Growing up in Hawaii, ramen or saimin was everywhere. You could even get it at McDonald’s….for breakfast. In college, people mixed the noodles with cheese and somehow called that dinner. Now, there is an abundance of over-priced haute cuisine ramen shops popping up all over. Some of them do it well, but the majority are just pricey bowls of salty broth and pasty noodles. We can do better than that!
There’s lots of ways to make this fussy, but it can be simple too. I took some chicken bouillon paste and added it to hot water, soaked some bonito flakes in it and let it steep till I was ready with the other ingredients. I strained the flakes out, added some soy sauce, and it was ready. I could have added some aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallions), but this was a weeknight and we were starving.
For the toppings: 6 minute soft-boiled egg (put eggs into a pan of boiling water, boil 6 minutes, drain, rinse under cold water); boil soba noodles until al dente (only 2 minutes or so), rinse under cold water and drain well; add sliced carrots and asparagus or other veggies to noodles while boiling to do double duty and cook the veggies till crisp-tender, the cooking times are the same; saute sliced chard with miso paste and sesame oil; spread chili bean paste on fish and broil for 7-10 minutes; chop scallions.
Layer into large bowls the noodles, veggies, fish and egg. Strain broth and ladle around noodles. Garnish with scallions and roasted seaweed or furikake.