Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work, and was written by my darling boyfriend, Adam.
No, no—we're not talking about the instant noodle packets you bought by the case during your most frugal college days. Rather, this recipe pays homage to the Japanese culinary phenomenon that's gaining serious momentum here in Philly and other cities across the country. Though there are regional variations, the main theme always center around a delectable broth, dense chewy noodles and an array of tasty toppings. Ramen represents everything we love about good food: it's deceptively simple, addictingly delicious and takes great talent to master.
Lacking rather substantially in the latter, we used store-bought fresh ramen noodles (found at your local asian supermarket) and focused our efforts instead on the broth. We took a departure from the traditional pork and miso flavored broth and went with a Thai curry profile. We based it on this week’s garlic from SIW Farm in Chadd’s Ford, long hots from Linvilla Orchard in Media and corn from Sunny Harvest.
The foundation of this broth uses corn stock, which we make every time Greensgrow grants us corn in the CSA share. After you chomped the kernels from the cob, or cut them away for use in salsas or salads, save those cobs! There's so much flavor left in them. All you have to do is simmer them in water for an hour or so. Strain them out and freeze the for later use. Once you've experienced the sweet, corny virtues of a good corn stock you'll mourn all the flavor you’ve ever tossed in the compost heap.
Cook time: 1 hour
Prep time: 35 minutes
2 large onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
2 long hots
2 inches ginger
2 quarts of corn stock
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
2 Tbl muchi curry powder
1 Tbl turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
¼ cup (approx.) sesame oil
1 package (16 oz) tofu
1 package fresh ramen noodles
Chop the onions, garlic, ginger and long hots. Then, in a 5-quart stock pot, saute the vegetables in a generous amount of sesame oil over medium heat.
Season the vegetables with curry powder, tumeric, garam masala and a pinch of salt. After about 5 minutes, add the corn stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, place the eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Place the pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Keep a close eye on the eggs. Allow them to boil for 1 minute then transfer to a bowl of ice water to shock them. Peel the shells and set aside.
Refill the pot with new water and bring to a boil, preparing to cook the noodles.
Cut the tofu into small triangular pieces and pan fry in sesame oil until they brown on both side. Transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to sop up any extra oil.
Now, back to the broth. After it's been simmering for 20 minutes or so, add the corn kernels and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and finish with the fresh cilantro, lime zest and lime juice.
Now that the both is finished begin cooking the noodles. Drop them in boiling water one bundle at a time, stirring them constantly to keep them from sticking. They only require about 3 minutes to cook. Using a small mesh strainer, pull the cooked noodles from the water and place in soup bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles and garnish with a soft-boiled egg, tofu and extra cilantro.