Monday: Teriyaki Beef-Wrapped Asparagus Ramen • Tuesday: Kabocha Ramen made with nutty winter squash and topped with mushrooms and arugula for a flavorful veges dish • Wednesday: a trip to the sea with Southern Crawfish Ramen • Thursday: time to turn up the heat with spicy Chorizo Miso Ramen • Friday: Cheese Ramen, because cheese!
I consider cookbooks to be some of the most artistic books produced that also have a practical purpose. It’s terrific fun for me when I’m asked to review a cookbook. This week I’ve been having delicious fun with recipes from Amy Kimoto-Kahn’s debut cookbook SIMPLY RAMEN (Race Point Publishing 2016).
A cookbook that expertly focuses on one type of food—in this case, ramen—takes the home cook on a unique culinary journey. I often like such cookbooks because rather than being told to buy a bunch of ingredients to make one dish that I might cook once in a blue moon, I can learn how to prepare a type of food I like in lots of different ways. Being already acquainted with the originality and flair that Amy brings to a Japanese-American style of cooking, I was excited to learn that she was writing a ramen-centric cookbook.
I unabashedly confess to enjoying those ten-for-a-buck, salt-loaded packs of ramen I regularly bought as a college kid on a budget. Imagine my delight when I opened Amy’s beautifully written book and encountered the real deal: accessible ramen recipes, using healthful ingredients, that make it a pleasure to cook at home and feel better about what I’m eating or serving to family and friends. As a yonsei (fourth-generation Japanese-American), Amy merges contemporary and traditional foods and home cooking techniques and shows you how to make tasty ramen dishes prepared dozens of ways—from chicken to seafood, to spicy, to vegetable, to cold, to traditional recipes she learned in Japan.
She includes easy-to-learn recipes for soup bases and noodles that can be made ahead, dozens of flavorful toppings, and a bonus chapter of yummy sides, including tofu, rice, and even a Japanese rice cracker snack. Plus a ramen-yas tour of Tokyo at the end of the book offers a glimpse into the atmosphere and menu specialties of Japanese ramen shops. I’d tell you more, but it’s time to eat, and you can bet what’s for dinner. Here’s food for every night of the week and twice on Saturday! Simply Ramen is simply irresistible.
Amy Kimoto-Kahn is the creator of the website easypeasyjapanesey.com, which offers recipes, cooking tips, and stories. I can’t wait to see what she cooks up next!
XO Laurel Leigh
13 responses to “It’s Simply Ramen Time”
Yum, I love ramen! This book sounds great. Funnily enough, for my lunch today I had one of those packs of really cheap salt-laden ramen noodles that you referred to! I hadn’t had those for years but recently at the supermarket they caught my eye, so I grabbed a few, and then this morning before heading out for work I grabbed a pack to make in a mug with boiling water from the kettle at work (sorry, this is turning into a dull story now, but I’m nearly there!), and I unashamedly loved it! (There, that’s the end now).
Oh, Vanessa, you are so hilarious. I love that story and can totally relate! Those packs are pretty tasty. That’s why I was glad to get Amy’s book and have an even tastier, far more healthy solution to my ramen cravings.
Thanks for stopping by the Dogpatch!
You and Laurel! Doesn’t all that MSG in those little packets (probably filled with all kinds of other chemicals, too) make your eyes go squidgy? A home-made version has got to be far, far superior.
Oh, it is! Nothing beats homemade in the end.
Well my ones don’t have MSG, but nevertheless, definitely not a health food! Yes agreed, a proper home-made version is definitely going to be much better, but that doesn’t stop me liking the junky version when I want a quick noodle fix!
I have this idea that when the world ends, the only thing left will be those vacuum-sealed packages of ramen and some Girl Scout cookies.
Ramen is the perfect food. It cannot be improved upon.
Unless you add bacon maybe.
It is the perfect food, indeed! You are so correct, Writer Fellow. Thank you for taking time away from doodling for the kiddies to check out this post.
You never met a slab of pork you didn’t like, is that it? Or is it that you’re a fan of the “more is more” line of thought?
I’m just saying hammy ramen is something I am willing to try.
OK, so I thought I was still full from dinner before I started reading this. Now I’m feeling a little peckish. Must go in search of ramen recipes. Must eat now. Must eat. Must!
Help! I’m turning into the Ramen Monster! (Cookie Monster’s distant cousin)
Thanks for the rec, Laurel!
Ramen Monster is a good description! Her book will be out mid-February, and you can cook up some ramen! Thanks for reading, my fellow Dogpatcher!