BluishOblivion Goes Cooking: Kimchi Ramen

For a long time, friends on my Facebook have asked for recipes or advice on cooking. Some have even suggested YouTube videos. While I may not be as impressed by my cooking as they are (and my family), I figured I’d oblige. After posing the question on Facebook, it turns out ramen was the way to go. In this case, kimchi ramen. So my once a month recipe share is a take on my usual ramen recipe.

Before getting started, there are a few things that I’d like to point out. First of all, I normally make my own bone broth from scratch using veggie scraps and whatever bones on sale at the local meat store. This also doesn’t have a lot veggies (just used bamboo shoots and water chestnuts) and I’ve limited ingredients to accommodate an easier on the stomach ramen, which is why I didn’t make my own broth as usual. This isn’t perfect fodmap as it does have some garlic and onions in the ramen broth and kimchi. You can also use whatever noodles that you want. I usually use different noodles depending on what my boys are feeling since I don’t eat ramen. This week, we opted for soba. Another point is that when I can find ramen base at the store, I get that as well for a deeper flavor. Lastly, this is really just a base. You can add whatever you want to it to make it great for your family. My husband added some extra vinegar while my son added more chili oil.

the basics

You’ll need:

  • Eggs (if you like soft boiled eggs in ramen)
  • 32 oz. bone broth (I used beef, but you can use any bone broth)
  • 32 oz. ramen broth
  • Kimchi
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Chili oil (optional)

To start with, I boil the water in a sauce pan for my eggs. Once the water is boiled, I use a slotted spoon to carefully place the eggs in the water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium so that it stays boiling, then set the timer for 6 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, I take a bowl and set it aside for the eggs. When the eggs are done, I take the slotted spoon and place the eggs into the bowl. Then I run cold water on it until the water stays cold and shut the water off. (Ice bath is for people who actually have ice on hand.) I let the eggs sit in the bowl and use the same pan for my noodles. I add enough water to fill more than half the pan and re-boil the water.

chopped kimchi

Next, I open up the broths (bone and ramen broths, and ramen base if you have it) and pour them into a larger pot. Let heat up while you open/prep your veggies. (I use canned Asian veggies for easier cooking) Then I grab about a handful of kimchi, dice it up into chunks, then add it to the broth. I then take a couple of tablespoons of the kimchi brine as well. Mix everything together until it cooks. Taste it, and add about a cup of soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil for extra flavor.

gooey soft boiled eggs

While your noodles are finishing cooking, start to crack your eggs. Don’t cut them until they are about to go in the soup or use them as a topper for your bowl of ramen.

Strain and rinse the noodles, then add the noodles to the broth. Add chili oil to taste.

The finished product.

And el fin. Ramen.

Again, I emphasize that this is to taste. This was more on the bland side to stick as closely as I could to my husband’s low fodmap diet. It isn’t perfect because it does have garlic and onion in both the kimchi and the ramen broth. But I did what I could to limit it.

There’s Something Special About Family Recipes

Over the weekend, I saw delicious strawberries at the grocery store. It inspired me to make a family favorite dessert for my boys, that we haven’t enjoyed in a few years: strawberry shortcake. Instead of my homemade biscuits, I grabbed some angel food cake for them. I have a textural issue with soggy bread, so I opted just for a strawberry sundae.

As I was cutting the strawberries, it reminded me of every time that I made this with my mom. She taught me when I was younger. These family recipes, the ones that are passed down from generation, are just special to be a part of. Even though I tweak the recipes, there’s still something special that I feel a part of when I make these recipes. I remember making meatballs and rolling them with my mom. I remember making beef stew with my dad. It’s being a part of those traditions. It’s something that I love sharing with my kids and nephews.

My recipes are part of my legacy and will hopefully be passed on to their kids. I hope that they have those memories come up every time that they make those meals for their families or friends. Food is something that we all share within our families, but it’s more than just eating amazing food with loved ones. It’s about the stories behind those meals. People always put so much emphasis on pictures, but I have an easier time connecting memories to events rather than looking at a picture. As I start to make my meatballs as my mother taught me (with some tweaks that I made), I hear her voice in my head going “more cheese”. I remember proudly sneaking the first meatball the next day after it had rested overnight in the pasta sauce. Those are memories that pictures can’t always capture, because you’re not an active participant.

As I go through this journey of re-losing weight gained due to not focusing on myself, I keep hearing people point out that food isn’t supposed to be an emotional experience. It’s a means to nourish your body and nothing more. I don’t necessarily agree with that. You can have an emotional experience with food. You can use food to connect with others. To make you feel warm inside, especially when thinking about those memories. The thing is that you need to take things in moderation, not deprive yourself. People who have an unhealthy relationship with food, whether it’s that they eat too much of it or that they avoid it in fear of getting unhealthy, have issues deep inside that have nothing to do with anyone/anything else. Food is an experience that can and should be shared.

Take the time to teach your kids your family recipes. They may be more willing than you think to be a part of it. My youngest has even helped make things like my cornbread recipe or even the cranberry sauce that I make. My oldest is always curious about what I’m making, often hanging around in the kitchen waiting for an impromptu lesson. Food can be something that connects everyone and help your legacy live on long after you’re gone. That’s what makes it so special.