I finally paid a visit to the H&L Supermarket – the Asian market here in Charleston. I may have squealed a little when I saw that they have an entire row dedicated to just noodles. #heaven
As I walked up and down the aisles, certain products sparked memories from our delicious eats throughout Tokyo and Kyoto. I’ve got Japan on my mind and I’m ready to go back. Unfortunately, that’s not happening anytime soon so I guess H&L will have to satisfy until then.
Here’s what I picked up from the market:
Hoisin Sauce – actually a Chinese sauce, a Chinese BBQ sauce to be exact. I’ll probably use this in a stir fry, or drizzle over some bok choy
Gyoza Skins – never had Gyoza? Well, you haven’t lived then. These are little pan-fried dumplings often filled with pork and veggies. And I cannot wait to make them.
Buckwheat Noodles (naturally) – for the countless amount of ramen meals we’ll be eating.
Bok Choy & Cilantro – Because they looked good
Tofu – super cheap!
Red Miso Paste – Because my shiro miso is getting low and I wanted to experiment with a different flavor.
*I still consider myself a novice when it comes to Japanese food, so if you have any ideas of great ways to use these ingredients, please do comment below.
After my H&L expedition, I returned home with a ravishing appetite that only this Miso Ramen could satisfy. I wanted miso soup with all it’s seaweed-tofu glory, but I also wanted noodles, hence, Miso Ramen. Now, I did skip a step in making the miso which traditionally calls for cooking kombu (dried kelp) and bonito (dried fish flake) in water, before mixing in the miso paste. Instead, I used dried seaweed (aka wakame) which gave it that touch of sea flavor miso soup is known for. Do this if you don’t have kombu and bonito at home, or if you can’t get it. It still makes a wonderful soup.
I also recommend using fresh noodles when you can. I bought fresh noodles at the Farmer’s Market the day before, so I had them on hand. They are made by Rio Bertolini here in Charleston and supply to many restaurants looking to bring homemade noodles/pasta to their menus. Having fresh pasta on hand isn’t always possible, but I urge you to take advantage of it when you can. You’ll see why.
20 Minute Miso Ramen
What You Need
2 cups water (plus more for steaming)
2 TBS red miso paste
1-2 TBS wakame (dried seaweed)
1/5 of a whole tofu block
1 small bunch of bok choy, stalks separated
1/3 cup fresh noodles (if using dried noodle, start cooking noodles along with step #1)
Cilantro for garnish
What To Do
-Rinse your bok choy and prepare to steam it. Steam for about 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
-While bok choy is steaming, bring a pot of water to boil (for the noodle). Also, chop your tofu into small bite size squares and slice your scallion. Set aside.
-Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle. Place wakame and miso paste in the bowl from which you are eating. Once water boils, pour into bowl with miso and wakame and stir until miso paste has dissolved and wakame becomes reconstituted.
-Cook pasta: Once noodle water boils, drop in fresh pasta and cook only 1-2 minutes. If using dried noodles, cooking time will be 5-7 minutes so start this sooner.
-When soup is ready, add tofu and bok choy to your soup bowl. Remove/drain cooked noodles and place in bowl. Top with scallion and cilantro. Enjoy!