I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving turkey, but I was sent home from our big holiday dinner with two pounds of turkey. I was very generous with my turkey by giving a portion of it to my cat but, selfishly, I used the rest to make my dream bowl of ramen. I don’t know why ramen is so intimidating to me — perhaps it’s that perfect soft boiled egg that adds depth, creaminess and body to the broth or because I’m afraid I can’t make it quite as well as they do at Oiistar and I’d end up with a big bowl of disappointment. Triumphant matriculation or discouraging defeat — either way, I can’t learn if I don’t try. My gracious attempt with what I have in the pantry:
- 1 TB vegetable oil
- 2 garlic, smashed
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lemongrass chopped into 2″ sections
- 2 TB roughly chopped ginger
- 1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped (reserve about 2 TB for serving)
- ¾ cup dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 TB sesame oil
- Chili oil
- 1/2 sheet roasted seaweed, torn in piececs
- 1 egg
- ½ cup cooked turkey
- 1 bunch noodles (I used soba, but even Top Ramen works, if you’re desperate)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and garlic (subverting everything any cook will ever tell you — the garlic doesn’t burn when you heat them together). Stir frequently until the garlic is soft and smells like popcorn. Add the chicken broth, lemongrass, ginger, mushrooms and green onions. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
While the broth is brewing, boil 4 cups of water for the noodles. Prepare according to the package. Drain and run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Strain the broth and return to the pan and bring to a simmer. Fish out the mushrooms from the strainer and return them to the pan with the broth. Add seaweed. Season the broth with the fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Reheat the Thanksgiving turkey to 165℉ (microwaving is fine).
Soft boiled eggs: this is not how anyone else will tell you to do this, but it works. Put one egg in a saucepan. Fill the pan with water until it’s just covering the egg. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Let it boil for five minutes and thirty seconds. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and immediately place it in ice water. Leave it there for three minutes.
While you’re waiting, place the noodles in a bowl. Top it with the turkey, sprinkle the reserved green onions and ladle the broth over the noodles. Crack and peel the egg. Slice it in half and garnish your noodles with it.
This is not authentic ramen, but it’s pretty amazing… and it’s an excellent way to put your leftover turkey to use. If you don’t have any turkey, you can always slip some dumplings in there.