Bonnie’s Top Noodle Hacks!
Growing up, noodles were always on the menu in our house. Stir-fried noodle with silky sauces, cold and creamy noodle salads, chubby noodles in clear broths and fine eggy noodles… I loved them all. I am sure that even my love of spaghetti stems from its ramen likeness too! When work gets busy, noodle meals become my go-to dish, quick and satisfying, they should be everybody’s cupboard staple.
This month, I am sharing with you “Bonnie’s Top Noodle Hacks!” You will master the noodle at home, from ramen soup noodles to making restaurant-quality stir-fried noodles.
Founder, Miso Tasty
Ever wanted your ramen noodles at home to be restaurant quality?
- Down the pan: always use two pans – one for noodles and one for everything else. Noodles need your full attention if you want to get them right, so avoid whacking everything in one pan and hoping for the best.
- Respect your noodles: they are a symbol of life in Japanese culture so you should never snap them before putting in the pan. Place into boiling water too rather than cold.
- Silky not starched: If your noodles always end up stuck together, starch is usually always the culprit. Once boiled, rinse them in cold water to remove the starch and avoid the stick.
- Ice and simple: Shikoshiko noodles have a nice bite – stop yours overcooking and help retain their texture by resting in iced water while you prep your other ingredients.
- Rapid refresh: once you’re ready to serve, quickly reheat your iced noodles by dropping them back into simmering water for 10 seconds.
- Ramen ratio: noodles are the main event. Remember the 80:10:10 rule and aim for 80% noodles, 10% vegetables and 10% protein.
- Build your bowl: your final dish should come together in the bowl, not the pan. Start with the noodles, then layer your protein and veg and top off with a warming broth.
Stir-fried noodles can often come out limp, with no bite, or too heavy with sauce. To make the best restaurant-quality noodle stir-fry, follow these simple tips for great results every time.
- The sequence is key. Cook all the ingredients first, then add the noodles, then coat with sauce and finish. Many make the mistake of starting with the noodle in the pan first, then adding the other ingredients slowly and cooking it altogether with the sauce. This can really mess up your textures and flavours – for example, say you are adding ingredients like mushrooms or beansprouts (that release water on cooking) the water will steam and cook the noodles too much in the pan, causing them to overcook. So get all your ingredients ready first, cook them through, then add the cooked noodles before finishing with the sauce at the very end. Adding the sauce too early can thicken the sauce too quickly too, so stick to this sequence and you can’t go far wrong!
- Always start with cold or cooled cooked noodles. The key is to heat up the noodle in the pan to the point of them being hot enough to eat but not to cook them much further. So the colder the noodles the better to prevent overcooking in the pan, which are less than satisfying. For the best results, I find keeping the cooked noodles in the fridge whilst you prepare the other ingredients is a great way of keeping the noodles firm ahead of stir-frying.
- Follow the 80:20 rule of noodle to ingredients ratio. Too many ingredients create an unbalanced dish – always keep the noodle the hero. Also, don’t over-sauce as this takes away from the delicate textures and flavours of the noodles. The sauce should coat the noodles lightly and not like a gravy : )
- Try not to add too much oil. A tablespoon is enough per person in a pan. To prevent sticking keep the ingredients moving quickly in the pan on a high flame.
- Have garnishes to hand. A handful of chopped herbs or something crunchy like peanuts or seeds can add a finishing touch to your noodles, making them look and taste even more special.
For this month’s noodle issue
get 20% off our Noodle Kits* on our website, using this special code
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Nanban x Miso Tasty Menu
We’ve teamed up with Masterchef winner Tim Anderson for a vey special menu for his Nanban restaurants in Brixton and at the recently opened Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden. He has created 3 Miso Tasty dishes using our organic miso pastes; Nasu Dengaku (miso aubergine), Sapporo Butter Corn Miso Ramen, available with chicken and pork or with mushroom for vegetarians. Finally for desert, Nanbanana; banana in miso butterscotch with kinako, cinnamon ice cream, crispy noodles and walnuts. Drooling yet???
Ramen Noodle Bars
My favourite ramen bars in London are Shoryu and Ippudo. Both have traditional pork-based broths and toppings as well as miso-based veggie options. During my recent trip to Japan, I have been avoiding meat-based broths for a lighter, healthier meal and found it quite tricky to find veggie or fish based ramen, as it was so traditional for ramen in Japan to be made from pork or chicken. Thankfully, I persevered and found these 2 places that I would really recommend: the Hokkaido shell ramen in Sapporo, and Soranoiro Nippon in Tokyo – both had vegan, veggie and fish-based options!
We hope you enjoyed ‘The Noodle Issue’ of Kitchen Diaries and we look forward to seeing you next month!
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* 20% Off Noodle Kits Promotion valid on Ramen and Udon Noodle Kits only on misotasty.com. Offer excludes Glass Noodle Meal Kits and any other promotions. Ends midnight 31st October 2019.