When I was in my second year of University, I was living with a Korean girl who used to bring back Korean and Japanese style pot noodles back from Seoul each term. The first time she brought them back, they were in large plastic bowls, and much like a pot noodle, they had the little sachets of dried vegetables and a sachet for flavouring. They were much tastier than pot noddles when prepared by themselves and my favourite flavour was Spicy Beef.
I kind of miss those noodles so I decided to see if I could recreate it from fresh using egg noddles and a real piece of steak to go on top. I wasn't sure what to use to flavour the broth, but I recalled a distinctive flavour much stronger than your plain stock recipe. So I went for a Miso based broth for flavour and to help me use up my white miso paste and bonito flakes.
Byron doesn't like the taste of the miso I make very much, he thinks it's too fishy and has a strong seaweed flavour. So I made the broth spicy to get him on the ramen's side. I used ready chopped red chillies from Marks & Spencers for this version. Recently I stocked up on some Chinese chilli oil from the local Thai shop and I used a bit of the oil and some of the chilli from that to make the ramen instead, I think this creates a much better flavour than the plain chilli.
Aside from the chilli the only other change I made to this dish recently was with the beef. For this version I had a cut of rump that I had removed the fat from and sliced thinly. But you can also fry your beef first until medium rare and then slice thinly to put on top.
The broth, the toasted sesame seeds and the vegetables with the noodles and egg on their own make for a filling dish so I don't think the beef is really required if you don't want to add it. If you want to go fully vegetarian then you can missed out the bonito flakes in the dashi too.
Overall, the dish was quick and easy to prepare, nearly all the ingredients are quick cooking, so I don't think I'll ever have to eat pre-packaged ramen again.
Also don't be put off by the ingredients, you can get a lot of this stuff from regular supermarkets. I think the bonito flakes are probably the hardest things to source if you don't have a local Asian supermarket, but you can get ready made dashi stock in supermarkets. I've tried to add some links to get the ingredients at a London based Japanese supermarket called 'Japan Centre' who ship to the UK. But for non UK readers, I hope the images and brand names help you to source your items correctly.
200g lean Beef steak
3 tbsp white Miso paste
2 cups Water
1 cup Dashi (1 cup Water + tbsp Bonito flakes + 1/2 tbsp Wakame)
1/2 tbsp Sesame seeds
2 Spring onion, sliced (Scallion)
1 head Bok Choy
1 tbsp Wakame (optional)
2 tsp Chilli oil & flakes
1 nest thin egg Noodles
Start by preparing the broth. If you're making you're own dashi, add the bonito flakes, wakame and water to a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes or until your water has a seaweed/fishy flavour.
In a small frying pan, dry fry the sesame seeds until toasted. Then grind in a pestle and mortar. Set to one side.
In a large saucepan add more water, and the miso paste. Mix well until miso paste is combined. Bring to the boil. Then add the dashi, chilli oil and 3/4 of the sesame seeds. Mix well and simmer for 10 mins. At this point, I normally add the eggs into the pan to hard boil.
Fish out your eggs and put under a cold tap to cool. Add the white ends of the bok choy and any other long cooking vegetables to the saucepan. Add soy sauce to season. Cook until just tender, then add the leafy greens, beef and nest of noodles. Cook for 1 minute.
Peel eggs and slice in half.
Add wakame (if using) to the bottom of your bowl. Ladle broth, noodles, beef and veg into the bowls. Add egg to the side of the dish. Scatter over chopped spring onion and remaining sesame seeds. Eat.