If you get a chance, pick up a copy of the new quarterly food / cooking publication called Lucky Peach. It's published by a really innovative literary / cutting edge group called McSweeney's. The cooking mind behind it is David Chang, who I always want to call Michael Chang, the tennis player. Chang has been the hottest young star-chef / restaurateur of the last few years.
A warning - the magazine is esoteric, at times raunchy, highly entertaining, informative, creative and geared primarily to high end cooking. BUT, there are a few really approachable recipes that anyone could tackle. Oh, did I mention the art? No. The journal is creative and aesthetically brilliant in several dimensions.
Anyway, you can find it most easily online. McSweeney's Lucky Peach.
The first issue is focused on Ramen, the real thing from Japan, not our $0.11 packages. And eggs. Why eggs? No clue. But hey - they're the publishers, they can do what they want.
As my readers, you know that I won't publish recipes directly from other's sources. But I will share the concept of this recipe, which Chang really presents as chicken soup (with noodles), not as ramen. However, the Asian flavors make it ramen-like (especially to closet packaged ramen lovers).
- Create a three ingredient chicken stock - water, chicken, salt - simmered (not boiled) for an hour or a little more. The simmer concept is a simple yet critical technique. Remove the chicken and cool.
- In parallel, create a concentrated vegetable stock (called a nage) using Asian ingredients such as ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, shallots, scallions and so on.
- I substituted leeks for onion, which added further subtlety.
- Combine the stock and nage. Add cooked noodles and chunks of chicken.
The subtle Asian seasonings were sublime.