What is it about ramen that is so comforting and satisfying? Its deep, subtle richness gazing at you while your favorite set of chopsticks gently stir those luxurious noodles trying to catch that fresh crisp crunch of a mung bean sprout. The answer is, all of this sounds good, a dream in fact. I recently discovered it can be just that, a wonderful dream of fresh asian veggies, spices and love. Add some shrimp beef or chicken a few fresh herbs and damn...that's a pretty sweet set up. Heres how you do it. Be prepared for your house to smell amazing as an added bonus. 

  • Seafood Broth-Serves 4-6

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. shrimp peeled/deveined shells removed for broth. Reserve shrimp for poaching at the end.
  • 2 Daikon radish-very rough chop
  • 3 stalks of celery-very rough chop
  • 2 large carrots-roughly chopped
  • 1 white onion-quartered leave skin on
  • 1 bulb of garlic cut in half-leave skin on
  • 3 stalks of lemon grass lightly smash and peel-rough chop
  • 3" piece of ginger, unpeeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Maitake or shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 star anise
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 3 dried chili de arbol
  • 2 packages of ramen noodles (lan be found at your asian market or international isle of your market) Not the ramen you grew up with, look for the real deal found with other asian noodles.

Cashew Paste:

  • 1 shallot
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 lemongrass stalk lightly smashed and peeled (it releases the oils)
  • 1 (2") piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs chili garlic paste
  • 2 tbs peanut oil
  • 1/4c cashews, salted  

In a mini food processor pulse all ingredients have become a nice paste. Reserve for serving ramen.

Toppings: 

  • 8 oz of mung bean sprouts
  • scallion cut on the diagonal 
  • Thai basil
  • Mint
  • Cilantro

In a medium stockpot add shrimp shells, roughly chopped daikon radish, celery, onion, garlic, lemon grass, chilis, mushrooms, and salt. Meanwhile toast the peppercorns, cloves, anise, cardamom and chilis until aromatic about 4 minutes, add to stock pot. Fill with 6 cups of water. Boil and reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 4-6 hours uncovered. Salt broth to desired taste. Strain through large mesh sieve and continue to heat on low until ready to serve. *Broth can be made one day ahead.

Cook ramen according to package directions. Just before serving broth add raw peeled and deveined shrimp to lightly poach shrimp approximately 3 minutes. In each serving bowl, place one serving of noodles in bowl and add a tbs of cashew paste or more if desired. Ladle over broth and enjoy with fresh toppings. 

This is the ramen you always knew you could have, and it made your house smell fantastic! Enjoy! 

 

 

 

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