Ramen Soup Bowl with Shichimi Togarashi

Ramen Soup Bowl with Shichimi Togarashi
Ramen Soup Bowl with Shichimi Togarashi

Ramen noodles sure bring back memories of hot water from the coffee maker poured over noodles in a cup and a little packet of .... ok, I am still not sure exactly what was in that little packet. Well, this is not your college dorm ramen. In fact, it might be the exact opposite of that.

Ramen gets a bad name in this country. Probably because people associate it with packaged noodles that college kids eat and not the delicious style of Japanese soup. Ramen soup is extremely popular in Japan, and each city has their own variation. In Japan, ramen is made with rice noodles in a meat or fish broth. Soy sauce or miso are often used to flavor the soup and it is topped with sliced pork, dried seaweed and green onions.

In the early 1900's, Chinese merchants working in Japan would pull portable food carts containing dumplings and ramen to sell to workers. These carts were complete with musical horns that would announce their presence. Today, some vendors still practice this using a recording over a loud speaker.

For this recipe we have incorporated levels of flavors to bring the ramen we knew to the next level. Not only is it delicious, but it's also a way to prepare healthy ramen noodles. Our Shichimi Togarashi has a bit of a quick hitting heat that fades quickly but is also complex and savory with hints of citrus and earthiness and is hand blended from black pepper, cayenne, orange zest, garlic, poppy seed, black sesame and nori (Japanese seaweed).

Seaweed such as nori, kelp or kombu pack a variety of health benefits but baby spinach would be a option in this dish if seaweed is not available or preferred.

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Prep Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Category: Soup, Beef
Cuisine: Japanese
Ingredients:
  • 12 oz top sirloin steak
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Shichimi Togarashi
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced kombu seaweed or 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 oz or about 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 packages ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
Instructions:
  1. Combine 2 Tablespoons soy sauce and fish sauce in a dish.
  2. Place meat in a shallow dish or pan and pour the marinade over the meat.
  3. Allow meat to marinate, covered in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour and as long as overnight.
  4. In a skillet, brown the steak on both sides in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil until steak is cooked medium rare to medium. Remove from heat, rest for 5 minutes and thinly slice.
  5. In a soup pot or large sauce pan, heat remaining olive oil to medium high heat.
  6. Add onions and bell pepper to the pot and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add garlic, ginger and Shichimi Togarashi, cook an additional 2-3 minutes until spices become fragrant.
  8. Add 1 cup of the vegetable stock and transfer the mixture to a blender. Pulse until smooth.
  9. Return pureed mixture back to the pot and add the remaining vegetable stock, diced seaweed and Dried Shiitake Mushrooms.
  10. Bring soup to a simmer add rice vinegar, water and remaining 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, continue simmering 8-10 minutes.
  11. Add ramen noodles to the broth and simmer an additional 2-3 minutes until noodles have softened.
  12. Ladle soup into 6 bowls and garnish with equal portions of meat, carrots and radishes.
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