Ramen is fast becoming a new foody trend, with lots of new places opening up in town serving delicious bowls of noodles swimming in sweet-sour stock. Unfortunately the key component of traditional ramen is a dollop of sizzling pig fat (along with boiled bones to make the stock), so I can’t indulge in the real deal very often. But I’ve made a pretty good take on it at home a few times, perfect for cold nights and very healthy! It gets its body from marinated crispy-fried tofu, and the addition of an egg or two, swirled into the stock, makes it even more filling.
- Portion of your favourite noodles - I love these ones
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour + extra for dusting
- 1 pack firm tofu
- 1/2 pack mixed stir-fry vegetables - I like a mix with baby corn, spring onion, beanshoots, soybeans, cabbage and carrot.
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 egg (optional)
- Mix the seasonings (soy, rice vinegar ,mirin, sugar) in a small bowl.
- Bring 1 litre of water to a simmer in a pan. Add half of the seasoning mixture. Mix the cornflour with a little water to form a paste and stir in too.
- Add the vegetables (and chilli, if using) and noodles to the pot. They should only take 5 minutes to heat through and soften, a little longer if using dried noodles.
- Meanwhile slice the tofu into 1cm slices, blot to remove excess moisture, dust with extra cornflour and fry off in vegetable or sesame oil. When it's becoming golden and crispy, add the remaining seasoning and cook for a minute more, turning the tofu, to give a tasty glaze.
- If using the egg, break it into a jug and whisk to combine. Keeping the soup at a simmer, pour the egg into the water in a very thin stream, stirring with a chopstick as you do to make ribbons. This gives the soup extra texture and thickness.
- Ladle into a bowl and top with the crisp tofu.