Nanban: Korean-style Ramen Recipe
Here's a fresh recipe from Nanban, MasterChef winner Tim Anderson's Japanese soul-food restaurant.
Chilled noodle dishes in Japan usually feature udon, soba or somen, not ramen, but one exception is a Korean-influenced dish called reimen ('cold noodles'). And actually, the Korean original, called naengmyeon, uses buckwheat noodles. It's really up to you which to use; I like them both. Surprisingly, this is also really good with instant ramen, the kind you get for 50p a pack (though when I was a kid, they were 10 cents!). Prepared in a hot broth as directed, instant noodles tend to go soft and sad, but if you chill them in ice water when they're just cooked, they firm up nicely and retain a perfect bite.
This recipe is not quite Japanese, not quite Korean, but it is delicious - and simple. A mighty refreshing treat.
1.4 - 1.5L dashi, chilled
3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste), tobanjoan (Chinese chilli-bean paste) or miso mixed with chilli powder to taste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed, julienned
1/2 apple or nashi pear, cored and julienned
50g daikon or radishes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
4 portions thin noodles
freshly ground black pepper
2 spring onions, finely sliced
60g kimchi (optional)
4 tsp garlic oil or sesame oil
4 boiled eggs
1 tbsp sesame seeds
4-6 ice cubes
1 lime or lemon, cut into quarters
If you haven't got dashi already prepared and you're keen to make this, you can use dashi powder to make cold dashi in an instant. Simply dissolve the dashi powder in a little hot water in a bowl, then top up with cold water. Mix the dashi with the gochujang, soy sauce, vinegar and mirin with a whisk until thoroughly blended. Taste and adjust the flavour as needed. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Toss the cucumber, apple or pear and daikon or radishes in vinegar. And now it is simply a matter of assembly.
Cook the noodles al dente, drain and rinse them under cold running water to cool and stop them from sticking together. Put the noodles into wide bowls and pour over the cold dashi broth, then top with the vinegared vegetables. Add the pepper, spring onions and kimchi. Drizzle the garlic or sesame oil around the broth and top each serving with a boiled egg and some sesame seeds. Lastly, add 2-3 ice cubes to each bowl. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.
Use batons of watermelon in place of pear, or use cucumber-chilli ice cubes in place of normal ice.
Recipe extracted from Nanban: Japanese Soul Food by Tim Anderson (Square Peg Publishing, 2015)