Smoked mushroom ramen
Ramen has soared in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why: it’s flavourful, comforting and offers endless variety. Smoking the mushroom adds an extra layer of flavour, but if it’s too much work, you can skip this step. I always think that serving ramen is the perfect opportunity to be a bit creative and really show off the ingredients, then everyone can mix them in as they slurp away. Serves 4 Prep 20 mins Cook 1 hr 10 mins 2.5 litres vegetable stock 20 dried shiitake mushrooms 1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped 10cm x 10cm piece of dried kombu,
rinsed (available from souschef.co.uk) 1 tbsp mirin 2 tbsp light soy sauce
FOR THE RAMEN
480g dried ramen noodles (four nests) 1 head spring greens, finely shredded 150g enoki or shimeji mushrooms 150g bamboo shoots
4 medium poached eggs 4 spring onions, thinly sliced togarashi (optional – available in Tesco)
YOU WILL NEED
small handful of cedar, oak or applewood smoking chips
1 Pour the stock into a large saucepan. Add the shiitake mushrooms and spring onions, and bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook gently for 20 mins. Add the kombu and simmer for a further 10 mins, then remove the pan from the heat. Strain the stock into a clean pan and discard the spring onions and kombu, reserving the shiitake mushrooms. Season the broth with the mirin and 1 tbsp soy sauce, then set aside.
2 Remove the stalks from the shiitake and discard, then thickly slice the caps and toss in the remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce.
3 Now for the messy part. Open your kitchen windows and crank up your oven extractor fan. Put the wood chips in the bottom of a stainless-steel pan and set over a high heat until they blacken and begin to smoulder (you can speed the process up by using a kitchen blowtorch if you have one).
4 Set a metal steamer basket on top of the wood chips and arrange the mushrooms slices on top. Cover with a lid and leave for a minute, then remove the pan from the heat. Set the pan and steamer aside, with the lid on, and leave the mushrooms to smoke gently for 30 mins. Meanwhile, get the remaining ingredients ready to assemble.
5 Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook following pack instructions. Drain, then divide between four warmed bowls. Bring the broth to a gentle simmer, add the smoked mushrooms and reheat gently. Add the spring greens, enoki or shimeji mushrooms and bamboo shoots, and return to a simmer. Divide the broth and vegetables between the serving bowls, top each with a poached egg and finish with a scattering of spring onions and a sprinkle of togarashi, if you like.
Recipes adapted from Root & Leaf by Rich Harris (£19.99, Kyle Books) Photography Martin Poole