Tag Archives: Broth

Ramen

16 Dec

Ramen is a noodle soup dish that has been popular in Japan for centuries. It is commonly considered a fast food and in recent times, ramen has become increasingly promient in North America, much like the way sushi was introduced some years ago.

Ramen consists of three parts: the soup base, noodles and toppings.  There are many variety of broths but the commonality is that the broths are simmered for hours to allow for a more delicate but rich flavour. Interestly, a tiny portion of each day’s broth is saved and used as a starter to make a new batch the next day. This is known as the master stock and the oldest known dates back 1500 years.  Traditionally, the ramen noodles at a location in Japan are handmade but in Canada this is rare.  The toppings vary but usually consist of a few slices of meat (often pork), seaweed, and oriental vegetables such as bamboo shoots and bean sprouts.

Pictured below are two ramen dishes sampled at Santouka. Santouka locations are found all over Japan and some places around the world. There are two locations in Canada; one in Vancouver and the other in Toronto, both locations which I have been to and were quite crowded each time I visited.

Shio ramen at Santouka.

Shio ramen at Santouka.

Shoyu Ramen at Santouka.

Shoyu Ramen at Santouka.

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Coconut Thai Curry Noodle Soup

19 Mar
Coconut Thai (red) curry soup with noodles and zucchini.

Coconut Thai (red) curry soup with noodles and zucchini.

The following recipe serves two.

  • 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk
  • 2 to  3 tbsps thai curry paste (depends on your spice preference)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
  • zucchini, thickly sliced (any type of vegetable can be used, eg. sugar peas, asparagus, spinach, bok choy, bean sprouts, napa cabbage, snow peas, carrots, bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, baby corn, string beans, etc.)
  • a handful of cilantro, washed and tied
  • half an onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp of lime zest
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 to 4 cups of low sodium broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsps soy sauce
  • your choice of noodles, enough for two people (e.g. thin rice noodles, vermicelli, yakisoba noodles, udon noodles, etc.) TIP: soak the noodles in boiling hot water to remove any starches and oil. Soaking time depends on the style of noodle.
  • green onion, 2 sprig, finely chopped (optional)
  • sliced almonds (optional)

1. Heat  a large deep pot on high. Once hot, add in oil, onions, garlic and lime zest.

2. Cook until garlic is brown, then add in coconut milk, thai curry paste and brown sugar. Combine well.

3. Add in broth and an equal amount of water and the cilantro and soy sauce. Bring to a gently boil. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

4. Remove the cilantro bundle.

5. Add in noodles and zuchinni.

6. Once noodles and zuchinni are soft, turn off heat and add in lime juice and green onions.

7. Dish out into two large bowls and if so desired, garnish with (toasted) sliced almonds.

There is a lot of variation in this recipe. Here are some suggestions: add 1 to 3 tbsps of fish sauce; sautee in some tofu, pieces of chicken or whole shrimp; simmer the soup broth additionally with lemon grass and ginger; add a splash of sesame oil at the end.

Vegetable Soup

2 Oct

Vegetable soup.

Serves 4 to 6.

  • 3 to 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • water
  • a handful of noodles* (optional)

(Feel free to add other types of vegetables such as celery, flat leaf parsley, corn, potatoes*, etc. Vegetable soup is a good way of clearing the fridge of old or extra vegetables.)

1. Heat a large deep pot on high.

2. Add in oil and onions. When the onions are soft, add in the tomatoes.

3. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and begins to release its juices.

4. Add in the carrots, green peppers, garlic and seasoning (paprika, bay leaf, salt and pepper). Mix well.

5. Add enough broth to cover all the vegetables, then add in an equal amount of water as broth.

6. Once the liquids come to a boil, turn down heat to a gentle simmer.

7. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

8. Then add in the noodles and cook until noodles are soft. The soup is now ready to be served.

*Since noodles and potatoes are starchy, by adding them to the soup, it will thicken the soup and you may wish to add a little more broth or water.

Oriental Style Noodle Soup

26 Oct

Noodle soup with green beans, tofu and spices.

  • 1 pack of thin rice noodles, soak the rice noodles in hot tap water for about 30 minutes (another type of oriental style noodle is good too but I like the rice noodle because it is starchy and makes the soup broth thick; if you also enjoy thick creamy soup broths and don’t have rice noodles handy, add a couple tablespoons of corn starch to the broth)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of sea salt, black pepper, paprika (adjust the amount of seasoning to your own preferences.)
  • 2 tbsps of sugar (adjust the amount of seasoning to your own preferences.)
  • 4 to 5 tbsps of soy sauce (adjust the amount of seasoning to your own preferences.)
  • 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • a handful of green beans, trimmed and cut in half (or substitute with sugar or snow peas)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of medium firm tofu, cut into bit size cubes
  • 5 to 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable or beef stock
  • sesame oil

Green beans, tofu, lime and sesame oil.

In a large pot, on medium high heat add in the olive oil, garlic, ginger, lime zest and onions. Cook until the onions have wilted.  Add in the sugar, salt, paprika and black pepper.  Combine well, then add in the broth as well as an equal amount of water and a few generous swigs of soy sauce. Depending on the amount of noodles, feel free to add in more (or less) broth, water and soy.  Turn up the heat so the liquids boil as quickly as possible.

Soup broth with spring onions, garlic, ginger, lime zest, soy sauce and spices.

Once the liquids are boiling, add in the tofu. Once the tofu has been heated through add in the green beans.  Drain the noodles thoroughly and add in the noodles. Once the noodles are soft, add the lime juice and a light drizzle of sesame oil.

Asian inspired broth with rice noodles, tofu and green beans.

If so desired, garnish each noodle soup bowl with a sunny-side-up egg. Serve immediately.