BLACK SESAME & SHIITAKE RAMEN WITH CHARRED CHILLI OIL

Cuisine - - GUEST CHEFS -

SERVES 4

Mak­ing your own ramen noo­dles us­ing a pasta ma­chine is great if you have the time, but you can use bought dried ramen for this recipe too. As well as work­ing per­fectly with the ramen, the charred chilli oil is also a great ad­di­tion to fried eggs, stir fries and soups.

FOR THE RAMEN PASTE

4 ta­ble­spoons black sesame seeds

4 ta­ble­spoons white sesame seeds

2 ta­ble­spoons miso paste

4 large gar­lic cloves, crushed

Toast the black and white sesame seeds to­gether in a pan over medium heat.

Re­move from the heat and pour into a mor­tar and pes­tle. Grind un­til crushed then add the miso paste and gar­lic and con­tinue to grind un­til a rough paste is formed.

FOR THE ALKALINE RAMEN NOO­DLES

½ cup bak­ing soda (you’ll need only

1½ tea­spoons for each batch of noo­dles)

2 cups flour plus ex­tra to sprin­kle

1 tea­spoon salt

Pre­heat the oven to 130℃. Spread the bak­ing soda onto a bak­ing paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 1 hour. This process changes the chem­i­cal makeup of the bak­ing soda, turn­ing it into an alkaline salt, which makes for a springy noo­dle that won’t soften in the hot broth.

In a mixing bowl, com­bine 1½ tea­spoons of the baked bak­ing soda with the flour and salt. Slowly pour in ½ cup wa­ter while stir­ring to cre­ate a dry, flaky mix­ture.

Tip out onto a bench and knead un­til it is a smooth and co­he­sive ball. Cover in plas­tic wrap and let rest for at least 30 min­utes.

Once rested, use a rolling pin to flat­ten the dough to 1cm thick­ness be­fore pass­ing it through a pasta roller un­til it is about 3mm thick.

Sprin­kle the dough lightly with flour be­fore us­ing a sharp knife to cut into thin noo­dles. Store in an air­tight con­tainer un­til ready to use.

FOR THE CHARRED CHILLI OIL (MAKES 2 CUPS)

3 red chill­ies

2 cups canola oil

2 gar­lic cloves, crushed

1 ta­ble­spoon Korean red pep­per flakes (gochugaru)*

Blacken the chill­ies over hot coals, a gas flame or in a hot oven. Slowly heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the charred chill­ies, gar­lic and red pep­per flakes. Keep over a low heat for 30 min­utes to an hour then re­move from the heat and pour into a ster­ilised jar.

*Avail­able at Asian food stores

FOR THE RAMEN BROTH

6 whole dried shiitake mush­rooms charred chilli oil (recipe above)

1 onion, thinly sliced

4cm piece gin­ger, peeled, thinly sliced

into match­sticks

6 ta­ble­spoons ramen paste (recipe above)

2 ta­ble­spoons mirin

6 ta­ble­spoons rice wine vine­gar

3 ta­ble­spoons fish sauce

2 cups bok choy or leafy green of your choice,

roughly chopped

200g home­made alkaline noo­dles (recipe above)

or store-bought ramen noo­dles sliced fresh chilli and sesame seeds to serve

Put the shiitake in a bowl and cover with 500ml warm wa­ter to re­hy­drate. Re­serve this wa­ter to use in the broth.

In a large saucepan, heat 3 ta­ble­spoons of the charred chilli oil, add the onion and gin­ger and fry un­til soft. Add half the shiitake and the ramen paste and con­tinue to fry over medium heat. Lower the heat and add the mirin, vine­gar and fish sauce. Pour in the re­main­ing shiitake and their liq­uid as well as an ad­di­tional 1.5 litres wa­ter. Sim­mer for 1 hour, then set aside un­til ready to eat.

Once you’re ready to eat, bring the broth up to a sim­mer and add the bok choy or leafy green be­fore low­er­ing the heat and leav­ing for 7-10 min­utes for the veg­eta­bles to cook.

Mean­while, bring a sep­a­rate saucepan of wa­ter to the boil, add the noo­dles and cook for 2 min­utes. Drain the noo­dles and di­vide evenly among 4 bowls be­fore pour­ing over the hot ramen broth and gar­nish­ing with sesame seeds, sliced fresh chilli and 2 ta­ble­spoons per bowl of charred chilli oil.

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