Ramen, The Good Kind Though.

Hello all and happy Sunday! If you’re reading this that means one of two things. You either got all of your stuff done on Friday and you have nothing to worry about today so hey, why not check out some recipes? Or, it means you didn’t do any of those things you needed to do and your procrastinating, and what better way to procrastinate than read recipes from a 20-year-old girls amateur blog, right? Right.

Anyways, whatever you’re doing, one thing is true. There are two types of ramen in this world. There’s the kind that college students eat that comes out of a Styrofoam cup and all you have to do is just pour your hot water in and slurp it up between classes. Then there’s the good stuff. The traditional stuff that you’d find at an Asian street market. The stuff that’s taking over everyone’s Instagram feeds lately. The warm, comforting, umami flavor bomb that has so easily taken over the food scene lately. The beauty behind ramen is that whether it’s made in a college dorm, a noodle market, or a Michelin starred chef, it’s simple and versatile. Mild, spicy, acidic, creamy, cheesy. You can add any combo of protein, vegetables, spices or fats and it’s delicious (almost) every time.

I was never big into ramen in college, I actually just started enjoying it this last year along with the rest of the U.S. My first experience was when I started working at Bellecour. We have an amazing sous chef there from South Korea. One night I was invited to a coworkers house for dinner and Chef Jamie made us all a huge Korean meal. Scallion pancakes, tofu, some different rice and meat dishes, and of course, ramen. It was spicy and umami and so delicious. What stood out to me were these little round, sticky noodle things in the soup. They were rice cakes. They were so good, I couldn’t get enough of the texture and the chewiness. I still can’t exactly explain them but I’m a big texture person when it comes to food and these were totally new to me. So anyways, I love them. I use them anytime I make ramen.

To make my own ramen, I had to do some research to get it right. I didn’t really know anything about seasoning or broth. When I started reading recipes, I found out I knew even less than I thought. So, for those of you who are like me, here’s a little vocab lesson.

Korean Rice Cakes – These come in two forms, logs and flat cylinders. I use the flat cylinders for this recipe. I’ve never used the log shaped ones but I think they would be too large and thick to enjoy with the soup. These can be found at any Asian grocery store

Gochujang- Korean BBQ sauce. Amazing. I use it all the time. I thought it would be really hard to find but I was pleasantly surprised to find it at Target in the Ethnic aisle.

Instant Ramen noodles Everyone knows what these are. I’m just making a note because I don’t recommend using the stuff you find at any American grocery store. Go to an Asian grocery store and check out all of the different brands and flavors. It’s a cool experience but they’re also way better quality and flavor than the stuff you get from Hy-Vee. I used Shin Ramen brand for this recipe.

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INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/2 lb Korean cylindrical rice cakes
  • 1/2 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Carrot, grated
  • 1/2 Yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 3 C Water
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 C Gochujang
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 Package Shin Ramen Instant Noodles ( I like shrimp or beef for this recipe)
  • 2 Scallions, sliced
  • 1 Egg, soft boil (boil for 6 minutes)

DIRECTIONS

  1. If the rice cakes are frozen, place them in a strainer and run them under warm water for a couple of minutes.
  2. In a stock pot, over medium-high heat, add sesame oil, carrot, onion, and garlic. Stir-fry them until they become soft and aromatic, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add rice cakes and water. Raise heat to high When the water boils, reduce heat to medium.
  4. Stir in soy sauce, gochujang, and Sriracha. Let the mixture thicken. Add noodles.
  5. Stir occasionally until noodles are cooked, remove from heat, add scallions.
  6. Before serving cut your egg in half and add it to the bowl.
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