Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alton Brown's Ramen Radiator

Ramen always takes me back to memories of college.  I went to a school that required a ridiculous number of credits per semester, so there were a lot of late nights (though I have to admit that not all of them were schoolwork related).  Dinner was served at 5:30 every evening.  The result was that when I was still awake at midnight, ramen was pretty much the only thing I could manage to get into my rumbling stomach before I fell exhausted into bed.

This is not the same ramen.

Alton Brown's recipe for this sweet and spicy Asian seafood noodle soup has made me take back my vow to never eat ramen noodles again.  Once that sodium-filled seasoning packet is tossed aside, the noodles become a blank canvas for the layers of flavor included here.  Plus, the cooking method is a lot of fun.  Like Alton says, it's the coolest recipe in the book.

I did make a couple of changes- a little more shrimp, a little garlic, and low-sodium miso soup mix since my regular store apparently doesn't stock miso paste.

Alton Brown's Ramen Radiator, from I'm Just Here for the Food 2.0

What's in it:

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
8 oz brown mushrooms
1 3-oz package of ramen noodles
2 8-oz halibut fillets, or other mild white fish or salmon (I used flounder)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp honey
Pinch of chili flakes
6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 8)
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
4 scallions, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c mirin
2 c miso or vegetable broth (I used a pack of miso soup mix and 2 c of water)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Heat a saute pan over high heat, add the oils, then add the mushrooms and toss; cook until caramelized, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Break the noodle "loaf" in half (I find this makes the least mess if you do it in the bag before you open it).  Season the fish with salt and pepper, drizzle honey on each fillet, and sprinkle with red chili flakes.

Line two large bowls with sturdy aluminum foil, making sure that there is a lot hanging over the sides.  Lay half of the noodles in each bowl and top with the fish.  Spread the shrimp, mushrooms and onions around the noodles.  Top with the scallions and garlic.  Bring foil up around the food and pinch closed, leaving an opening large enough to pour the liquids into.

Mix the liquids together, and pour half into each foil pouch and seal.  Move the packets to a baking sheet and bake for 22-25 minutes.  Return pouches to bowls for serving.

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