Ramen Noodles–Balkan style

 

Like most of you I make a lot of soups to get through the cold weather but also because you can freeze them and re-warm quickly. What’s new is now that ramen noodles are becoming easy to find in Kosovo you can add this Asian soup to the repertoire. It seems difficult or a challenge but it isn’t really and it beats using those pre-packaged, instant ramen noodles that are bits of cardboard with packets of flavored salt. How utterly depressing to make a fantastic meal into basically a fill-your-stomach-rubbish. Instead, make fresh, vibrant soups topped as you want.

The key is the broth, you want a strong broth with lots of flavor. Make your own stock if possible. If not use a stock cube. This is a basic recipe, or even technique, that you can top up with whatever vegetables you want or tofu, fish and meat or just completely vegan. If you’re an omnivore, use chicken or fish stock for heftier flavor. Use the freshest ingredients for the best taste. You can add additional ingredients on top of the noodles like steamed or raw veg or tofu soaked in soy sauce or whatever. Now is the time to make the best use of winter cabbage, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower. I’d stick with hardy vegetables myself.  And best yet, this comes together very quickly.

 

Ramen Noodle Soup

Chopped vegetables (your choice)

Sambal Oelek (a sauce that’s used as a base for curries and soups; available in Tregu e Gjelber-It is very spicy)

1 finger Ginger (to taste)

3 cloves Garlic (or less depends on how you love garlic)

1 large onion

1 large pepper

2 teaspoons coriander powder (to taste)

50 ml Soy sauce (or to taste)

Vegetable stock

Ramen noodles

Red wine vinegar ( a few drops to taste just to clarify)

 

Start off with your base: chop peppers, onions and at least three garlic cloves, ginger and saute in a deep, wide pan or wok if you have it. Add a spoonful of Sambal Oelek (available at Tregu e Gjelber market), a hot sauce to flavor. One large, generous spoonful should be enough, more if you want it spicier. Add coriander powder. Add your stock. Add soy sauce to flavor. Let simmer. Taste to make sure your broth is flavored as you like. Add additional vegetables: broccoli, spinach, cauliflower etc…Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember soy sauce and Sambal are very salty so go easy on the salt here. Add noodles, cook in the broth and you’re done. Use a touch of red wine vinegar to clarify at the finish. If you want add boiled eggs on top for an authentic touch.

 

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