Spicy Miso Ramen Noodle Soup
I love ramen soup and I'm not talking about the instant kind—though I did love a bowlful now and then during college. I mean the real ramen that you can get in Japanese and Korean noodle bars. Ramen noodles, especially when they're freshly made can be amazing. They're worlds apart from the instant kind. Whenever I feel a little under the weather or I just crave a hot bowl of soup, my go-to dish for ultimate soothing power is a bowl of ramen.
I used to be obsessed with having ramen for lunch. I used to go out to eat ramen at least once or twice every week when I worked in New York City. There are countless noodle bars, ranging from cheap to very pricey. But they all offer the classic broths for ramen, including salt broth, soy sauce broth, and miso broth. They even have cold ramen served with dipping sauces. My favorite is the miso broth, which also comes in a spicy version. It's the soup I turn to for a good sinus clearing! This is why ramen is the perfect cold remedy soup.
When making ramen at home, I like to use the noodles from the instant packet since fresh ramen is not always easy to procure. My broth is just a simple homemade chicken stock. Ramen soup can include many garnishes, including sliced pork belly (chashu), boiled egg, bamboo shoots, scallions, nori (the dried sheet of seaweed used for sushi), pickled ginger, and much more. I top mine with kimchi, shiitakes, scallion, and wakame seaweed. The spiciness in my recipe comes from sriracha sauce—you could also use chile-bean sauce or chile oil. This is the great thing about ramen, i.e. it's completely customizable. It's what I love about it the most.
Spicy Miso Ramen Noodle Soup1 package instant ramen noodles, flavor packet discarded
1 tablespoon wakame seaweed
2 cups chicken broth
1-inch piece ginger, julienned
1-inch piece carrot, julienned
3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
1/3 cup kimchi
1 cup baby spinach
1 to 2 tablespoons low-sodium white miso paste
1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 scallion, sliced
toasted sesame oil, for serving
shichimi tōgarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder), for serving
toasted sesame seeds, for serving
1 boiled egg, halved
In a small saucepan, cook ramen noodles according to package directions.
In a small bowl, reconstitute the wakame by pouring a ladleful of hot water over it.
Drain the noodles and the wakame, and arrange them in your large soup bowl.
In the same small saucepan, heat broth until steaming hot. Add ginger and cook for 1 to 3 minutes.
Add the carrot and mushrooms, and continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange the sliced chicken breast, kimchi, and spinach in your soup bowl, adding them in small groupings.
In a small bowl, whisk the miso paste and the sriracha together with a ladleful of hot broth.
Remove the pot of hot broth and vegetables from the heat, and pour in the miso-sriracha mixture, stirring to combine.
Carefully ladle some of the vegetables from the pot into your soup bowl, and pour all the broth over top.
Top the soup with scallion. Drizzle some sesame oil over top. And sprinkle with some shichimi tōgarashi and sesame seeds. Place a boiled egg half in the center. Serve immediately. Yield: 1 serving.