It's Raining [ra]Men

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

"This is healing food." I say the same thing every time I eat a hot bowl of ramen.

What can I say? Japan gets it. They know how to eat well, how to prepare simple delicious meals in a way that still feels smart and not at all contrived. 

I cuddle up to a bowl of this goodness, and things just feel better. My stomach is warm, I feel nourished. The beauty about ramen is that it is very much up for interpretation. 

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

Keeping the flavor profile intact with the usual suspects--shallots, garlic, ginger and scallions--I usually make a kitchen-sink variety, meaning that whatever veggies I have on hand get thrown into the mix. 

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

More often than not, things get topped off with a poached egg. 

Dipping plastic in hot water initially sounds like a bad idea, but trust me on this. Crack an egg in plastic wrap, create a little pouch with it, and place in your hot water. 

No more messy poaching in egg white-cloud water. Shout out to the brilliant Chef Carey Yorio for this.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

While hardboiled is more traditional, the oozy yolk from a poached egg lends an amazing silky texture to the noodles. Think Asian Carbonara.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

And please, always have Sriracha on hand. I practically wear it in a holster while cooking. And even sometimes when I'm not. 

Your Best Ramen in 5 Steps:

1. Boil and season water, cook noodles. Drain, set aside.

2. In a large pot, saute your aromatics: garlic, shallots, ginger, white parts of scallions or leeks. 
Bump up the heat until you're scared of burning something. Deglaze with a bit of lime juice and soy sauce. Scrape the little crispy bits off the bottom of the pan. 

3. Add the rest of your kitchen-sink vegetables, sauté until cooked through and flavors are well developed. 

4. Add in desired amount of desired stock. I use low-sodium vegetable stock, about 1.5 quarts. If you prefer a soupier dish, add more. 

5. Add your cooked noodles back in, turn off the heat. Dish it, top with desired toppings (chives, Sriracha, eggs, whatever you fancy) and enjoy!

*Note: If you want to get fancy, you can line bowls with seaweed before plating. Good times.

*Another note: This dish is proven to taste better in the rain, on your couch, in your most cuddly clothes, with a good movie on. 

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