For 2 months, South Africa imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. This meant that for the first 5 weeks we weren’t allowed to purchase takeaways and had to cook every meal ourselves (the horror!). Spicy noodle based dishes and ramen are amongst my favourite dishes and bring back the best memories of my trip to Japan and dinners in France with one of my closest friends who loved warming us up in winter with spicy noodle dishes.
Being a typical member of the FOMO millennial generation, I of course want something the most when I see other people having it on Instagram. And so after a few hours of Googling and a week of waiting for specialty ingredients to arrive, my spicy noodle broth, inspired mostly by my love of ramen, was born…
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp crushed or ground ginger
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp chilli paste
- Optional: 2 tbsp spice mix (I used a Japanese spice mix from Che Gourmet)
- Handful dried lime leaves
- 2 tbsp dried red chillies
- 7 chicken stock cubes
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 small can coconut cream
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 baby bok choy plants
- 1 pack shiitake or oyster mushrooms (wouldn’t recommend regular button mushrooms as they don’t add the right texture)
- 6 boiled eggs
- 4 egg noodle nests/ramen noodle nests
Dissolve chicken stock cubes in 800ml boiling water in a measuring jug or bowl. The amount of stock varies by the type of stock used, with the goal being to get 4 cups of stock.
Saute the spring onion, 1 tbsp spice mix, ginger, chilli paste and dried chillies in the olive oil in a medium sized pot on medium heat until the mixtures starts to brown slightly. Add in the tomatoes and stir until softened and slightly browned. Pour in 4 cups of the prepared chicken stock, 2 cups of boiling water then add in the lime leaves and 1 tbsp spice mix and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat.
Place egg noodle nests into a pot and cover with boiling water until noodles just boiled. Boil for 3 – 5 minutes until noodles are just cooked. Drain the noodles, lightly wipe the pot with a dishcloth, and place noodles back into the pot, cover but ensure there is some space for steam to release, and set aside.
Boil eggs for about 5 minutes so that they are just done. Remove eggs from hot water and place into a bowl with ice (to help with peeling) and set aside.
Once broth has been simmering for 15-20 minutes add in the bok choy and mushrooms and stir in the coconut cream, 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce and 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Leave to simmer for another 10 minutes. At this point feel free to taste the broth and adjust the flavour profile – if it isn’t already salty from the stock, add in 1 tbsp soy sauce and add in more dried chillies, spice mix and lime leaves to suit your preference.
Whilst the broth is simmering peel the eggs and place in a separate bowl.
Dish out noodles and egg (or any other protein used) into a bowl and ladle broth over.
Enjoy with a glass of sake or a shochu cocktail!
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