Tag Archives: noodle

Ramen Burger

Ramen Burger by The Aimless Cook

The ramen burger is gaining popularity in North America. Touted as the newest food craze, it’s a clever sandwich using ramen noodles as the bun. Today, I’m going to show you how to make your own. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • fresh ramen noodles (one package per person)
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the beef teriyaki filling:

  • 10 oz. thinly sliced beef (per person)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • a splash of sake (optional)
  • ¼ cup dashi

Cook the ramen like you normally would until cooked. Strain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg and combine until the noodles are evenly coated. Take the noodles, divide them into 2 equal portions, and put them into ring moulds, ramekins, or burger patty moulds. Pack them and weigh them down so that they can set in the shape of your ‘buns’. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the Beef Teriyaki, start by sauteing the onion in a small pot on medium heat with a bit of oil. Cook until the onions are lightly caramelized, then add the beef. Cook until the beef starts to change colour. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking until the beef is done and the sauce is thickened to your liking.

When the noodles are set, they should pop out of the moulds easily. Fry them on a lightly oiled skillet on medium high heat until they are slightly browned and warmed through.

Assemble your burger and enjoy!

 

*The ramen bun holds up well to sauce. You can of course enjoy them with hamburger patties, katsu, fried oysters, etc. It up to your imagination.

What are you going to put in your ramen buns?

Tantanmen – Peddler’s Noodles

Tantanmen by The Aimless Cook

Tantanmen (Peddler’s Noodles) is a spicy Japanese ramen dish based on a Szechuan dish of the same name. Dan dan is the name of the pole that the peddler would carry across his shoulders with the soup and noodles on each end. The broth is made from doubanjiang, sesame and miso, giving it a wonderfully spicy and savoury flavour. There’s nothing better than warming up next to a large bowl of this incredible ramen. Try it for yourself!

For the pork:

  • 180g lean ground pork
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • ½ tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoons doubanjiang* (Chinese chili paste)

The soup base:

  • 2 teaspoons tianmianjiang** (sweet soybean paste)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red miso
  • 1 tablespoon sake or shaoxing
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 litre chicken or pork stock (homemade or the best quality storebought)
  • ramen noodles

Toppings:

  • bamboo shoots
  • green onions, chopped
  • nori
  • boiled eggs

In a small bowl, combine the sake/shaoxing, soy sauce, miso, tianmianjiang and tahini and then set aside.

Heat a couple tablespoons of sesame oil in a wok on high heat. Add doubanjiang, garlic, grated ginger and a couple chopped green onions and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the ground pork and cook for about 3 minutes then stir in the sauce mix.

Pour in 1 litre of chicken stock and a couple teaspoons of chili oil, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and balance out with brown sugar.

Ladle the soup onto the cooked ramen noodles and top with green onions, some toasted sesame seeds, a drizzle of chili oil, bamboo shoots, a soft boiled egg, and a quarter sheet of nori. Now grab a pair of chopsticks and enjoy!

*doubanjiang is a Chinese chili paste made from fermented broad beans, soy beans and chilies. It’s also known as the soul of Szechuan cooking!

**tianmianjiang is also known as sweet bean paste and is similar to hoisin sauce.

When was the last time you bought an unknown ingredient at the market?

Tsukimi Udon – Moon Viewing Noodles

Tsukimi Udon by The Aimless Cook

Tsukimi Udon, or “Moon Viewing” Noodles are named for the egg that’s placed in the bowl as this Japanese dish is served. It’s usually a very simple affair, sometimes even consisting of a bowl of freshly prepared udon noodles, soy sauce, green onions and a raw egg. Today I will show you how to make my version of tsukimi udon using fresh oyster mushrooms, snow peas and a really easy soup broth. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • 2 servings udon noodles
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ⅓ teaspoons dashi powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 small pieces of lemon zest
  • 6 snow peas
  • 1 cup oyster mushrooms (or whatever you got)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs

Start with 2 saucepans, one large and one small. Fill the large sauce pan with water and bring to a rolling boil. While you’re waiting for that, combine the soy sauce, mirin and brown sugar in a small bowl. Put 2 ½ cups of water in the small saucepan and the dashi powder. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the dashi powder then add ⅔ of the soy mixture. Bring to a boil, stir to combine, then lower the heat to simmer. At this point, you can add the snow peas so they cook briefly.

Shred the oyster mushrooms to manageable pieces then add to a frying pan on high heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes til they are fragrant and golden brown. Add the remaining soy mixture and continue cooking til the mixture thickens. Set aside.

Add the udon noodles to the large pot of boiling water and cook til tender (according to directions).

With the eggs, you can serve them raw on top of the hot soup, poached, or make onsen tamago.

To assemble, start by putting a piece of lemon zest on the bottom of each bowl, followed by the strained noodles. Follow that with soup stock and then top with the snow peas, mushrooms and the egg. Garnish with a sprinkle of furikake and serve.

It’s customary to slurp your noodles with enthusiasm, so be sure to enjoy yourself! Do you like to slurp loud or eat your noodles quietly?

Jjajangmyeon – Korean Noodles with Black Bean Sauce

Jjajangmyeon by The Aimless Cook

Today we’re making my version of Jjajangmyeon. It’s a Korean wheat noodle bowl with a pork and black bean sauce that’s derived from a Chinese dish called zhajiangmian. There’s an instant version of this dish called “Chapaghetti” that’s quite popular in the grocery store, but to me it tastes awful. The real thing is very tasty and relatively inexpensive to prepare and perfect for weekday cooking. Let’s cook Jjajangmyeon!

You will need:

  • 8 oz pork shoulder, diced (or ground)
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 swizzle shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch (with a little water)
  • ½ English cucumber, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Heat up a couple tablespoons of oil in a wok on high heat then add the onion and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes before adding the diced carrot. Since the carrot is small, it shouldn’t need a long time to cook. Just stir-fry for a minute or so to give it a head start then let’s move on.

Next, open up a space in the bottom of the wok by pushing the veg aside and add the pork. I used diced pork shoulder because I like the texture, but if you’re in a hurry, you can use ground pork instead. Add a swizzle of shaoxing cooking wine. What a swizzle? Pour a little of the wine once ‘around the block’, or in this case, around the wok. This will add a little fragrance and aroma to the dish. When you’re done, cook the mixture until the pork is no longer pink.

Now that the pork is just cooked, add the black bean sauce. It’s available in a lot of grocery stores these days in the Asian section. It’s quite salty, so be sure not to add too much. Mix it all together thoroughly before adding the chicken stock. Mix again to combine and let simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes til the pork is done. Finally, the corn starch mixed with a little warm water to the wok and let thicken.

Give the sauce a final taste. Counter with a little brown sugar to balance out the saltiness of the black bean. When it tastes just right, you’re done!

Fresh noodles are best, and a lot of grocery stores carry chow mein noodles these days. Simply boil them in salted water for about 2 – 3 minutes then strain. If you have instant ramen, those work as well.

To assemble, start by putting the noodles in a large bowl (you need room to mix them when you serve). Top with a generous amount of the pork and black bean sauce on one side. Finish the other side with some fresh julienned cucumber then serve.

To enjoy, simply mix the whole thing together and that’s all there is to it!

What’s your favourite brand of instant noodles?

J’s Pancit Bihon

Pancit Bihon by The Aimless Cook

Pancit Bihon is a very popular Filipino noodle dish throughout the world. It’s made with thin, rice noodles, or bihon and tossed with shredded meat and lightly sauteed vegetables. Today, we’re gonna make our pancit using some flavourful leftover Chinese steamed chicken and some cooked shrimp from the Asian market. We’re also gonna use that aromatic green onion and ginger sauce that came with the chicken in our base. So get ready for a really fun and easy recipe for Pancit Bihon!

You will need:

  • 250g leftover cooked chicken (Chinese, or one of those rotisserie chickens work well)
  • 150g cooked shrimp
  • 8oz bihon noodles (rice stick)
  • 200g shredded cabbage
  • 125g shredded carrot
  • 125g sliced onion (1 medium)
  • 2 cloves sliced garlic
  • 75g snow peas (or green beans)
  • 750ml good chicken stock
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • some oil
  • S&P, to season

Start by soaking the bihon noodles in cold water for about 10 minutes. When that’s done, strain and set aside.

In a large pot on medium heat, heat up a couple tablespoons of oil and add the onions and garlic. Gently saute until the onions are starting to look translucent. One the onions are done, add the shredded cabbage, carrot, snow peas and cooked chicken. Cook and stir on medium high for about 5 minutes. When that’s done, season with salt and pepper and put all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Using the same pot, add the chicken stock and soy sauce. Turn the heat up to high and then add the bihon noodles. Let the noodles boil on high heat until the liquid is almost evaporated. When that’s done, put back the ingredients from the bowl and mix to combine. Serve warm with calamansi or lime wedges and fish sauce (patis) and enjoy!

Pancit bihon has a refreshing flavour with the calamansi and fresh, crisp vegetables. The better your leftover chicken, the more flavour it will impart to the finished dish. Experiment with different ones to see what you like the most. Take this recipe, make it yours and have fun in the kitchen!

Do you like Filipino food? Let me know what Filipino dish you’d like to see on The Aimless Cook and we’ll make it happen!

Zaru Soba Recipe – Easy Japanese Cooking

Zaru Soba Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

Zaru Soba is a cold noodle dish featuring fresh buckwheat noodles and a delicious dipping sauce with additions like finely chopped green onion, grated daikon, wasabi and raw quail egg. This refreshing and healthy dish is perfect for a hot summer day and it’s really easy to prepare.

You will need:

  • soba noodles (dried in bundles or preferably fresh)

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup dashi
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin

The rest:

  • 4 quail eggs
  • 1 bunch of green onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup shredded daikon
  • fresh wasabi
  • 2 sheets of roasted nori, finely shredded
  • some roasted sesame seeds

Start with a small saucepan of the dashi on medium heat and add the soy sauce and mirin. Heat til the sauce comes to a simmer then let cook for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Cut a 2-3 inch section from a fresh daikon and peel. Using a Japanese grater or box grater, grate the daikon into a small bowl. Taking the daikon pulp in your hand, gently squeeze the juice and save the pulp. Set aside.

Add the soba noodles to a large pot of unsalted boiling water then turn down to a simmer (don’t cook soba at a rolling boil like Italian pasta). Cook the soba noodles until they are just done. You want them tender, but not al dente and not mushy. As soon as they’re done, strain into a colander in a large bowl and run cold water til the soba is rinsed of all the starch and the water runs clear. When that’s done, drain well and set aside.

Put the sauce into individual dipping bowls and each of the add-on ingredients into small dishes. Start with the grated daikon, then a small serving of wasabi. Carefully take the top off a quail egg and pour off the egg white, keeping the yolk in the bottom half of the shell. Put the quail egg on top of the pile of daikon. Finally, add some finely chopped green onion and you’re ready.

Using chopsticks, take some of the noodles and wrap them around til you have a nice mouthful portion. Gently place on a plate and repeat til you have 3 nice bundles. Finish with some shredded roasted nori and roasted sesame seeds.

To eat, simply add the daikon and green onion to the sauce and mix. If you like, add the quail egg and as much wasabi as you prefer. From there, simply take some noodles, dip them in the sauce and enjoy!

What is your favourite cold dish in the summer?

Homemade Pasta Recipe

Homemade Pasta

Homemade pasta is easier to make than you think, and once you get the process down, you’ll never go back to the dry stuff. This recipe is easy, fun and delicious!

You will need:

  • 150g all-purpose flour per serving
  • 1 large egg per serving
  • a dash of extra virgin olive oil
  • some warm water (just a couple tablespoons)
  • a touch of salt

I know I’m vague with the amounts, but this is one of those recipes that takes practice and a little experience to get used to. Just like with any dough, you need to use your senses to know if it’s coming together properly.

In a bowl of your mixer, start with the flour (I use 20-30% semolina with the all-purpose flour for texture). Add the eggs, olive oil and combine, using the dough hook on medium speed. See how the dough is combining. If it looks dry, add a touch of water until it comes together. After a couple minutes, it should just come together into a rough ball. When it does that, shut off the mixer and turn the dough onto a floured work surface.

Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Continually turn and fold the dough over itself until you work up a sweat. When that’s done, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, your dough will be pliable and beautiful. Cut into manageable chunks and roll thin enough to put through your pasta roller on the widest setting. Roll through each setting twice, folding the rolled sheet in half after each pass. Continue to roll on every second setting until you get to the thinnest setting. Once that’s done, use the cutter or a knife to cut into the desired width.

Boil in plenty of salted water until done. Fresh pasta only takes a couple minutes to cook, so be sure to test it after about a minute and a half. Serve with your favourite pasta sauce and enjoy!

Snack House Soup – Hong Kong Meets Vietnam

Snack House Soup

Hong Kong meets Vietnam in this snack house inspired soup that you can do at home with a couple tomatoes and a few leftovers. This is easy home cooking and you’ll be delightfully surprised at how flavourful this quick broth is.

For the soup broth, you will need:

  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 chili pepper, minced
  • 500 ml chicken stock

Start with a deep skillet on medium heat with a little olive oil and add the tomatoes, a clove of minced garlic, a minced shallot and a minced chili pepper. Let that cook for a few minutes while the tomato breaks down then add the sugar and fish sauce. Continue to cook until the tomato is completely broken down and becomes a sauce.

Now at this point, you can serve this sauce on pretty much anything, but let’s keep going. Today I’m making a soup, so I will add the chicken stock and just stir to combine.

Give it a taste and adjust with salt til you get it the way you like it. You probably won’t need much additional salt since you have the fish sauce. I didn’t.

For the rest of this soup, that’s where your creativity comes in. I have some instant ramen noodles here, but you can use whatever noodles you have handy. If you want an authentic Hong Kong snack house experience, use elbow macaroni.

Other toppings you can use:

  • leftover steak or pork chops
  • roasted chicken
  • cold cuts
  • SPAM
  • tofu or tempeh
  • cooked spinach, peas and carrots, green beans
  • eggs (fried, poached, boiled, omelette)

Have fun with this recipe, make it yours and have fun in the kitchen!

Korean Stirfried Noodle Recipe – Japchae

Japchae is a delicious Korean stirfried noodle dish made with tender slivers of marinated beef and an assortment of healthy colourful vegetables all mixed together with a signature chewy sweet potato noodle called dangmyun. This dish is typically served at room temperature as a side, but can also be enjoyed as a main. This recipe is perfect for potlucks… just sayin.

You will need:

  • 10 oz (300g) glass noodles (당면,dang-myun)
  • 1/3 lb lean sirloin, cut into 1/4” thick sticks
  • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed & cleaned
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, julienned (just the white part)
  • ¼ lb oyster and crimini mushrooms, sliced (you can use shiitake or whatever you have)

for the beef :

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

for the mushrooms:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

for the spinach:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

for the noodles:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Mix beef in the marinade then set aside for at least 30 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch mushrooms for about 30 seconds. Take them out, rinse in cold water, squeeze out excess water and set aside.

In the same boiling water add spinach, blanch for 30 seconds til wilted. Take them out, rinse in cold water, squeeze out excess water and set aside.

Add your noodles to the pot and boil until tender. Rinse them under cold water. Drain and set aside.

Season mushrooms and spinach each with their seasoning ingredients separately.

Saute onions, carrots and leek and season with salt and sugar to taste over medium heat. Set aside.

Saute beef and cook until done. Remove the beef and deglaze the pan with a splash of sake. 

Add the noodles to the pan and gently stirfry until the juices are absorbed then set aside.

Now grab a huge mixing bowl and add the noodles. Add the noodle seasoning and toss them well. Let all the ingredients to cool down to room temperature.

Finally, toss noodles with the rest of the ingredients until combined. Season to taste and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

jap chae

Thai Inspired Beef Salad with Rice Noodle Recipe

Southeast Asian flavour is a playful balance of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter. Using ingredients like fresh lime juice, red Thai chiles and fish sauce, you can create something pretty incredible. This Thai-inspired beef salad uses some simple ingredients brought together with amazing results.

for the dressing, you will need:

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chile garlic paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt to season

the rest:

  • 1 lb baby bok choy, trimmed and rinsed
  • 225g thick rice noodles (banh pho)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • crushed peanuts
  • fresh lime wedges, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix all of the dressing ingredients together, salt to taste then set aside. Boil the rice noodles until tender, rinse in cold water, strain then set aside. 

Blanch the baby bok choy in the boiling water for about 1 minute. Take out and rinse in cold water then set on a baking tray lined with kitchen paper to dry. Set aside.

Drizzle the flank steak with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Ensure your steak is room temperature before you grill. Sear the steak on an oiled cast iron skillet on high heat or on a grill on high for about 3 minutes per side. You want a nice brown crust, but don’t let it cook too long. Once the steak is seared, set aside for at least 10 minutes to let the juices re-distribute through the meat.

Flank Steak from Hoven Farms

After the 10 minutes, slice the steak into 2 inch strips along the grain then across the grain into thin slices. Now we’re ready to assemble.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice noodle, bok choy, the dressing and the beef and toss until combined. Add the chopped cilantro and get ready to plate.

*the cilantro bonus dressing

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  • wasabi to taste

In a blender start with the liquids, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pulse til well blended. This is a great dressing that you can use for a lot of different things. You can also add different ingredients depending on the dish.

Thai inspired Beef Salad

Plate the salad on a small plate or small bowl. Drizzle the cilantro dressing over the top and garnish with chopped Thai chiles. This recipe makes a great lunch for the next day since you don’t have to heat it. The beef is juicy, lean and hearty. Of course, if you want to omit the meat, you can. Make this recipe yours and have fun in the kitchen!