Harvest and Honey

An open-ended love letter, culinarily inspired.

the barque of millions of years

Leave a comment

Quick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute EggIMG_1208 Quick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute EggQuick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute EggQuick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute Egg Ra.

The god who created everything. Representing sunlight, warmth, growth. In ancient Egypt, Ra was known as the Sun God and was a most powerful deity – central in his positioning in the Egyptian pantheon. Worshipped more than any other God, the pharaohs would often attach themselves to Ra in one way or another in an attempt to be seen as the earthly embodiment of the revered Sun God.

 

Ram.

As the most common type of memory found in computers and an acronym for “random access memory,” Ram is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly. Also referred to as, “main memory.”

 

Rame.

Rame is the hamlet between Rame Head and the village of Cawsand in South East Cornwall. It is situated in the Rame peninsula. Rame is thought to mean “the high protruding cliff,” or possibly, “the ram’s head.”

 

By the time I actually managed to successfully (emphasis on “fully”) Google “The history of Ramen,” I’d almost given up on the whole thing altogether. Each time I sat down at the computer to do my mini research session for this recipe and post, I was interrupted in some way by something, never able to even finish typing my topic before my attention was abruptly dragged away in another direction.

MOMMY!!! Easton stole my Barbie!!

Mommmmmm!! I would like a drink and a snack, please.

Mommy Pay! Mommy Pay! (translation: Mommy play)

Mommy I spilled my drink. 

Sigh.

IMG_1225 Quick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute EggIMG_1227 Quick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute Egg

I try to avoid concentrating too much of my blog’s content on motherly musings, not wanting to wear my readers out with one parenting tale after another. But sometimes you have to call a spade a spade, and I’m calling spade today. Or “Mom,” rather. Maybe I’m calling Mom. It’s my primary calling card, after all. Yes, I really should call my Mom. Wait, what?

It’s days like today, when I have every intention of hunkering down and focusing on my work – on getting things done, checking boxes, crossing t’s and dotting i’s, on marking things off on the ole’ to-do list and what have you – it’s days like this when life always seems to have other things in mind. Mama said there’d be days like this though, right? She said that, the proverbial Mama. She was right, too. My battle with Google earlier is evidence to her point. Yes, there’d be days like this my Mama said.

The bright side? I learned a few things today that I assumedly wouldn’t have otherwise, what with all of the sun gods and random access memories and small towns in Cornwall (I’ve always wanted to go there!). These are things I probably wouldn’t have given a thought today, had my pitiful and highly erratic research session not been so choppy and interrupted as it was … bless my kids’ hearts. I set out to do a bit of research about the history of ramen noodles, a dish of which I am so very fond, and I wound up learning a few other tidbits of information on the side, for no extra charge. So, the learning was a bright side I suppose. I have effectively scrapped my initial plan to delve into the bizarre and interesting history of ramen making and instead, here I am pseudo-whining about a Google session gone haywire. Funny how things turn out, really. The ramen story will have to wait until another time, until a later post … It’s just not in the cards today.

Weird.

Quick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute EggQuick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a Seven-Minute Egg

Responsible for watching over all creation, the ancient Egyptians believed that it was Ra’s duty to sail across the heavens each day in his boat called, “the Barque of Millions of Years.” Each morning, when Ra emerged from the east, his barque was referred to as “Madjet,” which meant “becoming strong.” But by the end of the day, the boat was called, “Semektet,” meaning … you guessed it … “becoming weak.” It was believed that Ra died at the end of every day, sailing on to the underworld and leaving the moon in his place to light up the world, only to be reborn at dawn again the next day. I can’t help but chuckle a little as I write this. If all of this isn’t a fantastic metaphor for what it feels like to live a day in the life of a mom, I don’t know what is.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go charter my own barque. I’ve got a little more sailing to do today.

 

Quick-Fix Spicy Ramen with Tofu, Mushrooms and a 7-minute Egg RECIPE

I am not an authority on noodles, Ramen or otherwise. So, I’m fine with admitting that this recipe isn’t totally authentic. Real-deal ramen can take hours, even days, to create, as the broth itself takes many ingredients and much tending and time to perfect. As you might have gathered from my weird anecdotal Googling story above, I don’t always have the patience and/or time to attack a method so involved as Ramen making, even given my love of cooking. It’s just not realistic for me. As such, this method is a dream come true. The recipe here is my adaptation of Pinch of Yum’s recipe which was an adaptation of Mandy’s, of the amazing Lady and Pups blog. It’s brilliant and I’m so thrilled to have found it. Essentially, the magic lies in the uber flavorful miso paste that is used to enhance the broth. You simply combine a handful of ingredients in your food processor and in mere seconds, you have a powerful flavor agent that does wonders for a simple noodle bowl, helping it to impressively mimic a bowl of slow-cooked ramen. Again, brilliant.

Miso is very hit or miss when it comes to availability; some of my stores have it, other do not. I ordered it for this photo shoot/recipe testing right off of Amazon and I got it the same day – so so easy. Every other ingredient can be found at your local supermarket, including the nori. Also, you can use extra firm tofu cut into large pieces/chunks and brown it up in a wok/skillet or, as I have pictured here, you can opt for soft tofu and serve it in a more silken, crumbled fashion. Up to you here. Either way, enjoy. This one is a stunner.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

for the miso paste: 

1 small onion

1/2 cup red miso

1/2 cup white miso

2 tablespoons sambal oelek, or more or less or none at all if you don’t want it spicy (chili garlic sauce)

5 cloves garlic

2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped nori (roasted seaweed)

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

 

for the ramen:

12 – 15 ounces tofu

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 eggs

5 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms , sliced

3 – 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable, if you want to keep it vegetarian)

2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk

6 ounces ramen noodles

sliced scallions, cilantro and nori for garnish

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Place all of the miso paste ingredients together in a food processor until you have a smooth paste (will be thick). You will probably use around half of this mixture for this recipe, but the rest can be used for countless other things (flavoring mayo, stir-frys, creating compound butters for steaks and roasted chickens, etc.).

Press as much moisture out of the tofu as possible, using paper towels or a tofu press. Heat the oil in a large pot set on medium heat and cook the tofu until very slightly browned, breaking it up into bits and crumbles as you go. Add 1/2 cup of the miso paste and stir to coat. Cook for about a minute and transfer to a plate.

In the same pot, add the sliced mushrooms and about a tablespoon of the miso paste. Stir fry until golden brown. Add the soy milk and the stock and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Add about 1 cup of the miso paste into the broth and stir to combine it and to incorporate it into the liquid. If you want to make it more traditional and “broth like,” you can strain the paste into the liquid by pushing it through a fine sieve as you lower it down into the hot broth, dissolving the paste and keeping the solids out. But in no way did I ever care or think about or notice the “solids” when I tested this recipe, so I don’t think this step is necessary. But do it if you wish!

Taste the soup now and adjust for seasoning. I recommend adding a good splash of soy sauce at this point.

For the 7-minute eggs, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs. Cook for exactly 7 minutes. Run under cold water for about 30 seconds. Peel while the eggs are still warm (easier this way). Slice in half lengthwise to serve.

Cook the ramen noodles according to package directions.

To assemble the ramen bowls, place some ramen noodles into the bottom of four serving bowls and ladle some of the hot soup over top (as much as you want). Top each with eggs (one per), tofu, sliced scallions, cilantro and some shredded nori, if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Author: Harvest & Honey

Lauren McDuffie is a freelance food and travel writer, photographer, stylist, cookbook author, and award-winning food blogger. She lives in Indianapolis, IN with her husband, Lucas, and two children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s