Fall has come. The days become a shorter and the evenings are cooler. What could be better for dinner than a bowl of warming ramen soup packed with flavors of a rich spicy stock, fried tofu, tangy kimchi and pickled egg? Yum!
Start your preparations in advance. Egg pickling process can take from one day to a week, depending on your taste preferences. The taste will be richer day by day. Pickled eggs are also a perfect accompaniment for sandwiches and salads.
Just look at that purple color. Beautiful Isn`t it? This color comes from the combination of red cabbage and red vinegar.
Soft boiled egg or hard boiled egg? What do you prefer?
Black cardamom is working great in marinades. It has a smoky flavor which comes from the method of drying on a flame which also lends it a distinct aroma.
The next step is to make the crispy golden tofu. The idea to add the fried tofu to the soup was taken from Indonesian cuisine.
Do not forget to drain well the tofu first. Drained tofu absorbs more flavours and has richer taste.
Drain the tofu for at least an half hour. This is how I drain it: place the block of tofu in a colander on a few layers of paper towel. Place a small plate and something heavy on top of it. Place the colander over a bowl or pot.
How to make tofu crispy? Corn starch works best for this case. Just toss tofu chunks with some cornstarch, and pan-fry in a little oil or ghee.
Ramen is a very popular noodle soup in Japan. Ramen noodles are originally Chinese style noodles, but it’s been changed and improved over the years. Ramen noodles are made with wheat flour and get their yellow color and distinctly firm texture from the addition of kansui (Japanese alkaline water).
It is not easy to find fresh ramen noodles and I use dried noodle. You can find it in the Asian grocery store. Cook ramen noodles following directions on the packaging.
When all the components are ready we can start serving. Drain well ramen noodles, then transfer the noodles to the bowls. Add tofu, shiitake mushrooms and kimchi.
Spicy tangy Sum Yum kimchi from my favorite Living Goodness brand works surprisingly well here. If you want to make your ramen even hotter, you can try adding more kimchi. All the flavor of the kimchi goes right into the stock and noodles. Chinese cabbage, pak choy, spring onion and mild chili fermented using authentic Korean recipe that been stolen by kiwi. A jar of the authentic good stuff. This is interesting fact that the process of fermentation of kimchi not only enhances the taste but also creates healthy bacteria, Lactobacillus which is required by the body to keep a healthy state of intestinal flora. Therefore, I try to add more fermented foods to my daily menu.
Add the hot soup to the bowl. I recommend you to use for this ramen good quality stock with a rich depth of flavor. It can be brown beef stock, brown chicken stock or dashi.
Place half of pickled egg on the top, sprinkle ramen soup with scallion and sesame seeds.
IngredientsFor Purple Pickled Eggs:
- 4 free range eggs, soft boiled or hard boiled
- 2 cups finely sliced red cabbage
- 1/4 of a big red onion, sliced
- 1/2 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 Black cardamom
- 4 Cloves
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Pinch of red chili flakes
- 1,5 Cup hot water
- 1/2 Cup red vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1,5 Tsp Himalayan salt
+ Glass Jar (I used 0,7 liter Jar)
- Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 6 minutes for a soft-boiled egg and 15 minutes for a hard-boiled egg. Drain eggs and place to cool in cold water for 5 minutes then peel gently.
- Heat frying pan and toast mustard seeds, cardamom, and cloves for about few minutes or till fragrant. Add 1,5 cup hot water, bay leaves, onion, chili flakes and finely sliced cabbage. Heat until it just comes to a boil. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar and mix well. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Place half of cabbage in the jar, add eggs and cover with remaining cabbage with liquid. Place a lid on the jar. Once it has cooled to room temperature, refrigerate. Let pickles rest minimum at least 24 hours before eating.
IngredientsFor Noodle Soup:
- 150g Firm tofu, drained
- 2 Tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil or ghee for tofu frying
- 3 Individually wrapped bundles of dried ramen noodles
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 Garlic clove, chopped
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 Tsp sesame oil
- 1 Liter (4 cups) Good quality stock with a rich depth of flavor
- 6 Fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- Sum Yum kimchi from Living Goodness, as taste
- Spring onion, finely sliced
- Soy sauce as taste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp Toasted sesame seeds
- Boil a large pot of water and cook ramen noodles follow directions on the pack. Place cooked ramen in cold water.
- Cut tofu into chunks about 1cm thick. Coat tofu with a thin layer of cornstarch in the shallow dish. Remove excess of starch. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil or ghee. Fry tofu on each side till golden and crispy.
- To prepare the stock, heat sesame oil in saucepan over medium-low heat. Sauté the ginger, onions, and garlic. When they are translucent and fragrant, pour the stock into the saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Strain the stock at this stage using the fine-mesh strainer and remove onion garlic and ginger. Then back saucepan with stock to medium heat add thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes. Season soup with a pinch of salt and few tablespoons of soy sauce.
- Drain well ramen noodles, then transfer the noodles to the soup bowls. Add tofu, shiitake mushrooms and kimchi. Pour in the hot soup, place half of pickled egg on the top, sprinkle with scallion and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.