During the day I had a fleeting thought that dinner would be vegetarian and involve some sort of broth but after a busy day in the garden come 6pm I was still none-the-wiser about the exact outcome and it was my usual frenzied-fridge-forage (glass of red wine in hand) that inspired this accidentally awesome fusion. I’d saved the green tops off some leeks from a weekend dinner party recipe and I always have random herbs in zip-lock bags that have been foraged for various whip-ups. Spiced pan-fried Tofu would usually be my protein of choice for any noodle-broth creation but alas the fridge was not forthcoming on this occasion! Instead a tub of beetroot flavored Falafel mix jumped out at me! Weird I know but worth a crack I thought and yes it was so here it is!
3 leek tops, sliced
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 sprigs parsley (any variety), whole
6 chive stalks, whole
2cm chunk fresh ginger, finely sliced
3 tsp chicken stock powder or 3 cubes (I use Massel), dissolved in 1 cup water
½ tsp chilli flakes (or to your taste)
Hearty grind of black pepper
NB: sadly my fella needs to avoid onion and garlic but you may like to add here
1 pkt organic soba or ramen noodles
1 cup cauliflower or broccoli, roughly chopped
2 radishes, sliced thinly
1 beetroot, sliced thinly
NB: any other veges you have lurking and desperate to be used up could work here too; mushrooms, cabbage, Asian greens, spinach, kale etc
The wild card:
300g tub falafel mix (beetroot and pomegranate flavor oddly enough on this occasion!)
Sesame or peanut oil for frying
To top it off:
2 fried eggs (optional)
Get your broth going first by adding everything to a decent sized pot and simmer gently (lid on) for 20min or as long as it takes to fry up decent dollops of the falafel mix and the “fillers” in a heavy bottomed frying pan. All the while sipping a nice glass of something special of course!
In another pot bring a cup or two of water to the boil for the noodles and simmer them for 6-8 minutes then strain and set aside.
Once the falafel and "fillers" are cooked through remove from the pan and set aside. Add a dash more oil and fry the eggs (optional).
Carefully strain AND KEEP the broth (you may think I’m “yelling” at you here with the capitals but embarrassingly I once strained the very liquid I wanted to keep after painstakingly making chicken stock from scratch – laugh you may, I did!)
Now it’s time to plate up and slurp it up from your favorite bowls.
I went with noodles first then “the fillers” and broth poured with reckless abandon and finally the “wild card” falafels so they didn't go soggy and fried egg to top it off!
A good chopping of fresh coriander wouldn’t go a miss either.
There you have it – Turkish Ramen Fusion – weirdly wonderful!