While the poor East Coast may be suffering from a heat wave, here on the West Coast (in San Francisco), it's sweater weather and officially soup season. Despite this, tomatoes, corn, basil, and other Summer produce has hit its peak, so this ramen recipe, from Bowl by Lukas Volger, marries the best of both worlds (i.e. chilly temperatures and in-season produce). The spicy, gingery broth gets its rich mouthfeel from the stripped corncobs. Yes, they bubble away in the broth until all the starch is extracted. I simplified this recipe by cooking up near-instant ramen (shh!), but I've included a link to a homemade recipe if you're looking to take your Summer ramen to new heights.
Corncobs provide a clear, summery corn flavor in this broth, which pairs beautifully with the kombu and the spiciness of fresh ginger. That summery flavor gets reinforced with raw corn kernels, ripe tomatoes, and a handful of basil at the very end. Definitely cook the eggs to a soft or molten yolk, which thickens the broth slightly when you stir it into the soup.
- 3 ears corn, husked
1 white or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 plump garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 ounce fresh ginger (1 thumb-size piece), peeled and sliced into thin rounds
10 cups water
4 2-inch squares kombu
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces dried or 12 ounces fresh ramen noodles
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
4 large boiled eggs, molten yolks
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced on the bias
Rayu or chili oil, for serving
Togarashi blend (homemade or store bought), for serving
- Cut the kernels off the corn. Place each corncob in the middle of a big cutting board. You can hold each piece upright or on its side. Using a sturdy chef's knife, cut downward or across to remove strips of kernels, rotating the cob as needed until you've worked all the way around the cob. Reserve the kernels.
- Place the stripped ears in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, ginger, and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan partially, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the kombu and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the solids, wipe out the saucepan, and then return the strained broth to the saucepan. Add the salt and taste, adding additional salt if needed. Let stand, covered, over low heat until ready to serve.
- Bring another saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the noodles in a strainer basket or the pasta insert that comes with your stockpot, if you have one, and cook until tender, usually 4 to 7 minutes for dried (or according to the package instructions), or 60 to 90 seconds for fresh. Lift out the noodles, reserving the cooking water, and thoroughly rinse the noodles under cold running water in order to remove excess starch. Quickly dunk them back into the hot water to reheat. Divide among four bowls.
- Divide the tomatoes, reserved corn kernels, and eggs, if serving, over the noodles in each bowl. Cover each serving with the hot broth and scatter the basil and scallions on top. Serve immediately, passing the condiments at the table.
Image Source: Text excerpted from Bowl© 2016 by Lukas Volger. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
- Main Dishes, Soup