miso

Blue Apron Kahn Family Pork and Miso Ramen

ORDER YOUR BLUE APRON BY NOON ON MAY 31ST TO GET OUR KAHN FAMILY PORK AND MISO RAMEN! Send me an email at epjoishii@gmail.com and I'll send you a free voucher to try! If you get a chance to order it for the week of June 5th, we hope you enjoy it!

This past August we entered the Blue Apron Kids Cooking Camp Contest and WON a trip for our whole family to go to NYC and help the Blue Apron team create a recipe! We had so much fun, week after week, following the rules of the contest and submitting our posts on Instagram. Here are some of our favorite posts:

WE HAD TO MAKE HOME MADE WHIPPED CREAM AND HOLD IT OVER OUR HEAD!

WE HAD TO MAKE HOME MADE WHIPPED CREAM AND HOLD IT OVER OUR HEAD!

WE HAD TO TALK ABOUT OUR FAVORITE SUMMERTIME INGREDIENT AND HOW WE USE IT.

WE HAD TO TALK ABOUT OUR FAVORITE SUMMERTIME INGREDIENT AND HOW WE USE IT.

WE HAD TO TALK ABOUT WHAT OUR FAMILY DOES TO HELP OUT WITH MEALS.

WE HAD TO TALK ABOUT WHAT OUR FAMILY DOES TO HELP OUT WITH MEALS.

WE HAD TO CORE LETTUCE, DE-STEM KALE, PEEL A CARROT AND SOME GARLIC.

WE HAD TO CORE LETTUCE, DE-STEM KALE, PEEL A CARROT AND SOME GARLIC.

WE HAD TO PLANT SOME PEA SHOOTS AND WATCH THEM GROW!

WE HAD TO PLANT SOME PEA SHOOTS AND WATCH THEM GROW!

When we got the email from Blue Apron telling us we won, we were beyond thrilled. They arranged to fly us to NYC, put us up in a hotel and take us to their secret Blue Apron test kitchen where we would create a recipe with them. We had such a fun time seeing where they keep all of their many spices and ingredients, learning about their recipe creation process (how they are limited to 10 ingredients and 10 steps or less) and watching the photographer take pictures of the final recipe.

We had decided ahead of time that we would work on a ramen recipe. What was most challenging was the limitation of ingredients and steps. I really feel like the final result is one that gives depth and flavor in a short amount of time. I also had a new respect for Blue Apron and the recipes it sends me, knowing that they always have to follow the parameters of 10 ingredients or less and only 10 steps or less. Given those limitations, don't expect the best ramen you've ever had - but this is pretty darn good. Here's the description right from Blue Apron...

This summery take on ramen was developed in collaboration with the Kahn family of San Francisco, Calif., winners of the 2016 Blue Apron Kids Cooking Camp. A satisfying, earthy broth gets its savory flavor from three ingredients: miso paste, dried shiitakes, and kombu—a type of dried seaweed with a delicately briny flavor. It's the perfect base for fresh, springy ramen noodles topped with seasonal asparagus, cooked to retain its tender bite. Sweet-tart marinated cucumber, served on the side, adds a refreshing crunch to the dish.

Scroll through to see the epic day with had creating Pork and Miso Ramen with the Blue Apron team!

Miso Ramen Soup Base - みそラーメン

I'm so excited to share my Miso Ramen recipe with you! Just so you know, there are four main types of ramen soup bases - Miso (Fermented Soybean Based), Shio (Salt Based), Shoyu (Soy Sauce Based) and Tonkotsu (Pork Bone Based). The first recipe I'd like to share is for my Miso Ramen - but I want us to do this gradually so that you don't get intimidated by the ramen process. The recipe itself is pretty easy but in order to make a complete bowl of ramen, you'll have to do it in stages instead of tackling this all in one day.  So, I'm having you start with a basic soup base, then I'll give you the recipe for fresh ramen noodles, then we can move on to some toppings.  At the end of our ramen introduction, it won't seem so difficult if we take it step by step.  You will be rewarded when we put it all together for a super-duper-delicious-awesome bowl of ramen! After that we can move on to the other soup bases and lots more variations of ramen to turn you into a ramen fanatic!

Before you do anything - your going to need bacon fat or grease - so fry up some bacon for breakfast and save that fat in a jar. You'll only need 4 tbsp so you should have plenty. Save the rest for later.

Here we go....

Miso Ramen Soup Base

Serves 1-10 portions

Prep time: 45 minutes only for making Miso Base, time to make noodles and toppings is additional

Miso Ramen originates from Hokkaido in Northern Japan. Winter’s are severe there, so it’s no wonder that the comfort and warmth of a good Miso Ramen is a daily staple.

I developed my variation of miso ramen with the idea of creating a super flavorful base that you can have anytime by just adding a cup of vegetable or chicken stock to. The result is the convenience of having a one-person portion or a meal for many – all according to the base to stock ratio. Whether you're taking it to work for yourself or preparing a family meal, it will be worth the labor because once you make it, it’s practically instant. The ramen base can be saved for up to a week in the refrigerator or frozen for a month.

Miso Base Ingredients:

1 medium carrot, peeled, large dice

½ onion, peeled, large dice

½ apple, stemmed, seeded, peeled and large dice

1 celery stalk, large dice

3 garlic cloves

½ cup bacon fat*

2  tablespoons sesame oil, split – use separately

1 ½ cups ground pork

2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger **

1 teaspoon Sriracha

2 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)

1 teaspoon kelp granules

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground sesame seed paste (if you do not have this, then omit) 

¾ cup Shiro miso (white miso which is lighter and sweeter)

¾ cup Akamiso miso (red miso is darker and saltier)

Chicken stock or Vegetable Stock – store bought or homemade *** 2 cups per serving based on the number of servings. 

* you can omit the bacon fat if you don’t have any but we wouldn’t recommend it. Next time you are cooking bacon in the morning, simply save your fat in a container and refrigerate it!  

** a trick to grating ginger: freeze your ginger in pieces with the skin on and take it out of the freezer right before you are ready to grate it.  No need to peel the skin off, it is edible. You can find a Japanese ginger grater online or in any Asian cooking store.

*** I recommend using a low-sodium chicken stock. If you are making your stock from scratch, do not add excessive salt as the miso base is very salty.

These components need to be made ahead of time:

Ramen Noodles – See Homemade Ramen Noodles recipe

Chashu and Marinated Half-Cooked Egg - See Chashu and Marinated-Half Cooked Egg recipe

Recommended Toppings:

Negi (green onions), sweet corn, chashu (pork belly), butter, half-cooked egg, garnish with nori (seaweed) square.

Directions:

1. It is recommended to use a food processor but if you don’t have one, you can finely chop. Add carrot, onion, apple, and celery to a food processor. Pulse into a fine chop.

2. Add bacon fat and 1 tbsp of sesame oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the finely chopped mixture above and cook until onions are translucent and apple is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes.  When done, turn down to simmer until you are ready to add pork. 

misoramen_photo_3

3. Turn heat to medium-low. Next add your ground pork to the cooked vegetable mixture and cook the pork, about 5 minutes until no longer pink. Stir in the ginger, sriracha, soy sauce, kelp granules, apple-cider vinegar, and salt. Incorporate well.

4.  Return the entire mixture to the food processor and pulse until pork is finely ground.  Return to your skillet. 

5. Add your miso to the ground pork mixture and mix well.  It should have the consistency of a thick paste. Your base is done, remove from heat and set aside.

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6. Place a pot of water to boil for your noodles. In a separate saucepan, bring Miso Base and broth to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer until it’s ready to serve. Note: It’s 3 tablespoons base to every 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Use about 2 cups soup per serving. Right before serving, crank it back up to boil. 

7. Boil the noodles—if fresh, boil for about 1 minute; if packaged, boil for about 2 minutes. As soon as they’re done, drain well and separate into serving bowls.

8. Pour 2 cups soup over each bowl of noodles. Top each bowl with desired toppings.