Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Sometimes, you're just in the mood for something light. Ramen is the perfect solution...
What is Ramen any way? Is it that Top Ramen stuff we had in college?
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish that is typically made with wheat or egg noodles. In this dish however, we are using an organic Gluten-Free Vegan noodle by Lotus Foods--their Millet and Brown Rice version. When it comes to wheat ramen now, you're probably wondering--what sets it a part from other types of noodles? It's the Kansui that's in it! Kansui is a combination of several specific alkaline salts. This salty alkaline concoctions contain 80% sodium carbonate and 20% potassium carbonate.
Those two ingredients serve two purposes:
1. Causes the Noodles to Have a Yellow color
2. Provides that springy ramen mouthfeel that we all love
Any way, the recipe I have for you all today is Gluten-free so we aren't dealing with any Kansui here but the fact that Kansui gives an alkalizing affect in regular wheat ramen noodles explains why I don't get bloated when I eat them.
And to answer, the burning question here...what's the difference between Top Ramen and the kind of wheat ramen I'm referring to in this post? Top ramen is a cheap instant ramen noodle soup by a brand called Nissin. There are a bunch of cheap ramen brands out there but Nissin is one of the most popular ones. It's a wheat based product that is highly processed and contains a lot of sodium. The type of ramen I'm referring to in this post (such as brands like Sun Noodle) or in our case Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice ramen are high quality ramen products that are made with humans in mind. Yes, I said it. That other stuff can't possibly be made for use humans. I consider the cheaper brands like Nissin, Maruchan and Maggi to be made with corporations and their budgets in mind. Whether you plan on using quality wheat ramen or an organic gluten-free brand like myself, you should expect 2-5 ingredients maximum to be in it. Any more than that and it's safe to say you've been bamboozled into buying cheap ramen. Similar to pasta, you can either get Barilla or Bionaturae. The price difference and the number of ingredients always indicates a quality difference.
What You'll Need:
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 onion, chopped small
2 tbsp lemon grass slices (you can find this in the Asian section)
3-inch piece of fresh galangal (Thai ginger) or regular ginger, finely chopped or grated
6-8 fresh kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves
1.5 lbs shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2-3 tbsp red curry paste (or to taste)
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
2-3 tbsp gluten-free Tamari or liquid aminos
1 tbsp agave or date syrup
1/2 lime squeezed
1/2 pack of extra firm tofu, drained, squeezed and chopped into cubes (optional)
1 10 ounce pack of Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen
2 pieces of lacinato or dinosaur kale, chopped into this slices
1 stalks of fresh scallions or green onions, sliced thinly
How to Make It:
Sauté your onions, lemon grass and ginger in the sesame oil for about 3-4 minutes or until slightly brown
Add your curry leaves, mushrooms and Thai red curry paste to the pan and sauté for 3-5 minutes
Add the coconut milk plus the rest of the ingredients except for the noodles, kale and scallions and allow it to come to a boil then set it to a simmer for 6 minutes.
Add the noodles and cook for 4-6 minutes. Add kale within the last 1-2 minutes of cooking then turn off the stove. Be careful to not overcook the noodles
Serve with fresh scallion slices and lime wedges
Notes: To make this dish soy free, substitute the tofu for broccoli and increase the amount of kale you use. Also, I made this dish very mild because my family is sensitive to spice but feel free to turn up the heat on this one by adding more Thai red curry paste. Also, make this a a great quality dish by choosing a premium red curry paste brand. You DO NOT want to go to an Asian grocery store for this product. In my experience, you will find red curry pastes that are uncomfortably spicy, the ingredients are low quality and in some cases you may find fish sauce listed as an ingredient. I used Mekhala's Oil Free organic Red Curry Paste. I loved that it was organic, gluten-free and didn't contain any added sugar or seafood. I would definitely recommend it!