ramen noodle soup with shiitake in shiro miso broth

by Heguiberto on November 26, 2010

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ramen noodle soup with shiitake in shiro miso broth

ramen noodle soup with shiitake in shiro miso broth

A couple of weeks ago my friend Eric invited me to have lunch with him at a new ramen noodle soup food stall at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. He said that the chef used to work at the restaurant, Nopa, which I had tried and enjoyed a while ago. I don’t remember seeing soup on the menu at Nopa. I wonder why not, as the ramen noodle soup is particularly delicious. I’ve seen it open on Tuesdays for sure and I think the soup shop is there on Thursdays as well. He only serves ramen soups with miso broth for vegetarians, or miso and meat stock for the rest. Perfect!

Obviously, I ordered the one with miso broth.

The soup comes hot, with beautiful fresh and freshly cooked ramen noodles. Swimming among the noodles were shiitake mushrooms, sprouts, wilted collard greens, a boiled egg that was partially cooked and a nori sheet folded into a 3×3 inch square that was half submerged in the soup. Very beautiful presentation! They use disposable biodegradable plastic containers, which I also liked. On the side the chef offers chili oil, chile flakes, shoyu and toasted sesame oil. I used all of them to spice it up some.

I’ve been thinking about this soup since. Fantasizing, really. That soup was divine! I couldn’t let it go, so I decided to make my own version at home. It, too, was amazing. There’s something incredible about the combination of miso, mushroom and nori: sort of earthy and oceanic all at once.

Steven thinks that this would be a great meal for the day after Thanksgiving. It is light for starters. Also, it has a different flavor profile from traditional T-day foods, though it is still “comfort food.” This is especially good for cold weather.

fresh and rehydrated shiitake and rehydrated tremella mushrooms

fresh and rehydrated shiitake and rehydrated tremella mushrooms

ramen noodle soup with shiitake in shiro miso broth

2 stalks celery
1 carrot
1 onion
1 pot of water (about 1 gallon)
2 dry shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 dry tremella mushroom
1lb daikon, cut into 1½ inch rounds
Leaves and stalks from daikon, roughly chopped
4 mustard green leaves, roughly chopped
4 toasted nori sheets
1 lb soft tofu
8-10 tbsp shiro miso (white miso paste)
shoyu/soy sauce
1 scallion, chopped
wedges of roasted acorn squash baked in the oven 20 min with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and a bit of brown sugar as garnish (optional)
300 gr fresh ramen noodles (~11 oz)
2-4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper mix)

Bring a large pot filled with the water, celery, carrot and onion to a boil then simmer for about 15 minutes to create stock. Discard celery, carrot and onion.

Place dry shiitake and tremella (tremella look like dried coral) mushrooms in two separate bowls. Remove tofu from package, rinse then sprinkle with a bit of salt and put it in a third bowl. Add a cup of the hot stock to each of them and soak for about 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms. Cut shiitake into quarters. Do the same with tremella mushroom using a pair of scissors.

Add chopped daikon root to stock pot and bring to a boil. Cook until al dente, for about 12 minutes. Add mushrooms, mustard greens and daikon leaves/stalks in the last couple of minutes. Turn temperature down to simmer.

Transfer about 2 cups of hot broth to a bowl. Add miso and whisk until dissolved. Return to the pot. Add fresh ramen noodles, sesame oil, and shoyu. Taste and adjust flavors with more shoyu and miso. (If you need more miso make sure you dissolve it in a bowl before adding to the soup.) Break apart tofu and add to soup, simmer for a couple more minutes just to warm it through.

To serve, fill each bowl with an assortment of the vegetables and tofu then add broth. Add nori (mine is buried in there for extra marine flavor). Top with a wedge of acorn squash. Sprinkle with chopped scallion. To adjust flavors at the table, have shichimi togarashi, toasted sesame oil, shoyu on hand.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tasteofbeirut November 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

This soup does look great! I am not sure what most of these ingredients are but I trust your judgment! Delicious and easy to make.

Heguiberto November 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Joumana

Is Japanese inspired food common in Lebanon? I think that it was catching on in Texas when I was there in the Nineties. We really enjoy the unusual dried mushrooms for their interesting textures and intense flavors.

Claudine September 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Hello Heguiberto – thanks for stopping by! I love this vegetarian ramen version – have you sometimes made regular dashi broth, since you do occasionally eat fish?
Claudine recently posted..Hainanese Chicken RiceMy Profile

Heguiberto September 30, 2011 at 7:59 am

Claudine,
Yes I have made dashi using kombu, bonito flakes and dried shitake. It is also delicious. I sometimes keep the kombu to eat with rice or add it to a salad. I think the marine flavor the fish flakes and kombu impart to the broth is singular.
Cheers,
Heguiberto

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