Green Garlic Ramen Bowls
1 quart broth from Chinese 5-Flavor Chicken (or make your own, see notes)
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 green garlic stalk (bulb and long green top intact), or one clove garlic plus one scallion
4 bundles of dried Chinese ramen noodles
1 1/2 cups sliced oyster or cremini mushrooms
4 red Thai chiles (also known as "bird's eye" chiles)
4 cups lightly packed baby bok choy that has been cut into 1-inch slices (from about 12-14 baby bok choy)
1. Warm the broth and fish sauce in a medium saucepan with lid askew over medium heat until simmering. As it warms, separate the green stalk from the bulb of green garlic. Cut the bulb in half vertically and smash each half with the flat side of your knife or a heavy object such as a small saucepan or skillet, then drop the smashed halves into the warming broth. Slice the green stalk into thin diagonal rounds and set aside. Have all other ingredients ready, along with four warm bowls nearby to serve the ramen in.
2. Drop the dried noodles into the broth and use tongs to stir and break up the bundles (but don't break the noodles; long noodles are good luck for a long life). Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook with the lid off, following timing on package (medium-sized noodles like those in the picture will be done in about 3 minutes). When done, use tongs to divide the noodles among the four bowls, leaving the broth and garlic bulbs in the pan.
3. Drop the mushrooms and chiles into the broth to simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the bok choy and simmer for another 2 minutes. Taste the broth. If it is not spicy enough for your taste, fish one of the red chiles out, smash it with a knife to slightly break the skin and drop it back in the pot. Swirl it around and taste again. Repeat if more heat is desired; stop when the broth is spicy enough for your taste.
4. Use a slotted spoon to divide the vegetables among the four bowls, putting one red chile on top of each bowl (whoever likes spicy food can have the smashed chile). Ladle 1/4 cup of broth over each bowl and sprinkle the sliced green garlic on top. Serve hot.
This recipe was created to use the sauce that is left over after making Chinese 5-Flavor Chicken. If you didn't make that dish, here's how to make the broth to use with this dish:
Combine 3 cups unsalted chicken broth, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar and 3 Tablespoons dry white wine in a saucepan. Toss in 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves and 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon and a very small pinch of ground ginger. Stir to combine everything, bring to a simmer with the lid askew. After simmering for 20 minutes, strain out the solids, then proceed with this recipe.
Ingredient questions? Check out Why Did the Chicken Cross the Globe? for more information.