Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Little Japanese Inspiration...

My fiance's aunt is from Japan, so I am interested in anything and everything that she can teach me to cook. She introduced us to Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese market. I am fascinated with the place, even though I can't read the writing on 90% of the packages in the store (a few of them, thankfully, have description/directions in English!). The sake, of course, needs no translation ;-)

With her help, we've figured out what's "good" and my shopping stays pretty limited to those items. One of her recommendations is fresh ramen noodles. I don't really like it as a soup, so I've worked with it a little each time I make it, and finally have come to something I like. Inside the package is three individual servings of noodles, with three soup base packets.
Here's my rough recipe (I was not paying attention to measurements!):

  • Vegetable oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chili powder (my fiance likes spicey!)
  • Vegetables of your choice (I used snow peas, broccoli, carrots, 1/2 to 1 cup of each)
  • Chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes (I used 2)
  • Ramen noodles (I used all three servings from the package)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Corn starch, if desired for thickening
Heat a little vegetable oil and garlic in a pan. Add the veggies and season with onion powder and chili powder, to your taste. Towards the end, I toss in some sesame seeds. Stir fry until the are cooked to your preferred level of 'done-ness'. Remove from the pan when done. Heat some more vegetable oil and garlic in the same pan. Add the chicken and season with onion powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Again, when nearly done, I add sesame seeds.

I cooked the ramen according to the package directions (in English!), which is 1 1/2 minutes in boiling water. The soup base calls for mixing with 1 1/4 cups boiling water, but I think that is just for one serving. I was making all three, but since I wanted more of a sauce than a soup, I added about 2 cups of water to the 3 combined packets of soup base.

When the chicken is almost done, add the soup base to the pan. Add some corn starch and allow to thicken for a few minutes. Combine drained noodles, veggies, chicken and sauce, and...

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