|Not your dorm room’s ramen…|
So you may have noticed that we’ve been M.I.A. lately. For those of you who aren’t my buddy on Facebook or Twitter, this might be some big news: we moved to Brooklyn. Not just Brooklyn, but into a brownstone on a tree-lined street in old-school Bed-Stuy. So the past week and then some has been full of the usual moving dramas. You know – the packing, cleaning, and moving of various beloved objects. The unexpected melt-down at the thought of leaving the first home you ever shared with your partner. You know, the one that has all those lovely ups and horrible downs that come with a new and important relationship*. Of course, there is also the realization that you might never again visit this town that at one point you thought was going to be your forever home. This is of course followed by the calm realization that your real forever home is with your old man, and so you pack up your car with kittens and head out into the night… with a few tears.
OK. Now add to that driving a stick shift car from Virginia to New York with only a few weeks of practice under your belt, a few trips to IKEA, and a new apartment that while very charming is notably smaller than your previous place**… and that should pretty much bring you up to date on what we’ve been doing.
So we thought we’d come back with something easy: Ramen. I’ve been thinking about making this for months. Like many of you, I too have lived off ramen during periods of my life, and with my life various experiences and earned wisdom have come to develop a respect for real Asian cuisine. I certainly mean no disrespect to their instant counterparts, but the more traditional Asian noodle dishes are pretty much heaven. I mean, noodles to begin with are pretty much divine… so really is it hard to imagine a Pho/Ramen/Lo Mein Heaven? Um – No. I also hope this isn’t too braggy, but I’m pretty happy how this little champ turned out. I mean she might not be the prettiest bowl of ramen to ever grace the internet, but she sure was delicious and gave me an excuse to make vegan hard boiled eggs again. Which is always a treat for me.
So to celebrate our first day back to the internet – Let’s make some noodles!
Vegan Garlic Chicken Ramen featuring the Vegan Hard Boiled Egg
The Vegan Hard-Boiled Egg
(you’re going to want to make these first and then make the Soup & Noodles while your “eggs” are in the oven).
1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu (drain as much water out of your tofu as you can)
3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 Teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for cooking (don’t add to the egg)
Preheat oven to 300.
Cut the block of Tofu into 4 rectangular pieces.
With your 1 Teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop a half-circle cup out of the Tofu . This is what you are going to fill with your “yoke”, so make sure it isn’t too shallow. But you want to make sure it isn’t too deep either, because it’ll make your “egg” fall apart. So try to make it about the same size and depth as the measuring spoon.
Then, with a soup spoon, form the outside shape of the egg. Just gently cut the corners off your rectangular “egg”.
Put the extra Tofu you scooped out of and cut off your “egg” in a small bowl. Mash it into a paste, and mix in the seasoning ingredients listed above to make your “yoke”. Then, with your soup spoon, fill the cup you made in our “egg” with the “yoke” mix. You are going to have some “yoke” leftover, so it’s OK to over-fill it.
Coat a glass baking dish with Olive Oil. Place the eggs in the baking dish and into the oven for 10 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and set aside to put into your salad once they’re cool enough to pick up with your hands.
Garlic Chicken Ramen
2 Cups Your Favorite Vegan Chicken
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
6 Cups Better than Bouillon – Vegetable (made per instructions on the package – you want around 1 1/2 cups per bowls you are planning to make. We made 4 bowls using 6 cups of broth)
4 Cloves Garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoon Braggs
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1/4 Cup White Wine (I’d suggest getting some Chinese Rice Wine – but you can just use a dry white wine too)
1/4 Cup Shredded Carrots
1 Can Sliced Water Chestnuts (drained)
1 Can Baby Corn (drained)
1/4 Cup Pea Pods
2-3 Baby Bok Choy Leaves per bowl
1 Package Chinese Misua Wheat Noodles (8oz – most I have seen are vegan but again I recommend you read your packages to make sure)
Diced Green Onion & Sesame Seeds to sprinkle over the top
In your neglected but always fabulous wok, heat Olive Oil on a medium heat. Then fry up your Vegan Chicken until it is very crispy and brown on the outside. You want a thick “skin” or shell to form on the outside of the Vegan Chicken so it won’t get spongy in the broth. Set aside and let cool in the wok.
In a large soup pot, heat Better Than Bouillon, Garlic, White Wine, Lime Juice, Braggs and Carrots to a boil. Then add Baby Corn and Water Chestnuts. Let boil for one minute. Now add Pea Pods and Noodles and let boil for another minute. Your Noodles should cook pretty fast but read your package to see what they suggest for cooking times. Once your Noodles are tender add Baby Bok Choy Leaves and remove your pot from heat.
When you serve, first put your noodles, vegetables and broth into your bowl and then mix in pieces of vegan chicken. Gently place one vegan egg on top and then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
* I wish I could tell you that our entire move was full of kissing and numerous Romantic Comedy hijinks but sometimes we’re not all great with change. Exhibit A: Taken from transcripts of a conversation about setting up the cable/internet :
Shannon A : Why are you picking a fight with me?
Shannon B : Why are you getting a fight picked with you?
Yeah, we can laugh about these things now but at the time… Not so much.
** We’ll posting pictures soon but I can tell you this: the kitchen situation alone improved like a whole letter grade.