A Ramen a Day…

Miso Ramen

My first real cooking only required 3 minutes and a blind eye to dehydration. For about two years, everyday after school I broke into a packet of Chicken and Mushroom Ramen prior to Ice Hockey practices or games. When your typical dinner time is pushed back for sports or any other activity for that matter, you need some sustenance to get you through those afternoon hours. Okay, so maybe sustenance isn’t exactly the right word for Ramen packets but I’ll tell you what…for a handful of pocket change there isn’t a whole lot that competes with that flavor (at least that’s what I remember).

But since $14 ramen shops have become as NY as pizza and crowded subways, my idea of delicious noodle soup has changed with the crowds. Still extremely salty, although packed with additional ingredients, these more traditional Japanese ramens are eye-openingly flavorful. One of my favorite spots, Men Kui Tei in the East Village offers some amazing versions, even one including a combo mapo tofu, ramen called “Mabo Men”. But it’s been a while since I’ve last gone. Time to give the homemade version a shot…

Although the most flavorful broths I’ve tried are rich in pork or fish flavor, my broth was  star anise, charred scallion, and miso infuzed that I let simmer for quite sometime. I added in a few flavor additives (soy, siracha, sugar, cilantro) and the depth really came out. Piled in were traditional noodles, napa cabbage, red onion, broccoli, shitakes and hard boiled egg. Topped with a few chopped scallions, my version really hit the spot. Although I think it’s time I head back to Men Kui Tei for the real deal.


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