I like breakfast, from an easy cup of Joe with a side of banana, to a nice brunch with bacon, eggs, toast, fresh churned butter, fruit, coffee etc. I love a simple fruit and coffee or a nice hot breakfast. I love a good bowl of oatmeal or grits. I am not one for cold cereal. I never loved cold cereal for breakfast. I don't like soggy cereal in milk. I don't like super sweet things, which some of the popular cereals are corn syrup and sugar as the 1st or 2nd ingredient. I also like a hot lunch. I love dinner leftovers for lunch. I was never one for sandwiches, and I especially dislike peanut butter and jelly on white bread. I don't like conventional jelly (think $muckers) because it is pure corn syrup/sugar and I hate that feeling of eat too much sugar. It makes my teeth feel like they are rotting, and it makes the sugary acidic coating in my mouth and throat.
Because I am not one for conventional breakfast or lunch (cold cererals and plain sandwiches), I have to work a little harder to to get breakfast and lunch on the table. Today, I made homemade ramen for breakfast. It is lamb broth, fresh noodles, Chinese broccoli, and medium hard boiled duck egg. It is a luscious hot meal on a cold, rainy, gray day here in Nashville. My soup was so darn good because I started out with really good base ingredients.
To start I made the lamb stock. The original lamb bones came from the Williamson County 4H
sheep club which shows at the Williamson County Fair. The lamb bones were roasted in the City House
wood burning oven. Roasting bones (fish, meat, or shrimp shells) provides a deeper richer flavor for broth or stock. I took the roasted bones and put it in a large crockpot with carrots, onions and garlic (from the Barefoot Farmer
biodynamic farm), one cayenne from my organic garden (original seed from Tana at Eatons Creek Organic
), and some salt. I got my duck eggs from Bells Bend Farms
. I went to InterAsian Market
and got some Chinese coriander (ngo gai, sawtooth coriander, Thai coriander, long leaf coriander), and put 6 leaves in to pot The Chinese coriander gives a high end bright note (almost citrusy) and and East Asian green aroma and flavor you want in an East Asian stock. I did not put celery or a bay leaf in the broth because I really don't like what bay leaves offer, and celery does not give a flavor I want for a ramen stock. I let that go overnight.
The noodles I got from InterAsian Market. The noodles are fresh mein noodles located in the refrigerated case in the back left corner of the market. The case is the right most case of the cold refrigerated area. Each pack is enough for 4 servings. These noodles are nothing like the convenient fast food ramen (although I like the $0.25 style noodles as well). These fresh noodles only need 30 seconds in boiling water to cook, so it is faster and more convenient that those brightly colored dry ramen packs (3 minutes). There is an ramen, and that is udon. King Market
makes fresh udon noodles and are on sale near the cash register. Fresh made noodles are so much tastier than processed and dried noodles.
The veggies I used for my stock are from my CSA Barefoot Farmer
. The onions and garlic taste so good and they are really potent in aroma and flavor. The benefits of using biodynamic garlic is that there are no chemicals used on the produce. Conventional garlic is sprayed with chemicals to arrest the development of a sprout. Chinese garlic, where most conventional garlic comes from, uses bleach on the garlic to keep the garlic white, and sprays unknown chemicals on the garlic to keep it from sprouting. With all the press about Chinese bait and switch (selling rat and decade old meat as good beef and pork, fake eggs, fake rice, using leaded gasoline to dry tea, avian flu etc), I am not interested in buying food with origin China.
The duck eggs are new to Bells Bend Farms. Livestock is a new addition as of the last year. Bells Bend Farms is a biodynamic farm as well, and they raise livestock humanely.
The above paragraphs are my thoughts about base ingredients. My ramen soup recipe is really simple, but to get to the point of making the soup is an arduous path. There are many people, and growing seasons that had to happen to make the soup. After getting all the ingredients together, I would say my soup cost me way more than $0.25. In an NPR radio piece about making chicken soup from SCRATCH, it will take about $15,000 because the chicken coop and chickens need to be raised, a well for water needs to be dug, wheat for noodles and veggies need to grown, salt needs to be harvested, fallen trees for fire needs to be gathered, etc. I am not going that far to make noodle soup, but I do like knowing where my base ingredients come and have the ingredients be fresh.
Here is my recipe. It is deceptively easy because to get to this point of assembling the soup, there are many steps to take to make the soup.
1. Medium boil a duck egg (7 mins-ish)
2. In a pot, put a generous cup of stock, and small diced gai lan Chinese broccoli and simmer
3. In a 2nd pot, dip fresh noodles in boiling water for 30 seconds (or until desired toothy-ness)
4. In a big bowl, place drained noodles at the bottom
5. Pour stock and broccoli over the noodles
6. Peel and cut open the duck egg and place on top of the soup