This has been a long time coming, but I still remember it was a cold and wet day in January. Looking out the window on that day all I could see was rain, rain and more rain… the rain hasn’t stopped for few days. This is one of those days where I’m craving for a bowl of hot spicy noodles soup. I don’t have instant ramen or noodles in my pantry, but the hunger controlling my mind. I can’t think clearly… have to eat spicy noodles soup.
I sink my hands into a mound of flour, touch it with the tip of my finger. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and swirling fresh farm eggs into a flour. Make homemade noodles is a labour of love, it seems like a never ending work. I Kept kneading and pushed until the wet and sticky dough turns out into a soft velvety pasta dough. All that I need to do next is resting the dough before rolling and cutting it into noodles.
While the dough rests in the fridge, I start making the basic dashi broth. I love using bonito flakes, and kelp to make the broth, as it really enhances all the flavours, adding depth exactly where it needed. This dashi broth filled with so many rich-sea flavours, and adding gochujang paste changed the dashi stock colour. It feels so magical seeing the clear stock turning into deep red colour. Yellowish noodles with red broth topped with green scallion, nori and sweet corn kernels, all the scents and colours were delightful.
Spicy Gochujang Ramen
For the dashi
- 2 cups water
- 10 g kombu
- 1 cup dried bonito flakes
- 3 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms, for vegetarian
- 1 tablespoon gochujang paste
- 2 servings of fresh egg noodles or ramen noodles
- 2 soft-boiled eggs
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
- 1/2 cup bean sprout
- 1 sheet Japanese dried seaweed/ nori
- 1/2 cup finely diced scallions
- chilli oil for serving
- Make the dashi: clean up the kombu with damp kitchen towel. Combine water and kombu in a saucepan over medium heat, skimming the surface occasionally. Remove the kombu just as the water starts to boil. Add dried bonito flakes and let the water come to a rapid simmer. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes and turn off the heat, let the bonito flakes steep for 5-7 minutes or until it sinks to the bottom. Strain the dashi and set aside.
- To make the spicy gochujang ramen : Remove the shiitake mushrooms from stock if you use it to make a stock, drain it, pat dry and slice it thinly. In a soup pot, heat up 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, add sliced mushrooms and cook until mushroom fragrant and slightly brown. Add gochujang paste and cook for another minute until aromatic. Add dashi, 1 cup water, soy sauce and cook on high heat until it boils and then reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the ramen noodles according to instructions. Drain well and divide the noodles into two large bowls, ladle the soup on top. For each serving, place 1 boiled egg, 2 tablespoons sweet corn kernels, bean sprouts, nori sheets, diced scallions, and togarashi oil.