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Wagamama Ramen


Wagamama is a chain restaurant in the UK and now apparently Massachusetts has lucked out and they have 4 restaurants there (why oh why not NYC??!!). Just as I have the craving for Cornish Pasty every once in a while, I get cravings for Wagamama.  Like I've said before, the UK has some really good chain restaurants not like here. As much as I would like to fly over there and stock up on some Cadbury chocolate, and gorge myself on pasties and Wagamama, that is not always practical.

Wagamama has Japanese style food. Great udon, great ramen, yum. I'm getting hungry thinking about it. It is a really great place to stop in when it is cold, damp, and rainy in London. Well for my birthday the Sous Chef got me their cookbook. I've been wanting to make something from it for a while (well since December when I got it) but you know I've been sort of busy and some of the ingredients had to be sourced. Since I have plenty of free time to source ingredients now (unemployment does have it's advantages!), I decided to give it a go.

There is this great Asian market nearby that I  should spend more time at. They had fresh Ramen. That was the most difficult ingredient to find.  I'm sure you can make this with the dried Ramen but like I said I've got free time on my hands so why not use fresh (next thing you know I'll be making my own Ramen noodles).

So everything was prepped and ready to go (and you definitely need to have everything prepped before starting this recipe).

Miso Ramen (adapted from Wagamama)

9 oz Ramen noodles (fresh)
4 c chicken stock
4 oz miso paste (white)
scant 1/2 t chili paste (or to taste)
1 lb chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into strips)
1 egg
1 T cornstarch
salt/pepper
2 T canola oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small carrot peeled and thinly sliced
1 leek, greens part removed and thinly sliced
large handful of bean sprouts
2 t sugar
2 T soy sauce
12 bamboo shoots
handful wakame soaked in warm water 10 minutes

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Run under cold water and set aside. Place miso in pot and gradually add chicken stock while whisking to break up the miso. Heat until simmering. Add chili paste. Give a stir. Turn off heat and cover.

In a bowl beat egg and add salt/pepper and cornstarch.  Coat chicken in egg mixture.  Heat canola oil in wok until hot. Add chicken tenders and cook until almost cook through.  Add garlic and toss but do not let garlic brown. Add carrot, leek, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots and cook through 2-3 minutes.  Dissolve sugar in soy sauce and toss with chicken and vegetables.

Place noodles into individual bowls. Place vegetables and chicken over noodles.  Add wakame.  Pour broth over. Remove eyeglasses and enjoy. Now if you wear eyeglasses, you will understand what I mean when I say this is definitely a dish that is "eyeglasses off." All that slurping is just killer to eyeglasses.

Glasses OFF!
The directions in the cookbook were a little skimpy and I had to guess on some of it. The Sous Chef said that this was pretty authentic tasting so I must have guessed right. This was supposed to make two portions - we had about two more portions left over.  I guess we are a bunch of lightweights. I used way more chicken and veg that they suggested so maybe that is why we had leftovers. The wakame is really interesting after it sits for the 10 minutes it puffs up and looks like chopped spinach. So now I will have to explore a few more recipes in the book.

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