Fans of the blog will remember that a few weeks ago, I tried ramen noodles for the first time. Eating them with seared steak and a delicious sauce was a big success that I’ve already repeated. Trying instant ramen swimming in broth was not as successful.
But everyone who reached out after that blog excitedly assured me that ramen from an experienced restaurant with all the fix-ins is worth having again and again.
So after browsing through one of my favorite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest from Tieghan Gerard, and seeing Tieghan’s love for ramen, I decided to try her most recent ramen recipe: 30-minute spicy miso chicken katsu ramen. The fact that it’d be topped with breaded, fried chicken may have influenced my decision as well.
Not only was this my first time making a brothy ramen, it was my first time trying 1. miso, 2. gochujang, and 3. a soft-boiled egg (actually a boiled egg of any durability).
THIS WAS AN ADVENTUROUS MEAL FOR ME! You can see why the breaded, fried chicken was a comfort!
So, miso first: I’ll be honest, I still don’t understand what miso is. I didn’t know what it would look like when I opened the tub, and now that I’ve opened it, I’m no more informed than I was before. I’ve seen so many recipes lately that feature white miso paste, so I’m happy to have this in my fridge and keep experimenting with it (and figuring out what it is).
The gochujang: This is a Korean chili paste that is featured in many Korean recipes. It won’t shock you to know that I haven’t made many (any) Korean dishes before. I was nervous about trying this because I’m a giant scaredy cat. It turns out that not only does this bring a little heat, but it’s also quite sweet! Had I known this, I would’ve tried it much sooner! I definitely see a spoonful of this chili paste going into some of my future stir-fries and marinades. This one’s a keeper for sure.
The soft-boiled egg: the smell of boiled eggs is truly the worst. Just gross. With that said, the jammy yolk that resulted from 6-and-a-half minutes in boiling water was delightful. I cannot imagine eating a hard-boiled egg with a totally solid yolk. I don’t understand how that holds any appeal to anyone. It’s basically just a rubber egg. I don’t get it. And for that reason, I didn’t eat the white of this egg. I am who I am.
So, after putting all these exotic ingredients together (and an egg), how was the ramen?
If I’m being honest, I was so worked up over all the new ingredients that I was a little unsure while trying my first few bites. The flavor that the broth lended to the ramen noodles was wonderful, but I’m still not used to the idea of this type of soupy meal. So as a dressing for the noodles, it was great, but as a basis for the meal, I need more time to adjust to the broth.
“But, wait, Beth, what was that you said about breaded, fried chicken?”
The chicken was amazing! It came out so good that I refused to top the ramen with it because I didn’t want it to get soggy (and, if I’m being honest, because I was nervous that I wouldn’t like the broth and didn’t want to contaminate the chicken). But not only was it delicious on its own, it was, in fact, delicious after dipped into the flavorful broth!
So, the final verdict was that the recipe is delicious, but I still need to acclimate myself to the concept of ramen in broth. This is progress I can work with!
Plus I have so many new ingredients in my arsenal to play with over the next few weeks!
What are your favorite ways to use miso paste and gochujang? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @thepickyeaterchronicles so I can start my experiments!