1 ½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as maitake, oyster, cremini or shiitake, torn into bite-size pieces
1 to 2 fresh red or green chiles, such as Fresno, thinly sliced (or 3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes)
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more to taste
8 to 10 ounces noodles, such as udon, soba, rice or spaghetti
2 cups herbs (tender leaves and stems), such as cilantro, mint, chives, parsley or a mix, for serving
Sesame seeds, sesame oil or both, for serving (optional)
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots start to turn a nice golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and half the chile, and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, released much of their water and turned a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (A browned mushroom will have infinitely more flavor than an unbrowned mushroom, because the water inside it evaporates and the flavor concentrates. So do not skip this step.)
Add 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar and 8 cups of water. Bring to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until the flavors have melded and the broth tastes good enough to drink (you will be drinking it), 15 to 20 minutes. Season with more soy sauce and vinegar as you like.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. (The timing will depend on the type and brand of noodles, so consult the package.) Add the noodles to the pot with the broth, and let them hang out in there for a minute or two to finish cooking and soak up all that flavor.
To serve, use tongs to divide the noodles and mushrooms among bowls, then ladle the hot broth over the top. Serve with the remaining chile, the herbs and the sesame seeds and oil (if using) for people to dress their own bowls to their liking.
easy Pour vegetable broth into a large pot and place over high heat. Bring to a simmer.
While broth heats up, place onion and ginger onto baking sheet and place under broiler. Cook until lightly charred on top, about 4 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Rotate and cook until charred on opposite sides. Add onion and ginger to broth, along with cinnamon, star anise, cloves. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, adding a bit of water if the mixture reduces too much.
While broth simmers, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water.
Roast one whole onion, No tamari or soy sauce, Used no chicken base bouillon, parboiled all the vegetables separately with the broth. Roasted whole anise in pan along with cinnamon.
2 tablespoons oil1 onion, minced3 cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon minced ginger1 tablespoon minced lemongrass1 tablespoon red curry paste3 tablespoons curry powder½ teaspoon turmeric1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk4 cups veggie stock3 tablespoons fish sauce (optional for vegetarians)1 teaspoon sugar8 ounces egg noodlessalt, to taste2 handfuls raw bean sprouts, washed and trimmedCilantro leaves, for garnish1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for about 6 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Stir in the red curry paste.
Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque. Add the curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions. Divide between 2 soup bowls and set aside.
Taste the soup and season with salt to taste. Divide the soup among your 2 bowls of noodles, and garnish with raw bean sprouts, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
1 oz (30 grams) kombu (dried kelp), about 20 square inches
2 (5-gram) packages katsuo bushi (dried bonito flakes), about 1 cup
Bring cold water and kombu just to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat and remove kombu (saving it for pickled Napa cabbage ). Sprinkle katsuo bushi over liquid; let stand 3 minutes and, if necessary, stir to make katsuo bushi sink. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined sieve or a coffee filter into a bowl. Reserve katsuo bushi for rice with soy-glazed bonito flakes and sesame seeds .
cooks’ notes:• If making stock for miso soup it is not necessary to save the kombu or katsuo bushi. • Stock keeps 4 days. Cool, uncovered, before chilling, covered.
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into thirds and smashed (optional)
8 cups cold water
1 sheet kombu, wiped with a damp cloth
2 tablespoons bonito flakes
1/2 cup mirin
1 cup shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 to 2 squirts sriracha, or pinch of red pepper flakes
Add mushrooms, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass (if using) into a large stock pot along with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add in kombu and bonito flakes, if using. Simmer stock for 2 to 3 hours.
Pour stock into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. (I recommend reserving the mushy, cooked carrots for snacking.) Return stock to the pot.
Add in soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and Sriracha. Stir. Taste for seasoning: Add more soy sauce if you want it saltier, more Sriracha for spice, more brown sugar for sweetness. If the flavor is too strong, add in more water to dilute. Play around until you have a flavorful, balanced broth. Turn down the heat to keep it warm while you prepare your other ingredients.
For the ramen bowl:
1 packet extra-firm tofu, pressed of its moisture
1 tablespoon oil with high smoke point, like peanut
4 packets ramen or udon noodles, preferably fresh
Green onion, sliced
Boil a large pot of water with a pinch of salt. Cook eggs to desired doneness — I like mine cooked for 6 minutes so the yolk is nice and gooey in the middle. Remove eggs from water, keeping it simmering for ramen noodles. Cool eggs, peel, and drop gently into the broth while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
Slice drained tofu thinly. Heat oil in a wok or non-stick skillet until smoking, then layer in the tofu, making sure none are overlapping. Cook for a minute or two until brown on the underside, then flip and cook for another two minutes. Drain tofu on paper towels.
Drop noodles into boiling salted water and cook according to package directions. Drain.
Divide broth between four bowls, then divvy up noodles, eggs (I cut them in half before serving), and fried tofu into broth. Garnish with Thai basil, green onions, and squeezes of lime. Slurp away.
If you want an even heartier bowl of vegetarian ramen, consider adding roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, eggplant, or tomatoes. Cube them, then roast in a 425° F oven with salt and pepper until wrinkled, soft, and caramelized, then add to broth. Makes 4 generous servings
2 cups onions; sliced
2 tablespoon butter
4 cups stock
1/2 cup rice
salt and pepper
Sautée the onions in the butter until tender. Add the rice and the 4 cups of stock with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes then cool, puree, and freeze for later use. A blender is FAR superior in this endeavor. A food processor leaves it too chunky.
Another 4 cups of another liquid, milk, stock, cooking liquid, etc. will be needed to properly reconstitute the base to a soup consistency.
Add whatever turns you on to flavor it. …mushrooms, ham, cooked greens, etc. and even brussle sprouts.
NOTE: Blake made the Brussels sprout soup as reported but discovered something else along the way. I.e, the soup base is some pretty darned good stuff all by itself. It tastes suspiciously like a good risotto but far simpler to make.
Blake used the onion/rice soup base….about two cups, sautéed 18-20 sprouts till they got some good color. I cooled and quartered them and put them back in the pot with about two slices of crumbled bacon. I thinned it with as much milk as necessary and adjusted the salt and pepper. It is definitely a winner.