A few months ago, I posted my recipe for hot and sour ramen. Although it's pretty awesome, it takes about 50 minutes to put together, and that's assuming you already have some good chicken stock and ramen noodles made. I suppose that's why it hasn't been made again in my kitchen. But hot and sour ramen is so good, I've desperately been searching for an easier way to make it. Well, guess what? I've figured it out and it comes together in under 10 minutes!
But before I tell you the secret, let me give you a little background on my love affair with ramen. As a kid, the highlight of every month was the Saturday my mother and I would make our monthly pilgrimage to Japan Town in San Francisco to stock up on Japanese ingredients. We'd head down to the City from Napa in the morning, driving through the rolling vineyards of Carneros, before skirting the Bay through Marin, and then finally crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into the San Francisco. For my young self, the trip was not only an escape from a humdrum country life, but also a chance to pick up some real ramen imported from Japan.
"Wait, so what's that stuff I have sitting in my cupboard if it's not real ramen" you ask? Put simply, it's junk food. Quick, cheap and satisfying and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is not real ramen. If you've had a chance to eat at Ippudo, Santouka, or one of the many Japanese ramen chains that have been invading North America you know what I'm talking about. For those of you that haven't, don't feel bad. Heck, even I subsisted off the fake stuff during college.
In Japan, ramen is a legitimate genre of food, with tens of thousands of restaurants dedicated to serving their own unique bowl of slurp-worthy noodle soup. While there are dozens of types of noodles, soups and toppings (and an almost infinite number of combinations), one thing they all have in common is that they bear little resemblance to the instant ramen noodles you can buy in the US. At least until now.
That's because Nissin has finally brought their RAOH line of restaurant quality ramen to the US!
So what makes RAOH so good?
Well, first of all, the soup actually tastes like something you'd get in a ramen shop in Japan, not the Westernized flavors of pretty much every pack of instant noodles available in the US. Secondly, the noodles are mind blowingly good. Nissin uses a proprietary process to laminate 3 layers of different dough to get a noodle that's slippery on the outside, yet firm on the inside, with a deeply satisfying chew. Then, the noodles are air-dried. To grasp the importance of this, you first have to know that most instant noodles are deep fried to make them cook faster at home. This not only ruins the texture of the noodles, it also makes most instant noodles extremely high in saturated fat. Air-dried noodles on the other hand retain the texture of fresh noodles and contain very little fat.
So back to my secret for making Hot and Sour ramen in under 10 minutes! As you may have guessed by now, the trick is to use a pack of Nissin RAOH Umami Soy Sauce ramen as the base and then adding in a handful of ingredients. The result is a thick savory soup, with a white pepper kick, and palette cleansing tang that tastes like something you'd get in a good noodle shop in Japan. Along with the delightfully chewy noodles and a medley of textures from the mushrooms and bamboo, this bowl of Hot and Sour Ramen is literally a joyride for the senses.
In addition to Umami Soy Sauce RAOH also has Umami Tonkotsu and Umami Miso flavors, which I'll be coming up with tasty preparations for over the next few months, so stay tuned!
P.S. This post was sponsored by our friends at Nissin, but as always, the opinions expressed are my own.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl until the yolk and white are fully combined.
- Cut the enoki mushrooms into thirds, discarding the bottom 1/3 and using the top 2/3rds.
- Trim the stems off the shiitake mushrooms and discard. Then cut the caps into thin slices.
- Drain and rinse the bamboo with cold water.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles, mushrooms, and bamboo and set a timer for 3 minutes.
- While the noodles cook, in a small bowl combine 1/2 cup water with the soup packet from the ramen, black vinegar, potato starch, toasted sesame oil and white pepper, and stir to combine.
- When the 3 minutes are up, add the seasoning mixture and bring to a boil.
- Pour the egg into the pot from high above in a thin steady stream, while moving the stream of egg around the pot to distribute evenly. The ramen is done when the egg has cooked through.
- Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.