Friday 26 May 2023

Tempeh and vegetable ramen soup

I've never understood the ramen thing in the USA.  We had 2 minute noodles when I was a kid but ramen always sounds fancier. And ramen seems more than noodles.  It is a meal. A few weeks ago I wanted miso soup but I also wanted corn tempeh soup and I needed some vegetables.  I found a white miso ramen sauce.  It seemed easy but I followed my gut and fried up some ad-ins such as tempeh and eggplant.  It took me an hour to make it the way I wanted it.  Although it was a bit more work than I expected, it was such a delicious meal that I could have eaten it for weeks.  But it only yielded 4 servings over a few days, though it did helpe me use up some of the food in the kitchen.

The saucepan of ramen soup looked so beautiful I took a photo.  Then I served some out and took a photo because I it looked delicious.  The last photo below I took was the next day when I had some leftovers.  It didn't look quite as lovely but it still tasted wonderful.

So I wrote down what I did because I would be delighted to make it again or a version of it.  It seemed a really simple recipe to write up but life has been busy and distracting.  And it is not going to ease up much for a few weeks.  If I had the time I would be eating better but given today I had a busy day of meeting up with a friend, going to see the doctor, doing office work on my day off, having my dad over to help fix the wobbly fence, catching up on washing dishes.  It was the sort of night to order pizza for tea rather than make a delicious soup like this but life will calm down again and maybe given me more time for a bit of creativity and fun in the kitchen.

More substantial Asian-style soups on Green Gourmet Giraffe blog:

Tempeh and vegetable ramen
Inspired by Ahead of Thyme

Neutral oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 baby roma tomatoes, sliced
1 carrot finely julienned
1/2 red capsicum, finely julienned
1/2 cup purple cabbage, finely sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
chilli paste or black pepper, to taste
550g soba ramen noodles
1-2 tbsp white miso
2-4 tbsp hot water
1 eggplant, cubed and fried
1 x 300g packet tempeh, fried chunks
1 corn cob, microwaved and kernels cut off
1/2 broccoli floret, chopped, cooked in microwave

1 spring onion, chopped
6 snow peas, finely sliced

Firstly prepare vegetables.  I fried the eggplant cubes in the cast iron frypan until crisp outside and soft inside, set them aside and then fried some chunks of tempeh in the same frypan until golden brown.   Microwave the corn (I do this in its husks for 3.5 minutes and then remove husk and cut the rows of corn off the cob.)  Microwave broccoli in a tub until al dente (ie only just cooked with some resistance when you cut it.)  Set all cooked food aside.

Heat some oil in a large saucepan and fry onion, tomatoes, carrot, red capsicum, cabbage and garlic (I gradually added them as I chopped them.) until softened.  Add 6 cups of water, soy sauce, mirin and chilli paste.  Bring to the boil and then add soba noodles and simmer for about 4 minutes or until just soft.  Meanwhile mix miso with hot water until miso is thinned.  Add to simmering soup.  Add eggplant, tempeh, corn kernels and broccoli.  Warm through.

Ladle into deep bowls and garnish with spring onions and snow peas.

On the Stereo:
Excuses for Travellers: Mojave 3

Monday 8 May 2023

In My Kitchen: May 2023

May is upon us and last weekend brought an arctic cold snap (or should that be antarctic as we are down under).  It feels like a long time since I have needed the heater so much.  The weather didn't look much better in the UK for the Coronation.  Meanwhile at home we have sadly put our old purple couch out for the hard rubbish, and also had the plumber take out our decommissioned gas wall heater.  We've been out and about a bit more including visiting Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.

I made cinnamon rolls a few weeks back.  I spent hours one evening working out the ingredients I needed based on similar recipes.  When I showed this to Sylvia the next morning she asked why I didn't just use the recipe for sourdough cinnamon scrolls that we made a couple of years ago.  I had not filed it properly in my recipe index and missed it.  I had thought I had had a go at these but could not remember clearly enough to find the information.  

I actually refer to my indexes quite a bit and rely on filing my recipes there manually.  Unfortunately I only update it occasionally.  The recipe I devised for the recent cinnamon scrolls weren't as good as the one I made in 2021 so I need to update my recipe index so I can find it next time.


We have had a couple of visits to Ikea recently.  The first one was to buy some accessories for Sylvia's room but I picked up these green pot holders and could not leave the store without them.

 We also bought this packet of elk shaped pasta.  Very Scandinavian!

I made this Mac and Cheese pasta with cauliflower recently.  It was a bit overflowing in the cast iron frypan.  That is the downside of not following a recipe.  But I squished it into the frypan that I made the cheese sauce in because then I could place it under the grill and crisp up the cheese and breadcrumb topping.  It was delicious!

We discovered this vegan Roast Capsicum and Olive Ravioli an IGA supermarket.  While it was rather tasty it was less creamy than most ravioli fillings in commercial ravioli.

This pizza was bought at the end of a busy day.  We had been out and about with a meeting, an appointment, shopping, and even a new passport.  But it was the little things that stood out: a man walking through the city with an untethered pet rabbit over his shoulder, standing at the intercom at the pay station trying to fix a ticket that refused to give me the $20 discount I had claimed, and an air conditioner remote control left in the fridge.  Pizza from Cornerstone Pizza in Coburg was what we needed.  I had the Patate with fior de latte, chunks of rosemary potato, roasted peppers, spanish onions, and goats cheese.  It was lovely. 

We all love takeaway pizza in our house, even our cat!  Shadow really loves to sit on a pile of pizza boxes.  We have tried quite a few of the cat beds you can buy but he has a thing for boxes.  Actually we had the boxes neatly by the cupboards and he had one of those crazy nights where he looks like us kids when we slid across the polished church hall floor in our socks.  Totally out of control and knocking any pizza boxes in the way.  (That's Shadow!  We never had pizza in the church hall as far as I can remember!) And while I am digressing, the blank bit of wall is where our heater used to be.  (I loved that wall heater before it was decommissioned)

I know I am a sucker for a fun new way to eat some of my favourite brands but I do resist a lot.  These nutella biscuits were a huge winner.  Lots of gooey choc hazelnut spread in a crisp biscuit is so so satisfying. 

Sylvia decided to make some custard and fruit danishes with puff pastry.  She learnt not to overload the pastry with custard.  I cleaned up the spills in the oven.  Next time Sylvia made these she baled them in a container with sides rather than a baking tray.  And these tasted great, especially with apricot halves.

We were surprised to find this packet of Chupa Chups flavoured popcorn.  I wasn't that interested but Sylvia enjoyed it.  It seems there is a bit of a moment for the Chupa Chups flavour - and who even knew that those little lollipops even had a flavour!  Lately we have seen Chupa Chups flavoured ice creams, custard and milk.

And here is my poor mangled bicycle wheel.  It was quite difficult to wheel a block to the bike shop.  The fix-it guy took one look and asked me if I had a car accident.  Fortunately not!  But I did get the wheel caught in a grate and managed to get myself tipped off the bike.  My bike is back in good condition now and the bruises have gone but am not happy about getting a soaking in the rain last week.  It is not great bike weather!

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event. If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month.  Or just head over to her blog to visit more kitchens and her gorgeous hand drawn header.