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Top Ramen with Bacon Parmesan Broth? Yes, Please.

It’s officially the fall, which means chilly weather and warm food cravings are in full swing.

The infamous Top Ramen noodles will always hit the spot whether to quickly curb hunger, calm the stomach, or inspire homey nostalgia. To further up the ante, Top Chef All-Star Melissa King shows us how to combine this American staple with two more equally as satiating ingredients — bacon and parmesan (yum).

Chef King holds the most-challenged wins in the history of Bravo’s Top Chef and now she is playing judge in a social media noodle-off #HowDoYouTopRamen, which inspired her own delectable noodle innovation. Get King’s recipe below, chock full of fun ingredients — including soy-marinated eggs and kombu — that will make your dinners that much more savory and intriguing. To join the competition (oh, did we mention you can win $10,000?) click here, get in the kitchen, and get creative.

It’s officially the fall which means chilly weather and warm food cravings are in full swing. The infamous Top Ramen noodles will always hit the spot whether to quickly curb hunger, calm the stomach, or inspire homey nostalgia.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil 
  • 1 thinly sliced yellow onion 
  • 1 thinly sliced whole leek, remove roots 
  • 1 thinly sliced carrot, peeled 
  • 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves 
  • 3x3” slab of bacon or 5 slices of thick smoked bacon, diced 
  • 1 Parmigiana-Reggiano rind, about 2-3 ounces 
  • 1-quart chicken broth 
  • 2 teaspoon white miso paste 
  • ½ ounce of bonito flakes, optional 
  • 1 strip kombu, optional 
  • 2 Top Ramen package(s) (remove powder packet inside) 
  • Dash of ground white pepper 

Optional Garnishes: 

  • Soft-boiled egg or soy-marinated egg (recipe below) 
  • Thinly sliced scallions or Japanese Negi 
  • Thinly sliced basil leaves 
  • Mizuna leaves 
  • Grated Parmigiana-Reggiano 
  • Sauteed King trumpet, wood ear, or enoki mushrooms 
  • Chili oil 
  • Toasted sesame seeds 
  • Nori sheets 

Instructions: 

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In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil until hot. Add the onion, leeks, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely soft, 8-10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to help release the moisture of the vegetables and reduce the heat to a medium low. Do not caramelize as the vegetables should be soft and translucent. 

Add the bacon and cook over low heat to render the fat, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add the parmesan rind, chicken broth, miso paste, and optional kombu and bonito flakes. Bring to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 30-45 minutes. For a stronger flavor, simmer for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add ramen noodles (remove packet) and cook stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the noodles and divide into two separate bowls. Ladle the hot broth on top. Top each bowl with garnishes. 

Soft Boiled Soy-Marinated Eggs

Ingredients: 

  • 4 soft-boiled eggs 
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

How to soft boil eggs: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in four eggs gently. Bring back to a boil and start timer for 5 ½-6 minutes. Remove eggs and place immediately into an ice-cold water bath. Let the eggs chill for 10 minutes before peeling. 

In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, water and mix to combine. Add the peeled eggs to the soy marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Enjoy!

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