This recipe is seeing the glass half full or maybe just making do, either is fine. We are stuck at home because of Covid. Somehow we have made it through the last 9 months relatively unscathed. Despite our best efforts, it took down my husband and we are all hunkering down, AGAIN. I wasn’t prepared at all for this. The kids had just gone back to school after winter break and I was looking forward to having some ”me time” Ha. Ha. Ha.
When we got J’s diagnosis I did a massive grocery order so random that I can’t even make sense of it. I just knew I had to fill the fridge with healthy food that I could stretch out over the next week as much as possible. We live pretty far away from most everything so I had to make it count, but I also couldn’t think straight. That lead to tonight when I wanted to make a soup for hubby to make him feel better (he‘s not into chicken noodle, he likes everything to taste like hot sauce) but also something that I really wanted to eat. The least I can do for myself while taking care of the homestead and homeschooling the kids and playing nurse is cook food I like to eat. That led me to ramen : ) This isn’t a traditional recipe but its one for 2020/2021. It’s a recipe that anyone can make, its easy. There’s no fish sauce and no chili paste, not because those things aren’t delicious but because we are dealing with a bare bones pantry and no luxury of running to the store. However, its also really really tasty and you most likely have all of the ingredients in your home.
What you need:
2 lbs bone in beef short ribs (a small pot roast would work too, so would pork shoulder...use what you’ve got)
vegetable or canola oil
2.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced (you can also keep frozen ginger on hand...its good for so many things, especially when people are ill)
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 green onions, white and green parts sliced into small pieces
1/2 cup hot banana peppers w/ some liquid from the jar (pickled jalapeños would work if that’s what you have)
1/2 cup of mushrooms sliced very thin
6 cups beef broth or vegetable broth
1 cup of chopped Swiss chard, spinach, or kale
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
a few packets of ramen noodles (no seasoning necessary)
Garnish: fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, basil, Thai basil (you can use dried here if that’s all you have but use less) scallions, chives, red pepper flakes
To start, 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil in the bottom of a stock pot and turn onto medium heat. Meanwhile, rub curry powder, salt and pepper all over the short ribs. Place in hot oil and sear on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. When you are on the last side of your beef sear, add green onion, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Stir around for a minute and then pour in your broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium/low heat for about 2 hours or until the meat is completely tender and falling off the bone. If you wanted to transfer everything to a slow cooker, that would be simple and let it go low for 8 hours or high for about 3.5-4 hours. When the meat is cooked, remove the bones and meat and set aside. Turn the heat off and let soup cool. Pick meat and bones apart and shred beef. Skim the fat off the top of the broth, as much as you can. If you aren’t in a hurry, this would probably taste great being refrigerated overnight and finished the next day.
After you have skimmed the fat add your hot peppers and vinegary liquid, mushrooms, Swiss chard, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I like to add a few dashes of sriracha at this point as well. Bring to a boil and return meat to the pot. Now its ready to serve. Place a serving size amount of uncooked ramen in a bowl and pour the hot soup on top. Let steep for 3-4 minutes, garnish with fresh herbs and scallions (I used mint and cilantro...really good!) and extra hot sauce for the spice lovers. Slurp it up!
*If you plan to eat all of this at once, its ok to put the ramen directly into the soup pot. However, I have noticed that it makes the noodles soggy for leftovers, so I always do it one serving at a time.