Pricey bowls of cold ramen salad have never been my thing (I mean, $12 for canned corn and tacky noodles?!?), and neither have greasy, slick portions of pork bone soup. In celebration of the weather finally making a turn for the positive (literally so), I present to you a tangy, refreshing noodle dish that can be served either hot or cold.
Broth (Recipe inspired by and adapted from La Fuji Mama)
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2-3 cups water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemongrass powder
- 1 stalk leek, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro*
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 tbsp thyme
- 3 limes, juiced*
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp sea salt (or as required)
- 4 bunches uncooked somen noodles
- 3-4 mini cucumbers
- 1/2 can corn kernels
- 2 nori sheets
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 2 eggs
- other toppings of choice*
Pickled veggies (optional) (Recipe adapted from White on Rice Couple)
- 1 medium daikon
- 3 large carrots
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 granulated sugar*
- 1 cups water
Part i: Broth
1) Clean cilantro thoroughly and remove any wilted stalks. Pat dry and set aside.
2) In a large pot, sautee leek and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat for several minutes or until fragrant.
2) Add in lemongrass powder, thyme, granulated sugar, and approximately one cup of water. Allow to simmer gently.
3) Combine coconut milk, water, and lime juice. Add into the pot.
4) Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes before stirring. Mix and reduce the heat immediately if the mixture begins to boil vigorously.
5) Add in soy sauce and salt. If necessary, adjust the amount of salt to your preference.
6) Remove from heat and set aside.
7) Add in cilantro several minutes before serving to prevent excessive wilting. (Please note: I added in the cilantro while preparing the broth, but would recommend performing this step later on instead.)
Part ii: Somen Noodles
1) In a shallow pot, bring water to a boil and add in somen noodles. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or as directed on the packaging, and remove from heat. Drain and rinse with cold water before floating over an ice water bath until ready to serve.
2) Thoroughly wash and skin mini cucumbers, leaving thin trails of skin on each strip. Discard the centres (or reserve for smoothie-making). Transfer cucumber strips into a serving bowl.
3) Cut nori into thin rectangular strips, roughly 1 in in length and 1 cm in width. Transfer to a serving bowl.
4) Place sesame seeds in a shallow pan and toast over low heat, mixing every so often. Once lightly browned, remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
5) In a shallow pan (or medium-sized skillet), bring water a roaring boil. Immediately reduce the heat until only a few bubbles float to the surface.
6) Crack one egg into a shallow dish and slowly lower into the water. Allow the egg to poach for 3-4 minutes. Remove and cool in a bowl of water. Repeat with the remaining egg.
7) Transfer corn kernels into a serving bowl.
8) Set aside cucumber strips, nori strips, toasted sesame seeds, poached eggs, and corn kernels until ready to serve.
Part iii: Pickled veggies (optional)
1) Thinly slice daikon and carrot into strips. Place into a large bowl and cover with white vinegar and sugar. Add water and allow to pickle for about one hour.
2) Set aside until noodles are ready to serve.
Part iv: Compilation
1) Combine broth and somen noodles at the desired ratio and add toppings.
- Try to obtain the freshest cilantro possible in order to maintain a grassy hue even after submerging in steamy broth.
- Pickled veggies should be served as an appetizer. Refrain from fully submerging them into the broth as it can cause the broth to become unnecessarily sour.
- I added 3 tbsp of granulated sugar and two cups of water to my pickled veggie mix and the outcome was lacking in flavour. The amounts in this recipe have since been adjusted to yield a more desirable finish.
- The resulting broth was found to be a bit bland, therefore I would highly suggest adding in a greater amount of salt than indicated above in Part i). For optimal results, taste the broth after the addition of lime juice and adjust as needed. Alternatively, feel free to reduce the amount of lime juice.
- During the egg poaching process, a shallow pot was utilized instead of a shallow pan/skillet. However, after experiencing a frenzy of egg whites roaming wild within the water, I would highly recommend using a skillet instead.
- Omit the egg for a low cholesterol variation or an entirely vegan option.
- Feel free to add whichever other toppings you desire, whether that be miso marinated eggplant, sweet potato, etc.
- I have opted to omit any spicy elements, but feel free to add chili flakes to render the dish to your liking.