Recipe: lobster miso ramen
As last week wound down, we took advantage of our proximity to decent trails and got Neva out on the snow again. Even if the snow isn’t ideal, it’s good for her to get regular training and exercise on and in the snow. Eventually, we’d like to get her on some of the dog-friendly nordic trails in Crested Butte this season. On Friday, she had doggy day care so I could run errands on the flats. While in line at a store, I witnessed an argument break out among three people in the next line over. Each party behaved badly. Each party escalated the conflict. Eventually there was a gesture, profanities, a shove, a retaliatory shove. These three adults – well into their 60s and all of them strangers to one another – were no better than squabbling children. As soon as the shoving began, I stepped forward and broke it up. “What the hell is wrong with people?” I asked Jeremy as we drove up the canyon.
a fine day for a ski with the pup
someone needed a bath after a good day at doggy daycare
After giving Neva a bath outside, we found ourselves asking that question again the moment we turned on our public radio station and heard the news headlines. My social networks had exploded with expressions of grief, horror, anger, fear, blame, hope, sympathy, self-righteousness, ignorance… I closed my laptop and exhaled my frustrations, “What is WRONG with people?!” In the morning, we opted to remove ourselves to the high country where we could scout out the snow conditions. Neva stayed home to rest as she was still exhausted from her daycare exertions. It didn’t matter that the snow was thin and covered in rocks in places. It didn’t matter that there was windslab on some slopes and that it was warm enough for the snow to stick to and clump on our skis. I just wanted to get outside and sort through my feelings, my thoughts. Jeremy is the only person I can count on to speak rationally, thoughtfully, and sensibly most of the time. We both benefited from the exercise, getting outside and having the backcountry to ourselves, and being able to share our thoughts quietly with one another.
putting away the climbing skins
a slabby, sticky, sloppy snowpack
We spent the rest of the weekend working and giving wide berth to frothing-at-the-mouth Facebook comment fights. It was a good time for comfort food. A couple of years ago, I had received a lobster ramen recipe from the PR machine of a local chef. Lobster ramen sounds divine, right? I mean, there is lobster – and then there is ramen. Boom! But after reading through the recipe, it wasn’t what I was craving. I think my Asianness demanded more Asian-y flavors, and this recipe was not only heavy on European interpretation, but it was also ridiculously involved. So I sat on the idea of lobster ramen until I found something more in tune with my tastes. Lobster miso ramen delivers on the flavors, textures, and it can be quite simple and quick to make.
toasted nori, white beech mushrooms, cooked ramen, green onions, hondashi granules, white miso paste, butter, lobster
You can probably find most of the ingredients at a typical grocery store that has a well-stocked Asian food aisle. For dashi (bonito fish soup stock), I use hondashi instant granules because they store so easily in my refrigerator. That’s something you probably need to get from an Asian grocer. As for the ramen, I had some leftover dried ramen to move from my pantry since my search for fresh ramen noodles at the Asian grocery store came up empty. I also read that curly ramen is better for miso broths because the miso tends to cling to those crooks in the noodles.
simmer the dashi and add the mushrooms and cooked lobster meat
When the lobster meat is warmed through, temper the miso paste with a little of the dashi. Whisk it until smooth and then add a little more dashi to the miso. You need to loosen up the thick miso paste before adding it to the dashi or else you will get chunky bits of miso floating about the soup. Stir the miso liquid back into the soup.
tempering the miso with dashi
add the diluted miso to the saucepan
So that took all of a few minutes to do, assuming your lobster was cooked and shelled (if not, address the lobster first). Divvy up the cooked ramen in your serving bowls and ladle hot soup over the noodles. Throw in some of those wonderful mushrooms while you’re at it and arrange the lobster meat on the noodles. Tuck a couple of squares of toasted seaweed on the side. You can garnish the ramen with whatever strikes your fancy. I am particular to sautéed greens (bok choy, spinach, napa cabbage, Chinese broccoli), kimchi, mushrooms, and a poached egg. I’ve seen lots of boiled eggs served with ramen, but for me, there is nothing more enticing than the oozing golden yolk mingling with the miso broth and kimchi spices.
ladle soup over the ramen
add green onions, butter, lobster, kimchi, bok choy, fish cake, toasted seaweed
last but not least, a poached egg
Even if you made this without the lobster (maybe use shrimp instead), the bowl is filled with so many goodies and flavors that you are still guaranteed a most excellent time. For me, the broth is what makes the dish. The noodles I used were mediocre at best, but I have no doubt that I will tackle fresh ramen someday, or at least buy fresh ramen noodles. What I love about this recipe is how much happiness you can get for a pretty minimal time investment. And when you sit down to slurp the noodles and sip the miso broth, you might just start feeling better about the world.
let the yolk run free!
get in mah belleh
Lobster Miso Ramen
from The Aimless Cook
3 cups dashi
1 cup mushrooms (white beech, shimeji, enoki, etc.)
1-2 cups lobster meat, cooked (steamed or boiled in shell, then shelled) and cut into large pieces
1/4 cup shiro miso (white miso paste)
2 serving ramen noodles, fresh or dried
1 sheet toasted nori (seaweed), cut into quarters
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 tbsp butter
other garnishes (kimchi, sautéed bok choy or greens, corn, fish cake, mushrooms, etc.)
2 eggs (hard boiled or poached)
Note: I make my dashi from hondashi instant granules using 1/2 tablespoon for 3 cups of hot water.
Simmer the dashi in a medium saucepan, but do not let it come to a boil. Add the mushrooms and lobster to the dashi. Place the miso in a small or medium bowl and whisk a quarter cup of the hot dashi into the miso until incorporated. Whisk in another quarter cup of dashi. Pour the miso mixture into the saucepan and stir until combined. In a separate saucepan, cook the ramen noodles in boiling water (should only take a few minutes). Drain the noodles and divvy them up between serving bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles and distribute the lobster and mushrooms in each bowl. Tuck two squares of nori on the side of each bowl. Sprinkle green onions over the noodles and place a half tablespoon of butter on top. Arrange your other garnishes around the bowl and top with an egg. Serves 2.
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