I’ve had a ramen obsession for the past week, and San Francisco is a great place for it: there are interesting ramen joints in a variety of styles in every part of the city. But no Paleo ramen to be found, which is why I set out on a journey to make my own.
Ramen (paleo ramen or not) is all about the broth. If you’re unable or unwilling to make a gorgeous, nutrient-rich broth… time to pick a different recipe! The instructions I give below make a bone broth so rich that it’s more solid than liquid after a stint in the refrigerator. What’s exciting about bone broth, you ask? It contains valuable minerals in an easily absorbed form, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals. The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid, meaning it attracts and holds liquids–including digestive juices–thereby supporting proper digestion. Bone broth also inhibits infections caused by cold and flu viruses, and fights inflammation (courtesy of anti-inflammatory amino acids such as arginine).
That being said, bone broth is nutritious but also delicious. Paired with the tare (a flavorful mixture of coconut aminos, honey, and sake) it’s light yet hearty in an essential way that makes it the perfect thing to sip for breakfast, lunch, or a pre-workout snack. Seriously, I’ll be making another batch of this A+ broth soon whether I plan to use it in ramen or not.
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp dry sake
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 pieces kombu
- 2 lbs chicken necks, backs or wings
- 2 lbs pork spareribs
- 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup bonito flakes
- RAMEN & GARNISHES
- 4 7-oz shirataki noodle packs (in water)
- 1/2 bunch scallions
- 4 nori sheets
- Shichimi togarashi
- Enoki mushrooms
- White and black sesame seeds
- 4 eggs, soft-boiled
- To make the tare, mix the coconut aminos, sake and honey in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat the kombu in 4 quarts of water in a large pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove the kombu and discard. Add the chicken parts, spareribs, bonito flakes, carrots, garlic, ginger and scallions.
- Bring the broth back to a boil, then simmer uncovered until the meat has fallen off the bone and the vegetables are very soft (approximately 3 hours).
- Once the broth is finished cooking, let cool enough to handle and strain. Reserve the largest pieces of pork, discard the other solids.
- To assemble the ramen, warm the broth gradually over medium heat and add the noodles and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are fully softened in the hot broth, approximately 10 minutes. Add the tare gradually, to taste.
- Crisp the shredded pork in a small skillet over medium heat, with a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi.
- Pour the noodles, mushrooms and broth into deep bowls, and arrange the pork in piles to the side.
- Garnish with more mushrooms (if desired), plus scallions, sesame seeds, egg, shichimi togarashi, and shredded nori.
- Serve hot with additional scallions and shichimi togarashi on the side for customization.
- The specialty ingredients in this Paleo ramen recipe are available online, or in Asian grocery stores. Shichimi togarashi (七味唐辛子, "seven flavor chili pepper") is a blend of pepper, citrus peel, ginger and sesame seeds among other ingredients and should not be confused with ichimi tōgarashi (一味唐辛子), which is simply ground red chili pepper, and means literally "one flavor chili pepper" (ichi meaning "one").
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