So I finally rolled off a client last week so inside I’m all like…
But in reality I look like…
And then I realize we’re about to work late nights yet again so I’m all like…
But if Busy Season has taught me anything, it’s to live every last free unscheduled second like it’s Mardi Gras, Christmas, and the World Cup all rolled into one (ie. lots of running around yelling at the top of my lungs and emptying my wallet of its contents). But since we’re all still broke out here….how bout I just make a nice dinner?
As a little celebration, we’re gonna do something a little bit more upscale. Ramen is still trending out here in NYC with the likes of Ippudo and Yuji Ramen still being popular spots and newcomers Bassanova continuing to expand diners’ options past the usual Tonkatsu, or worse…*dun dun dun* the instant Maruchan variety of our college days. Alas, the wait at Ippudo averages 2 hours (unless you’re funemployed in which case you can hit the odd hours when it’s dead in there) and there’s no way you have energy to ride the L Train into Brooklyn to find that mythical hole-in-the-wall. No matter. Our versions gonna be better using the last pieces of the Red Snapper we’ve had for 2 prior dishes (the Tea-Steamed version here and the Filipino Sour Broth here) as well as a minimal number of ingredients and of course, some homemade broth. Again, simplicity is key.
2 pots (1 for boiling broth and noodles, 1 for poaching your egg)
Last remaining pieces of our Red Snapper, in my case, it was the fleshy sides and the back bone (you can buy your own fillets too if you’d like)
1 bunch Japanese ramen (they usually come nicely bundled but if you’d like to use the instant kind, go for it!)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Soy sauce or Tamari
Salt & Pepper
1/2 – 1 c. Dashi stock (opt.)
Other toppings like seaweed, sesame, or Bonito flakes (opt.)
1) Heat a pot of water on high so that by the time you’re cooking your fish, it’s hot enough to cook the noodles in. Place your fish back bone and other bits in here for your broth. Heat more water in another smaller pot if you have it for your poached egg later on.
2) Slice the fish to a size that fits your bowl (in my case, around 5″ x 3″) keeping in mind the fact that it will shrink as it cooks. Score the fish on the skin side to prevent it from curling. Season with salt & pepper on both sides.
3) Heat a pan on medium high, squirt a little oil, and place your fish, skin-side down (make sure your pan is hot at this point to prevent sticking). Fry for 2 – 3 mins., flip, and fry for another 1 – 2 mins.
4) While you’re cooking the fish, quickly chop up your scallions and any other toppings you’d need. If your water is nice and hot (the one with the fish broth in), toss in your ramen noodles and some dashi if you’ve got some. This’ll up the umami-ness of your dish.
5) Once your noodles and fish are done, plate by placing noodles at the bottom of the bowl and ladling some broth halfway up. Place your fish on top and any toppings. Quickly poach an egg (video tutorial here) and place this at the very top. Finally, drizzle a bit of soy sauce on top.
Authentic ramen recipe? Nope. This was borne out of necessity and the need for some good soul-warming food. Give yourself 5 minutes to reflect on where your life is currently headed, then dive in and try not to think of how your next client just yet. As always, eat well, live better friends!