Ever since I discovered ramen, I became an enthusiast for it. I think it was a few years back in the East Village at now increasingly popular, Ippudo. Little did I know that as I entered this small shop north of Astor Place, where serves chant “hello” in Japanese as you are seated, I was to try what would become one of my top favorite foods.
I clearly remember what I ordered: a big red bowl of ramen with silky pork, cabbage, scallions, fragrant garlic, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, soft hand-pulled noodles, and a delicious umami miso paste. Warm, spicy, flavorful, obviously umami, and perfect for that cold winter night.
I then became a regular. My last year at New York I discovered a ramen place close to my Brooklyn apartment. Ganso became my to-go place on frigid nights and those days where my fridge and cupboard were empty.
Anyhow, I haven’t quite found the right ingredients for a perfect ramen here in San Jose, which has made it impossible for me to replicate Ippudo’s. But last week’s try of miso and soba noodle soup was as close as I’ve gotten. It was satisfying, tasty and a delicious light meal.
Miso & soba noodle soup
Adapted from Anett Velsberg blog
½ cup tofu, patted dry and cut into cubes
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
4 cups of water
5 tbsp. miso paste
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 oz. of soba noodles
4 tbsp. cilantro leaves chopped
Preheat oven to 400F. Layer tofu cubes on an aluminum foil rimmed baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle with soy sauce. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden.
Cook soba noodles following package instructions. I placed them in a pot, poured boiling water over them and boiled for 3 minutes at high heat. I then drained and placed them aside.
Bring 4 cups of water to boil. When water is boiling, add miso paste and allow to dissolve. Add lime juice and sesame oil; simmer for a few more minutes.
To cook eggs with a soft runny egg yolk, place in boiling water for 3 minutes (exact!). Remove and place over cold running water. Peel cautiously.
To serve soup, divide soba noodles between bowls. Ladle miso broth over the noodles. Add the tofu cubes and soft-boiled egg. Sprinkle with cilantro. Allow guest to spice-up with some Sirarcha.