In another post I told ya’ll about our ties and love for the Japanese culture and the awesome Japanese flavors that we’ve come to crave. Every time I make a dish like this, I am transported back to the little ramen shops in the alleys of Hokkaido. I can close my eyes and see the windows of plastic food that they use as a menu. I can almost feel the brush of the noren, the decorative curtains, that hang atop every entry to a ramen shop. Japan smells like this dinner.
The noodles are not authentic, obviously. The ramen in Japanese restaurants is WAY superior to the disks of processed ramen noodles we have here. My term for this type of fusion food is Mont-Asian, because I am in Montana. But it works.
This recipe was thrown together on the fly, as I went. When I started cooking the napa cabbage I didn’t know it would take an Asian turn. I like cooking like that. It’s like painting. Sometimes you start a painting not knowing how it’s going to look when it’s done. These are often the most rewarding experiences for me because I think the process is more enjoyable, sometimes, than the final product.
That’s not true for this umami-infused, slurp-worthy bowl of memories. The result is even better than I’d hoped. This could easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the beef broth and not using the ramen flavor packs at all.
Be aware that I use low-sodium ingredients whenever I can. This dish would be incredibly high in sodium if I didn’t. I only used one ramen flavor pack, and tried to cut the sodium in my other ingredients, but it is still very high. We should always do everything we can to decrease our sodium intake. High sodium diets are strongly associated with cardiovascular (heart) disease. So make this a sometimes meal and always watch your sodium intake. If you are already eating a low-sodium diet, just don’t use the ramen flavor pack and the sodium is cut to 514mg per serving.
|Ramen noodles (Beef flavor)||2Pks (1 Pk flavor)|
|Napa cabbage||1 Head|
|Oil (coconut)||1 Tblsp|
|Beef broth||1 Cup|
|Soy sauce (Shoyu, low-sodium)||2 Tblsp|
|Ginger (fresh)||1 Tblsp|
|Broccoli, or cauliflower, steamed||1 Head|
|Nori sheets||2 Sheets|
|Sesame oil||Few drops|
Begin to cook the cabbage first because it will take the longest. Wash, then cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces. Melt oil in a large pan. Add soy sauce, beef broth, ginger, and the cabbage and cook on medium/low heat, covered, until the cabbage has cooked down by about half and tastes “done”. Steam the broccoli or cauliflower until it is the desired softness. Cook the ramen noodles according to the package directions, but only use one flavor pack (or none). Meanwhile, cut up the avocado and dress it with a splash of lemon juice (squeeze half a lemon) and a few drops of sesame oil, you don’t need much! Once everything is cooked, assemble the ingredients in a deep bowl. Ladle some liquid from cooking the noodles and some of the beef broth liquid from cooking the cabbage over everything. Spoon the avocado “salad” over the top. Then use kitchen shears to cut smaller pieces of the seaweed nori sheets over the top as a garnish. Enjoy!
Nutrition Info: Calories: 341, Fat: 18g, Sat. Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 939mg, Carbohydrate: 41g, Fiber: 9g, Protein: 10g