanese cooking adventure, Nami’s amazing blog Just One Cookbook has got you covered.
For me, that was not this day.
Truth: this day was more I’m stressed out and I’m short on time and I just drove my car into a mountain of snow and had to be shoveled out by neighbors before even making it out onto the road. And my ecookbook recipe ingredient list just keeps getting longer and I can’t stop adding cilantro to things. And the sun is avoiding me and my photos. And I’m avoiding the gym indefinitely. And I’m still coughing. And the clothes I washed a dried a few days ago are still, um, in the dryer. WHY. This is not the day that I’m going to make it across town to the Asian grocery store. I just… noodles. Give me the noodles.
I know. Be amazed at my miiiind.
My goal with this post was originally to be udon-authentic, but the end resulted leaned more in the direction of practical, sort of healthy, and fresh-ly delicious in the least amount of time possible. And that’s life.
Truth: There is a time and a place for a big warm pot o’ ramen noodles, complete with ramen seasoning packet. For me, that would be circa 2005 in a small dorm room with millions of Christmas lights hanging up for no reason whatsoever, three girls sitting around talking about this new college kid website called The Face-Book, and nothing but a half gallon of milk in the mini fridge.
But that was a long time ago and now I’m adultish and I have a food blog thing.
And anyways, when you can make your own yummy stock in 20 minutes? And it’s homemade? And delicate and light and full of mouth-loving flavor? That is the way to do it, says Adult Me.
Truth: I still used chicken broth for the homemade stock. Man, the shortcuts just keep coming. Don’t even listen to me.
Simmering some garlic, ginger, and dried mushrooms with your chicken broth makes for a great quickie “stock”. A good while in the pot will get some nice flavors going soon to be soaked up by those noodles. And by good while, I mean 19 minutes, because the whole thing takes 20.
Truth: I dislike when bloggers use the word rambling to describe themselves. BUT I AM DOING THAT. It’s late. I’ve had another long day (parent teacher conferences – they get me every time) and here I am writing this absurd post about what I eat when I’m being regular.
Please still like me.
Truth: at the end of the day, bright veggies + flavorful broth + golden panko crumbs + chewy noodles in a bowl eaten at your own table in your own house with your own regular people is the best way.
QUICK HOMEMADE RAMEN
Author: Pinch of Yum
Serves: makes 6 heaping 1-cup servings
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons grated ginger
- 4 teaspoons grated garlic
- 4 cups broth (I used chicken, but vegetable would also work)
- 4 cups water
- 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 packages instant ramen (noodles only!)
- ½ cup chopped scallions or chives
- 2 cup chopped kale
- 1 cups shredded carrots
- Sriracha to taste
- crunchy golden panko crumbs for topping (see notes)
- Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and ginger; stir fry for 2 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add the broth and the water. Bring to a simmer; add the mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and the broth is flavorful.
- Add the instant noodles to the hot liquid and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the noodles have softened. Add the scallions and stir to combine. Remove from heat, stir in the kale and carrots, and top with crunchy panko crumbs (see notes) and hot sauce to taste.
To make crunchy golden panko crumbs, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the panko, stir for one minute or less, or until golden brown. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. You can also toss the panko with a little oil and toast them in the oven to get them golden and crispy.