Ginger-Garlic Noodle Recipe

Ginger-Garlic Noodle Recipe

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  1. For centuries, most Asian cultures have understood certain truths that Westerners are only now beginning to grasp, such as that ginger and garlic are good for you. Even my doctor—as white bread and Eurocentric as they come—acknowledges that ginger and garlic are important to a balanced diet, have the power to help in the treatment of certain conditions, and can even help to stave off certain illness.

    Garlic has mild antibiotic qualities on a par with weak penicillin, though this advantage is retarded when the garlic is cooked. The garlic in this recipe is partially cooked, so if you have an infected cut, don’t refuse the antibiotic offered to you by your doctor. Raw garlic has also been used to treat skin infections, strep, worms, athlete’s foot, ulcers, respiratory ailments, colic, kidney ailments, bladder infections, high blood pressure and has blood-thinning qualities. Sure, it sounds like a cure-all, but I wouldn’t abandon Western Medicine in favor of an all-raw garlic diet. I have friends I would like to keep.

    Ginger’s medicinal uses are also most potent when it is raw (or in tea) and include the treatment of motion sickness symptoms (if you’ve never experienced these, I envy you), the nausea associated with pregnancy and chemotherapy as well as an aid to digestion. Some people even use ginger to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.

     

     To maximize the health benefits of these main ingredients, you may add them after step 6 in the process described below; it will also give your noodles a bigger flavor punch, though some might find it overbearing.

    For this, you will need:

    • 6 packets dried ramen noodles
    • 3 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups water and 3 chicken bouillon cubes)
    • 3 large lobes ginger
    • 4 heads garlic
    • 1 stick butter
    • 2 oz. soy sauce
    • 2 oz. lemon juice
    • 2 oz. sake
    • 1-3 Tbs. red chili flakes (1 for mild; 3 for spicy)
    • 1 can bamboo strips (*optional*)
    • Salt to taste

    The procedure:

    1. In a large pot, fill 2/3 full with water, cover and bring to boil over high heat. Add noodles; do NOT use the seasoning packs (other types of noodles can be substituted, but I prefer ramen). Leave uncovered and boil over high heat, stirring and separating noodles. Once all noodles are loose (only ½ cooked), drain into colander; douse with cold water to stop cooking. Rinse the pot and set it aside.

    2. Peel and clean the ginger. Mince the roots very finely, or cut them into 1-inch pieces and grate them over a fine grate (grating is less time consuming). If grating, separate the fibers remaining; squeeze the juice out of them in a garlic press; add the juice to the ginger and discard the fibers. Once finished, you should have a fine, very wet paste with lots of fluid.

    3. Peel the garlic; trim away any imperfections. Either mince the cloves very finely, or grate them with the same fine grate (grating is less time consuming). If grating, discard the fibrous remainders, or crush them in a garlic press. You should have a fine paste when finished. Add to the Ginger paste and fluid.

    4. Heat the pot over a low flame and carefully melt the stick of butter (Do Not Burn!). For less garlicky noodles, you may briefly roast half of the garlic paste (I don’t usually do this) for 30 seconds or so. Add chili flakes to butter and lightly roast over low heat.

    5. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce and lemon juice; increase to high heat, cover and bring to boil. Add bamboo strips* and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add ginger and garlic pastes; simmer another 5-10 minutes. Taste test; add salt if needed.

    6. Add noodles; lower heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes, toss to mix ingredients with Noodles and stir often, scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. Add some water if needed to prevent sticking to the pot (not too much).

    7. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes, or as long as needed for the noodles to absorb most of the fluid. A little fluid may remain; it will be absorbed when refrigerated.

    The noodles will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks. I always make a big batch because even a small batch takes quite some time to make; it’s worth it to Go Big!

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