Shrimp & Pork Loin Ramen Bowl | Shrimp and Pork Loin with Shiitake Mushrooms, Baby Corn, Scallions, Egg Yolk, in Ginger-Shrimp Broth
I'M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A cooking challenge, wanting to always better myself with both its technical and creative aspects. So every once in a while, I force myself to attempt something new, or at least new for me.

And so it was when I saw in one of my many food-related food website subscription email that I became aware of a noodle house called Xian Foods. It was one of two places I had wanted to try out with my foodie partner, Trixie; alas, Trixie was away for the holiday season as I got to busy with client stuff that I could hardly afford time to leave my apartment just to get the New York Post.

But noodles stayed stuck in my head, so I realized having recently bought some ingredients for a previous Asian-inspired dinner, I would boldly chose to try a ramen dish of and for my very own.

So off to Food Emporium I traveled this morning (after depositing money in the rare!) where I would pick up the proteins for my dish, along with some peripheral veggies. I've been impressed how well stocked supermarkets are nowadays with "international" ingredients and it was in FE's Asian section that I found everything I would need.

First thing I noticed, though, was this labeling curiosity.

Upside Mirin

Yeah, someone had a brain fart. I found a package of Ramen-style noodles, but decided that that amount would be more than I would use for this dish, much less for anything in the near future, so I figured instead that I would pick up a more single-serving size from the deli on my way home. While still at Food Eporium, I picked up three large shrimp (frozen), some pork loin chops, Shiitake mushrooms, baby corn and scallions.



Once home, I first started to thaw the shrimp in cold water. This would keep it from over-cooking once it was placed in what would eventully be very hot broth.


I sliced the Shiitake mushroom caps and added some minced garlic to a couple tablespoons of sriracha sauce. I brought out from my fridge some shrimp stock I had made with shells (and herbs) from this chili and this paella, and gathered my prepackaged Chinese-style noodles.




I seasoned the pork loin chips simply with some salt and fresh cracked pepper and threw them into a hot pan with some olive oil, giving them a quick almost sear on both sides before letting it rest for 5 minutes to maintain their juices, then slicing them into strips.




I boiled some water and threw in the dry noodles. I poured the shrimp broth into a ceramic bowl and threw it into the microwave, nuking it on high to get not just the broth to a boil, but to also heat the bowl that would keep everything that eventually go into it nice and hot.

I removed the hot bowl and broth from the nuker, drained the noodles and placed them into the broth with some ground ginger, then added the sliced Shiitake mushrooms, some sliced scallion greens tossed in rice vinegar, two healthy spoonfuls of my chili garlic sauce, some baby corn, the strips of pork, the shrimp, then topped the whole dish off with a drizzle of sesame oil, and an egg yolk, knowing that it would start to poach in the hot liquid.

Using two dish towels to transport the extremely hot bowl to a serving tray and decided to eat by my open window.





I can understand why Asian cultures have this as a main course for all three meals as often as they do. I was first hit with the aroma of the broth; there was a light but rich smell of shrimp, with the now cooking mushrooms adding tones of earthiness and the floral hits of the scallion. The fat of the pork was started to steep into the flavor of the broth as well as the baby corn added some nice veggie sweetness.

The sriracha-garlic paste perfumed everything it touched without overpowering anything, giving all kinds of nice spice and heat all over the tongue and back up through the nose. The shrimp, now warm, had retained all their flavor and, without being overcooked, kept a nice firmness without being at all chewy, maintaining their texture while being nice and easy to bite through.

These kind of noodle soups always wind up being somewhat interactive; the more you eat, the more of what's left that starts to bland together. So as I got to the last third of the soup, the broth, egg yolk, and garlic-chili paste had blended into one liquid, as that liquid and the mushrooms, pork and shrimp started to absorb each other's flavors.


I still plan to make it to Xian Foods; hopefully I can wait until Trixie comes back. But I'll make sure that I show her this post once she does. Hopefully realizing what she missed will make her suffer—all in fun!—for making me wait for her.

Now that's using the old noodle...!

Bun Apple Tea!


Shrimp & Pork Loin Ramen Bowl | Shrimp and Pork Loin with Shiitake Mushrooms, Baby Corn, Scallions, Egg Yolk, in Ginger-Shrimp Broth