I’m one of those people who can have a piping hot bowl of noodles at any time of the year. Have you ever seen lines of people waiting for ramen when it’s 95 degrees outside? Chances are, I’m one of those people. What can I say? I just can’t resist perfectly cooked noodles in a savory broth. So, today I’m giving noodles all the love with this miso ramen hot pot. Make the broth, add whatever vegetables you like, add some noodles, and serve with ponzu sauce. It can’t get easier or more delicious than that!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
So what exactly is hot pot? It’s when a pot of broth is placed at the table and you cook the vegetables and meat tableside. The meat is sliced thin so it cooks in a matter of seconds and is served with a dipping sauce. If you have a flavorful broth, hot pot can be incredibly delicious. I decided to make a Japanese version by seasoning the broth with white miso and serving it with ramen noodles. This is a vegetarian recipe but you can easily change that by serving it with whatever protein you like.
To make the broth, first make dashi. Normally I only use konbu and bonito flakes but to add a little extra umami, I decided to add dried shiitake mushrooms. Simmer the konbu and dried shiitake mushrooms for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Add the bonito flakes, cover the pot, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Strain the stock and the dashi is ready.
Now that we have the base, it’s time to add all of the seasonings. White miso paste is the main source of flavor but we’re balancing it with soy sauce, ground sesame seeds, mirin, sake, and aromatics. Let the soup simmer and give it a taste before adding the vegetables. We want to make sure the soup is delicious before adding the remaining ingredients.
Napa cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, tofu, and some sort of leafy greens are common vegetables for hot pot but you can be creative and use what you like. Sweet potato, fish cakes, even corn on the cob are all suitable ingredients. If you want to add shrimp, beef, or any other type of meat, add it at the very end once the vegetables are almost done.
Finish the miso ramen hot pot by adding the ramen noodles. The noodles only need a couple of minutes so keep an eye on the pot. Finish the hot pot with scallions and serve with ponzu as the dipping sauce.
This hot pot is different than the Chinese hot pots but I still loved every bite. The broth is light but still flavorful and the ponzu dipping sauce is the perfect compliment. Seconds anyone?
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