V STREET RAMEN
Serves 4 to 6
A good ramen bowl is a work of art. Much like pho helps define Vietnamese cuisine, ramen is an integral part of Japanese cooking with regional differences and personal preferences yielding a huge range of interpretations of this simple noodle and broth dish. Ours begins with our Shiitake Dashi, enriched with the condensed sweet-and-salty punch of canned corn juice, a strange but effective tip we picked up from a ramen shop we visited in D.C. This creates a wonderful mouthfeel in the broth—the perfect canvas for all your inventive creativity.
4 cups Shiitake Dashi
1 teaspoon tamari
2 teaspoons white miso paste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon mirin
2 teaspoons canned corn juice, optional
24 ounces fresh ramen noodles (substitute 16 ounces dry noodles)
Vegetables: charred broccoli and grilled bok choy or grilled shiitake mushroom caps, pickled cucumber, shredded cabbage and baked tofu (as shown)
Slivered nori and scallions (green parts only) for garnish
1 Combine all of the ingredients except the noodles, vegetables, and garnishes in a large saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
2 Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare the ramen noodles according to packagedirections. Drain.
3 Divide the ramen noodles among the serving bowls, then ladle in the broth. Arrange the additional vegetables on top of the noodles. Garnish with the nori and scallions.
Makes 2 quarts
Dashi is the foundation of Japanese cuisine. Unfortunately for vegetarians it is made with powdered fish and seaweed, which gives it its powerful umami punch. We have created (and perfected over years) a version of dashi that doesn’t sacrifice any umami whatsoever by using dried shiitakes and kombu seaweed. Like Japanese food itself, it is so very simple and clean; in fact, we often sip it like tea on cold Philly winter days. It’s great as is but feel free to add ginger, leeks, or celery to give it an extra dimension. To really go over the top, try adding grilled onions for a rich, smoky kick.
11/2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
2 ounces kombu (about 2 to 3 sheets)
1/4 cup tamari
1 Combine all of the ingredients with 2 quarts water in a medium stockpot over high heat and bring to aboil.
2 Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
3 Remove from the heat and let steep for 5 minutes.
4 Strain out the solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
From V Street by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Copyright © 2016 by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.