Let’s Eat: Naruto’s Ramen

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NarutoRamenMany, many years ago, I was an original subscriber to the U.S. version Shonen Jump, and I met this little ninja that quickly became wildly popular in the states. I was happy to meet this scrappy little fellow, but my husband was blown over by everything about him. So much so when I started to learn to cook Japanese food, he begged for Naruto’s ramen. I learned to make Tokyo-style ramen, and this recipe is how I have refined it over the years to retain the flavor of the ramen, but save myself some hours in front of the stove. Fair warning, this is still a time-intensive process; I have simply reduced the number of steps and time spent directly in front of the stove.

Ingredients:

For 4 servings

Dried Ramen noodles: 2 bricks

Soup Stock:
Chicken or Vegetable Stock: 9 cups
Onion: 1 large quartered
Garlic Cloves: 4 peeled
Carrot: Large, roughly cut
Fresh Root Ginger: 3 inches quartered
Scallions: 4
Sake: .5 cup
Shoyu: 4 tbsp

“Cha-shu” (Sliced Pork)
Thin-sliced Pork: about 1.5 lbs
Vegetable Oil: 2 tbsp
Scallions or spring onions: 2 chopped
Fresh Root Ginger: 1 inch peeled and sliced
Sake: 1 tbsp
Shoyu: 3 tbsp
Caster Sugar: 1 tbsp

Toppings:
Hard Boiled Eggs: 2 sliced
Menma: Soaked for 30 minutes and drained
Nori: Sheet broken into peices
Scallion (spring or green onions): Sliced
Fish Cake
Shiitake Mushrooms*
Wakame: Re-hydrated and drained
Pepper
Chili or Sesame Oil
* Add or omit toppings as you see fit

Shiitake with Shoyu:
Shiitake: Dried whole or sliced, 20 whole or about 2 cups sliced
Vegetable Oil: 3 tbsp
Shoyu: 2 tbsp
Caster Sugar: 1.5 tbsp
Sesame Seed Oil: 1 tbsp

  1. Marinate the pork in pork ingredients for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Turn every couple of hours. If the pork marinade is thicker than desired add water 1-2 tablespoons at a time until consistency desired.

ramenbroth

2. Add stock to pot with onion, garlic cloves, carrot, ginger, scallions, and sake. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Continue to cook until broth is reduced by half. Skim off any scum while this cooks. This can take a couple of hours. Strain using a muslin (cheesecloth) or fine sieve into a bowl. This will take about an hour. Discard the leftover vegetables when finished and return 4 cups of the broth to a wok or pot. *You can use more, if you need more servings.

3. Bring soup stock back to a boil and add the shoyu. Add more shoyu if more seasoning is needed.

mushrooms4. Soak shiitake mushrooms over night; a plate will hold the mushrooms down if they continue to float to the top. Save 1/2 cup mushroom broth and drain away the rest. Discard any stalks from the mushrooms. Heat sesame seed oil and stir-fry the mushrooms over high heat for about five minutes. Stir continuously. Reduce heat to low and add mushroom broth, add shoyu and sugar. Cook until almost all of the moisture is gone. Remove from heat, let cool. If using whole mushrooms, slice before serving.

5. Hard boil eggs. Let cool slightly, then peel and slice. Salt eggs slightly and set aside.

pork6. To cook pork, place in shallow pan and cook for approximately 25 minutes at 350. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and thinly slice.

7. Cook ramen noodles according to package directions. If sticking is an issue, stirring constantly will eliminate this. Drain well.

ramen8. To serve, place approximately half a brick of ramen noodles in each bowl. Add 1 cup of the broth. Top with sliced pork, egg, and other toppings as desired.

Enjoy!

Nutrition facts follow, but keep in mind that these will vary based on toppings.

Nutrition Facts 

  4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 548.1
  Total Fat 24.9 g
  Saturated Fat 9.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 4.8 g
  Cholesterol 320.2 mg
  Sodium 1,442.7 mg
  Potassium 631.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 29.0 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
  Sugars 8.2 g
  Protein 39.4 g

 

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Cooking in Thedas: Antivan Pasties

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Antiva_-_Dragon_Age_The_Silent_GroveIn trying to find a finger-food/appetizer and something inspired by Antiva, I had very little canon to go on. Zevran and Ignacio speak with Spanish-esque accents, but Fergus’ wife does not. As a merchant nation, I figured Antiva has access to the largest variety of food stuff.

Into the kitchen I went determined to make something that was similar to an apple-pork pie that I make during apple season and tapas. I wanted some exotic flavors to round out the dish and made myself a rule that I could only use ingredients I currently had on hand. After trial and error, I ended up with the Antivan Pasty. If you do not have all of the ingredients on hand, this can be an expensive dish to prepare.

These pasties are like food crack ~ Alexis, age 16, Zevran fan

I am providing the measurements in two different amounts because a full batch will make enough pasties for four pounds of puff pastry. Alternately, you could bake some of the filling into puff pastry and the rest into pie crusts. Pork pie is very good, and as a meal just needs the addition of a salad to round it out.

I am rubbish at making pie and pastry crusts, so I do not provide the instructions here. If you make your own, you will probably make a tastier crust. Still, I tested with a Pillsbury ready-to-use pie crust and Pepperidge Farms frozen puff pastry and both were good.

Antivan Pasties (full batch)

4 lbs Puff Pastry or 1-2 lbs Puff Pastry and 2-4 Pie Crusts
16 oz. Ground Pork
1 Spanish Onion, diced
1/2 tsp. Saffron, ground
1 tsp. Smoked Spanish Paprika: preferably Pimento de la Vera
2 cups Shredded Potatoes
10 oz. Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (store-bought or prepared at home), optional
6 oz. Tomato Paste
2 cups Water
Queso blanco Cheese, shredded
Egg, optional

Quarter Batch:
1 lb Puff Pastry
4 oz. Ground Pork
1/4 cup Spanish Onion, diced
Dash Saffron, ground
Pinch Smoked Spanish Paprika: preferably Pimento de la Vera
1/2 cup shredded Potatoes
2.5 oz. Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (Optional)
1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Water
Queso Blanco Cheese, shredded
Egg, optional

1. Add pork and onion to pan. Cook pork through. You do not need to add oil to the pan, the pork provides the oil. Drain excess fat. Let cool.

cookpork

Cook your pork all the way through. Don’t eat pork? Substitute ground turkey or chicken. Just don’t use ground beef; beef is too intense for the rest of the palate.

2. Add your pork and onion to a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until pork is consistency of large sand – consistency of ground meat you would find at a Mexican restaurant. The onions may “float” to the top, this is fine. If you don’t own a food processor, simply cut any large chunks of pork into small pieces. Add saffron and paprika, stir to combine. Meat will take on a reddish hue.

seasonpulsedpork

A sand-like texture and size for your pork can be obtained by pulsing the pork in a food processor.

3. Return meat to pan and add potato, water, and tomato paste. Add the tomatoes with green chilies if using. Cook until most of the water absorbed and potatoes cooked through.

pastyeverythinginskillet

Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, potatoes, and water one at a time. Stir well to combine and let the flavors meld.

4. Heat oven to 400 if using puff pastry. If you using pie crust, follow instructions for the crust. Cut the puff pastry into 9 squares.

puffpastry

If you can make your own puff pastry, do so, but if not frozen will work.

5. On each square place just under 1 tablespoon of filling and 1 teaspoon of cheese. Fold the puff pastry around the mixture at the diagonals twisting the corners together. If desired, whisk one whole egg to make an egg wash. Brush wash over the tops of puff pastry. The egg wash will make the pastry more golden brown and will not effect flavor.

uncookedpasties

Brushing the pasties in an egg wash is completely optional and will impart a shiny golden brown look to the finished product.

6. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or non-stick foil. The paper is better.

7. Cook at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.

If you over-fill, the pasty may come apart when cooking, but it will still taste good.

If you over-fill, the pasty may come apart when cooking, but it will still taste good.

Nutrition Information (per pasty)
Calories: 181.1
Total Fat: 11.9 g
Saturated Fat: 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.0 g
Cholesterol: 5.9 mg
Sodium: 180.8 mg
Potassium: 109.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Sugars: 1.1 g
Protein: 3.5 g