Shrimp Ramen Pouch
This is my first one of these cooking threads, so criticism is welcome. I didn't want to use huge pics with thumbnails, so I just used smaller ones instead. I also did it to give the 56kers a break.
I'm home from college for the summer. I love the summer. I can relax all I want and hang out with friends. One of the real perks is access to my parents' kitchen and all the ingredients contained within.
I don't get the Food Network at school, which is a pain because I love that channel. When I'm home I watch it almost all day long, though half the time it's on mute while I listen to music, write, or do something else. My favorite of the cooking shows has got to be Good Eats with Alton Brown. I know a lot of goons agree with me. The man is the Bill Nye of cuisine. So, after watching his episode on pouch cooking, I decided that I was going to make his Ramen Shrimp Pouch. Here's the vitals:
Ingredients (for four servings)
- 2 packages Ramen noodles
- Special equipment: 4 (18-inch) squares aluminum foil
- 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, chopped
- 20 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil (dark)
First you'll need to do some chopping. You'll need a half a cup each of onion, scallions (aka green onions), and dried mushrooms. I used shitake, to match the dish's asian influence. Normally you'd soak dried mushrooms to re-hydrate them, but in this case we'll be using them dry. Once you put them in the pouch the liquids and steam will do the re-hydration part. Also, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Time for foil!
Remember, shiny side out!
Take your ramen out of it's package. You won't need the flavor pouch, so ditch it.
Snap the ramen in half the long way. It's easiest to do if you cook the ramen for about 30 seconds before working with it. Otherwise everything will stick together like it did for me and the ramen will fall apart. Place the half-block of ramen on the foil in the center. Put the dried mushrooms on top.
Follow up with the shrimp, onions, scallions, red chili flakes, and kosher salt (in that order). You're not using a lot of chili fakes, but the magic of the pouch will distribute their heat to everything.
At this point you need to mix your liquids. Get a small bowl and pour in the vegetable broth, mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil together. The recipe calls for a quarter of a cup vegetable broth, but you might want to jump that up to a half of three quarters of a cup. With such little liquid, there really isn't enough to soak the ramen and mushrooms to fully re-hydrate them both. If you want to really kick up the heat, I'd suggest adding some hot chili oil to the liquid mixture.
Fold the foil up and make a basket around the pile of goodies. Then pour the liquid mixture over all of it.
Crimp up the tops and seal them almost all the way. Leave a small hole in the top. If you don't, there is a chance the steam will build up inside and burst the foil pack.
Stick 'em on a cookie sheet and throw them in the oven for 15 minutes.
While they cook, prepare a plate for them.
When they're done, take the pouches out and carefully pull back the foil being careful not to burn yourself!
You can see that my ramen didn't cook quite all the way through. The underside turned out perfectly and tasted amazing. Next time I make this I will remedy the situation with more liquid.
Chow down and enjoy. This makes for a great lunch, though might be a little small for dinner. I know I will probably be eating more later tonight.
Thanks to Alton Brown for the recipe. Watch Good Eats on the Food Network, Wednesday nights from 10:00 to 11:00pm eastern time.