Have you ever even heard about this movie? A few months ago, I ran into it at Blockbuster as I was browsing through their latest releases. I didn’t notice it until I got to the bottom row and when I did, I couldn’t help grabbing the box and quickly reading the synopsis at the back. Even before I finished reading it, I knew I had to rent it, basically for three reasons: 1) I like Brittany Murphy and she’d recently passed away, so paying a couple of pesos because she starred the movie was kind of a little homage to her; 2) Being 50% Japanese, I am curious to observe how the Western world sees the Japanese culture; and 3) I plainly love ramen.
This third reason takes me on to today’s task: making a good bowl of soup. The original recipe takes hours and hours since the broth is made by boiling chicken and beef for a very long time, but I make it simpler: I just use a serving of my favorite ramen and add a couple of ingredients that make a huge difference.
So, here's a picture of the ingredients you'll need in order to make your packaged ramen taste more like a real bowl of ramen.
Ramen, an egg, fried tofu and asparagus. I used asparagus this time because I love it and it's a seasonal product, but turnip and hakusai are good options, too.
Before boiling the asparagus, I like removing the hardest parts (the ones closer to the bottom) with a potato pealer, because nobody likes to chew thick layers of cellulose and later have to take them out of their mouth, right?
Boiling asparagus is very simple, you just need to add some sugar to the water (some people recommend a little vinegar, too) so that they lose that bitter taste. Salt is also necessary, of course. Cooking time depends on their size, but I don't recommend boiling them for too long; I like to eat them while they're still a bit crunchy.
Once you've finished cooking the asparagus, prerare the ramen and poach an egg at the same time. I use different pans, but you can poach it in the same one where you're making the soup. First, you need to crack the egg in a small bowl, heat a little water in a pan (4 cm) and throw the egg once the water's started boiling. 4 minutes will be more than enough.
So, you have the asparagus, the poached egg and the soup. I also like adding one or two pieces of fried tofu because it adds a little extra flavor to the broth. Serve all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!
Oh, one final tip! If you make this as you watch The Ramen Girl, I can guarantee you'll enjoy your soup even more :).