Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Oriental Fusion Ramen

I've not posted for a while, it's been the summer holidays and I've got out of the loop. It's not that I've not been creating in the kitchen or stopped taking pictures of food to whatsapp Siân, tweet or post on our Facebook page. My partner in crime "Egg" is committed to working full time now so I'm going solo for a bit...I am a bag of chips with no egg!! "Egg, the tasting seat is kept warm and I'm waiting for you!"  I seem to have a backlog of recipes and food experiences to I'll start here. 
My good friend Jen as requested this recipe as she's detoxing, and wants a low calorie meal. 

I've followed numerous recipes for Oriental/Japanese noodle broths before, some I find to be a bit bland if I'm honest, without a kick of chilli or punch of soy which it needs. What I love is they all have an aromatic fragrance which is subtle and cleansing. The method of simply infusing flavours into stock is a  wonderful thing. 

So I've come up with my own recipe after always tweaking others I've followed in the past. And the beauty of this type of dish is you're using mainly storecupboard ingredients, which I also have in. Unlike a stir fry where optimum freshness of ingredients is key. And no laborious chopping or slicing. You can add as little or more of what you like. You can make it veggie, just with more vegetables and shiitake mushrooms it'd still be amazing. I've added all the things I like, it works with any meat. The only thing I would say is make sure you use a tender cut, I've used beef or pork and it can be a bit tough as this broth is so quick from start to finish. 

About 30 mins prep and cooking time.

About a pint to 2 pints of chicken stock (or veg stock), I used a knorr cube
A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, cut into small matchstick pieces
1 red or green chilli, thinly sliced
About half a pack of baby sweetcorn cut lengthways in half
A small bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
1 head of pak choi, finely sliced
2 bundles of ramen noodles (could use any rice or buckwheat noodles)
2 tbsp (or thereabouts) of soy sauce (I like to use kikoman)
2 tbsp (or thereabouts) of sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp ground nut oil
2 chicken breasts cut into narrow strips
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp hoisin sauce
A handful of raw frozen prawns
A sprinkling of sesame seeds

So in a large pan with the stock, start by infusing the ginger and chilli, add the soy sauce and chilli sauce. This dish is all about layering up the flavours, so keep tasting, adding more or little of what you think it needs.

In another small frying/sauté pan/wok add the oil, then on a high heat stir fry the chicken strips with the finely sliced whites of the spring onions and crushed garlic. Now add the Chinese five spice powder, you should start to get some colour and amazing smells! When chicken has cooked add the hoisin and slightly caramelise with pan heat, this will give a lovely glaze. Now turn off heat and set aside. I do this separately as again, it's adds to layering of flavours. I've poached chicken in broth before which is still nice (fine if you're super health concious). But I find the colour of the sautéed chicken more appealing in the whole dish.

Now back to the stock pan, begin by adding the veg. The pak choi, sweetcorn, tops of spring onions. Then add the stir fried chicken from other pan and raw prawns straight from freezer. And lastly the noodles. This should only take about 5 mins, for prawns to change colour and noodles to soften. 
Finally give one last taste to see if it needs more seasoning (soy for the salt) and chilli sauce (for the pepper/heat). Work to your taste buds! 

And here it is the perfect oriental feast, a meal in a bowl, full of flavour and goodness. Serve in a deep noodle bowl. Finish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds...then devour!!! 

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