Every time we go to Montevideo, we try to find new ethnic restaurants, because there isn’t much variety here in Punta. In our last trip, we read on TripAdvisor about a Japanese restaurant that wasn’t just your standard sushi spot, so it was an easy choice for lunch. We ordered ramen, which came in a huge bowl, but wasn’t that great. Ever since that day, I was absolutely certain that I was going to try to make (a better version of) it at home.
There isn’t a RECIPE for ramen. Much like Italian minestrone, ramen appears to be more of a concept than a recipe per se, and you can adapt it however you like. I think that the only crucial elements are the noodles (duh) and a bit of miso. Everything else is pretty much fair game! Is it “authentic”? Of course not! It was made in Uruguay, by a Brazilian lady! 😀 It was pretty tasty, though!
This is how I made it:
200 g ramen noodles
2 hard-boiled eggs
150 g pork, chopped into strips and cooked on the frying pan – you can use mushrooms, beef, a mix of everything, or even that suspicious leftover meat from that other day…
Salt and pepper
1.5 L beef stock – you can use veggie stock if you prefer
2 (generous) Tbsp miso paste – the one I used was artisanal, and a bit more concentrated than normal. Add it to your stock little by little, and taste as you go
Freshly ground ginger, to taste
2 Tbsp mirin – it’s not on the picture, but I decided to add it as I was cooking and it turned out great
1 bunch of spinach
2 turnips, finely cut
This is not your “dump all ingredients into the pan and let it boil” kind of soup.
Boil the eggs and set them aside.
Season the chopped meat with salt and pepper (I also used paprika, as usual). Cook it on the frying pan with a little bit of oil and set aside.
In a medium-sized pan, prepare the stock: heat up the meat (or veggie) stock and season it with salt, pepper, miso paste, grated ginger, and mirin. Let the mixture heat and taste the seasoning. When it is almost boiling, add the chopped spinach and turnips to get them nice and hot. Keep the stock on very low heat, just to keep it hot.
While the stock is finishing cooking, take another pan and prepare the ramen noodles according to the package directions – except if the directions call for a weird “flavor package,” just ignore that part. Drain and set aside.
When everything is ready, it’s time to assemble your ramen: place a bit of the noodles in the bowl, cover with the stock and then arrange the meat strips and half of a hard-boiled egg. Serve immediately.
If you have leftovers, store the components in separate containers. It is important to re-heat it separately, so the noodles don’t get a nasty texture!