Think you’re skilled with chopsticks? Meet Jiyu, our friend in Tokyo who at the young age of 3, has mastered the art. In Japan… ramen, udon and soba are three popular kinds of noodles kids eat throughout the week. Learn more about these yummy noodles and get our recipe for a kid-friendly for ramen, just like the dish we enjoyed in Tokyo.
Jiyu and Tenley enjoying their noodles. Look at the level of skill Jiyu demonstrates with the chopsticks.
Soba, udon and ramen are three types of noodles that we couldn’t get enough of in Japan! They can all be eaten hot or cold, in soups or sauces. There are many different varieties and adaptations, the recipes seem endless. It is said that you can travel from one town in Japan to the next and have an entirely different noodle experience. Here, we share a recipe for a ramen dish, that includes enough Japanese flavor to make it authentic but will still please you kids palate.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Trim off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Remove and discard the husks and silks of the corn. Cut the corn kernels off the cob; discard the cob. Cut off and discard the stem end of the eggplant; cut the eggplant into ½-inch-thick rounds. Peel and mince the ginger.
Remove and discard any netting from the pork; pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on all sides. In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork. Cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until evenly browned. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan. Roast the seared pork 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
While the pork roasts, wipe out the pan used to sear the pork. Add 2 teaspoons of oil; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, flipping occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
While the pork continues to roast, add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan used to brown the eggplant. Heat on medium until hot. Add the ginger and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the corn, soy glaze, vinegar, demi-glace and 2 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the broth simmers, add the noodles to the pot of boiling water, stirring gently to separate. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and rinse under warm water. Divide between 2 bowls.
Find the lines of muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice crosswise against the grain. Stir any juices from the cutting board into the broth. Divide the finished broth between the 2 bowls of cooked noodles. Top with the browned eggplant and sliced pork. Garnish with the spice blend, green tops of the scallions and microgreens. Enjoy!
If your little citizen likes this recipe, take them out to your local Japanese restaurant for a noodle adventure. Make sure to share your stories (and photos!) with us using #teacollection and don’t miss these food-inspired designs!