Quick Ramen with Tofu, Kale, and Brussel Sprouts by Caitlin
I was a bit spoiled with the noodles I used in this recipe; some Japanese friends who visited me in last fall brought me a huge bag of food from Japan as a hostess gift, and that's where I got the noodles I used. Also included in this bag of Japanese goodies was my favourite ponzu sauce (citrus soy sauce), and some instant microwaveable rice which kind of scares me, so haven't tried yet. I would recommend using either fresh or dried noodles from an Asian grocery store. There's usually lots of choice, just pick what looks good. As a very last resort, the dried instant ramen noodles that are more readily available can be used in this recipe.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, Faux Pho recipe
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ small onion
4 garlic gloves, crushed
1 knob of peeled ginger, about 2 inches
2 ½ cups beef broth
1 or 2 whole dried star anise
1 three or four inch cinnamon stick
2 cups of mixed mushrooms (I used about 1 cup of enoki mushrooms)
2 scallions thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 small block tofu, diced into bite sized pieces*
Thinly sliced green vegetables. I used kale and brussel sprouts. For two people, about 10 Brussel Sprouts and and two big handfuls of kale is what I used.
Noodle Condiments (Add any of the following to taste): fish sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce, fresh basil, thinly sliced serrano chiles, bean sprouts, sliced lime or lemon wedges to squeeze.
*The original recipe called for a 1lb piece of beef eye round sliced crosswise 1/8" thick
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, cut side down, garlic, and ginger. Cook stirring occasionally until garlic is golden, 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, beef broth, sat anise and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer about 7-8 minutes.
Add mushrooms and scallion. Simmer for 2 minutes, then taste and season with salt.
Finally add the green vegetables and cook until still slightly firm and crunchy. You don't want overcooked greens in this soup or it will taste murky and soggy.
Meanwhile, boil ramen noodels until tender but slightly firm. If you are using fresh or dried noodle that aren't the crunchy instant kind, rinse them quickly in cold water after draining to reduce their slimey-ness. Divide the ramen among the bowl you are using. It's best to serve this all at once, don't leave any in the pot because seconds just won't taste as good.
Discard ginger, garlic, star anise and cinnamon (if you want, instead of picking them out of your soup as you eat like I did) Ladle broth into bowls and nestle diced tofu into the piping hot broth.
Serve and top with your choice of condiments.