Quarantine measures during the COVID-19 crisis mean we all need to be creative about using our personal space. Our homes are now our studios, our gyms, our dance floors, our kids' classrooms and more. While many restaurants are smartly strategizing and extending their services from closed doors, it's likely that many of us are using one usual domestic space more than normal at this time — the kitchen. If you're looking for a tasty meal to add to your repertoire, venture to whip up this mushroom ramen, a favourite from our publication Future Food Today: A cookbook by SPACE10. Don't have access to all of the ingredients? No problem: improvisation is welcome!
Recipe for four servings
First introduced to Japan by Chinese immigrants, ramen is a soul-soothing and nourishing flavour bomb that uses noodles made with kansui — an alkaline solution that makes the noodles pleasantly chewy and yellow — and meat broth imbued with tons of umami flavour. Our version is a departure from the original: we’ve opted for a noodleless, umami-packed mushroom broth with shredded vegetables and chickpea tofu. Fun fact: we grow our own mushrooms from leftover coffee grounds.
2 Onions, roughly chopped
2 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
300 g Oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
200 g Button mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Dried shiitake, roughly chopped
1-4 Red chilis, roughly chopped
1-2 Tbsp Clear rapeseed oil
100 mL White wine
3 Tbsp Brown miso paste
1.5 L Veggie broth
3 stems Thyme
3 stems Rosemary
STEP 1 Heat the oil in a big pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and chilis and any other leftover vegetables you might have lying around. Sauté until everything is nicely browned (but not at all burnt).
STEP 2 Add the white wine to deglaze the pot and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom. Bring the wine to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the miso paste and stir until it’s well mixed.
STEP 3 Add the veggie broth, thyme and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1–1.5 hours, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. (The longer you simmer, the deeper the flavour. Taste as you go along to find out what you like.) Strain the broth and season to taste.
1 L Water
2 Tbsp Salt
200 g Carrots, thinly sliced
200 g Celeriac, thinly sliced
200 g Kohlrabi, thinly sliced 200 g
STEP 1 Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium pot. Submerge the vegetables in the water for 1 minute, then drain and plunge them into cold water until you’re ready to serve your ramen.
NOTE: No kohlrabi? No problem. You can replace any of these ingredients with another firm, starchy vegetable. Think potatoes, winter squash, turnips, jerusalem artichokes… play around with what you like.
Marinated Spring Cabbage
1/2 a head Pointed cabbage
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Salt
STEP 1 Peel off any damaged layers from your cabbage. Slice into 4 pieces, from top to bottom. Finely slice again.
STEP 2 Squeeze the lemon over the cabbage and sprinkle with salt.
STEP 3 Let the cabbage marinate for 10–15 minutes, and then it’s ready to serve.
500g Onions, unpeeled
STEP 1 Chop the onions in half lengthwise but don’t peel them. Fry chopped-side down on a smoking hot, dry pan. After 8–12 minutes, they should be dark on the cut side. Check to make sure they’re tender all the way through. If they aren’t quite there, pop them into a 150°C oven for a few minutes.
STEP 2 Peel off the skin. (Remember to save it for broths.) Store your halved, burnt onions submerged in oil or add them to the soup right away.
Roasted Chickpea Tofu
100 g Chickpea flour
350 mL Water
1-2 Tbsp Clear rapeseed oil
1 tsp Salt
STEP 1 Mix the chickpea flour and salt in a bowl. Add half the water gradually, whisking gently until smooth. Pour everything into a pot and heat over low heat while adding the remaining water, whisking constantly.
STEP 2 Once your mixture feels like really thick porridge, pour everything onto a tray. Let cool and congeal.
STEP 3 Cut your tofu into bite-sized chunks. Fry in a bit of oil in a very hot pan until crispy. Be gentle or the tofu may crumble. Don’t toss anything: your tofu will let go of the pan on its own when it’s ready to be flipped to the other side.
STEP 4 Once the tofu pieces are crispy, remove them from the pan and place on a piece of paper towel to drain.
300 g Oyster mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbsp Clear rapeseed oil
STEP 1 Heat your pan over high heat until it starts to smoke. Add the oil, wait a few seconds, then toss in the mushrooms. Sauté until they’re golden and crispy on the surface, about 3–6 minutes.
STEP 2 Take the mushrooms off the pan and lay them on a piece of kitchen towel to drain.
1 L Water
STEP 1 Bring the water to a boil and carefully lower in your eggs with a spoon. Boil for 8 minutes, then immediately plunge your eggs into cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel right before serving.
2 handfuls Bean sprouts
2 handfuls Garlic chives
HOW TO SERVE IT
STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a small oven tray with baking paper and place the tofu, burnt onions and sautéed mushrooms on top. Reheat them in the oven (4–5 minutes).
STEP 2 Slowly reheat your broth in a pot. Season again to taste. Put a small handful of shredded veggies and marinated cabbage in the bottom of four big bowls. Peel, slice and divide the eggs among the bowls.
STEP 3 Divide the tofu, burnt onions and roasted mushrooms between your bowls. Top each bowl with bean sprouts and garlic chives. Pour over the boiling hot mushroom broth.