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The Tastiest Tuesdays of 2014 · Korean Doenjang Beef Ramen with Kimchi

Food

Though it may seem a little unseasonal sharing a hearty Ramen dish in the middle of summer, it was in chilly June last year that we first ran this soul-warming recipe from Shop Ramen in Collingwood. This friendly little local diner is our favourite pitstop for moreish, wintery fare – run by foodie and long term hospitality guy Pat Breen and his partner Lydia Wegner. Their Korean Ramen is always a crowd pleaser – today we revisit this 2014 favourite!

20th January, 2015
Pat Breen & Lydia Wegner of Shop Ramen
Tuesday 20th January 2015

I’ve always been a ramen fan, but when we first came up with the concept for our restaurant, Shop Ramen, I was really conscious of the need to research as much as we could about preparing Ramen in the traditional way. Lydia and I spent a few weeks in Japan sampling different ramen everyday, and we quickly realised how important the noodles are – they are the central component of the dish, and they have to be perfect. For this reason, at Shop Ramen we make all our noodles from scratch, but for home, we recommend using store bought ramen noodles – try a good Japanese grocer, where they usually have a big selection. Hinoki Japanese pantry on Smith St is a great place to start.

Our menu at Shop Ramen is inspired by both Japanese and Korean flavours – with a fair pinch of our own creative license thrown in! This beef ramen recipe uses Korean soy bean paste (doenjang), a fermented soy bean blend that is pretty similar to regular Japanese miso paste. It is available at most good Asian grocers, in particular KT Mart opposite the Queen Vic market, which has a great selection.

Here we’ve blended the soy bean paste with roasted garlic, mirin, sake and herbs, and combined this with chicken stock for a warming, flavoursome broth. Provided you have everything on hand, it’s a fairly instant soup base that will stand up well with the noodles and various toppings.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

For the beef ramen

  • 1kg beef brisket
  • 1 bunch spring onions cut into 10cm pieces
  • Korean kimchi
  • 200g bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch chives cut into 2cm strands
  • 200g salted peanuts (skin on)
  • 6 boiled eggs
  • 1.4L good quality (preferably home made) chicken stock
  • 6 serves of store bought ramen noodles

For the bean paste seasoning

  • 900g soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • 100ml mirin
  • 2 cloves raw garlic

For the garlic paste

  • 500g peeled garlic
  • Canola oil

Method

Preheat oven to 150c. Season the beef brisket with one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of sugar. Place in baking tray with 1cm of water in bottom. Cover tightly with foil and cook on 150c for six to seven hours, until soft. Let cool and slice.

Make bean paste seasoning by placing all paste ingredients in a food processor and blending until combined.

For the garlic paste, put peeled garlic cloves in a heavy based pot with enough oil to just cover. Carefully bring the oil to simmering point on the stove. Once bubbling, cover with foil and immediately put in oven for 30 minutes at 150c. Once cooked, allow to cool, strain out oil and blend garlic cloves in food processor until they form a soft paste.

Grill spring onions in hot pan with oil, until slightly charred.

How to assemble ramen

To prepare ramen, add 1.5 tablespoons of soybean seasoning and one tablespoon of roasted garlic paste to each of the six bowls. Bring chicken stock to boil and ladle 240ml of hot soup into each bowl and whisk together.

Cook noodles according to packet instructions, drain and add to hot soup.

Stack the brisket, grilled spring onions, bean shoots, kimchi, peanuts, egg and chives evenly between the six bowls. Eat.

Lydia and Pat hanging out after close at their restaurant, Shop Ramen in Collingwood. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

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