We’ve never been to Japan but there’s something almost romantic about sitting in a quiet noodle shop sipping on a bowl of ramen. The Japanese have mastered the art of the noodle. They take the utmost care and precision in all culinary endeavors. The dinner table is sacred to them. And it shows in their preparation of food.
I had been craving a ramen bowl for some time and since we can’t fly to Kyoto or Tokyo every night I decided to try my hand at reproducing the artwork that is ramen. In its essence it is simple. The ingredients don’t require hours of preparation. Yet, the care needed to produce a Tokyo-worthy bowl is to be admired.
In my opinion the broth was the hardest component to get right. You will need to play around with different amounts of ingredients to achieve the right flavor for you. Fish sauce would probably be a nice component to use if you have it. I improvised the best I could with what I had on hand.
Here’s what you do:
- Simmer 2 quarts of chicken stock with 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp. Chinkiang vinegar and 1 tbsp. organic butter. Add Himalayan salt to taste (or add a packet of ramen seasoning). Whilst the broth is simmering…
- Julienne 3 large carrots (I used rainbow: purple and white)
- Julienne 1 large Jalapeño (we like heat so I left the seeds in)
- Chop 1 cup porcini mushroom (or whatever variety you like)
- Chop 1 bunch of green onion (leave some for garnish)
- Add all the vegetables. Cover the pot and let simmer until the carrots are tender (about 10 minutes). Add 2 packages of ramen noodles; cover and let sit until the noodles are tender.
- Top with fried egg and garnish with green onion and bean sprouts
- HINT: the longer you let it sit, the better the flavor.
We think it turned out really well. The hubby was especially fond of it after a long day at work. It hosts a myriad of healthy, texture-contrasting ingredients along with a refreshing broth that would work well in any season. He doesn’t even like mushrooms but enjoyed them in this soup!
While we don’t believe the dinner table to be sacred, we do pray before our meal and ask the Lord to bless it. Like everything else in this life, if He doesn’t go before it and bless it, it’s not worth doing. However, there is a certain family reverence that can be experienced at the dinner table whilst everyone is seated at meal. It’s that quiet time you hope for; not because we want the quiet but because we know everyone is enjoying it.
It’s an intriguing thought that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, hungered and thirsted. Of course, He was fully God but also fully man. That is something our minds can’t fully wrap around. Nevertheless, when we see Him sit down to a meal, He blessed it. That is an example to truly take note of. We get so busy, so bogged down with the weekdays, so ready to just eat and run that often times we really forget what we’re praying for.
Let’s be reminded, from the Word of God, three reasons to pray before a meal.
1. It celebrates who God is: the Giver of all things good.
2. It redirects our hearts: away from the actual food and to why we eat it.
3. It reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice: life was taken that we might have life.
Praying before a meal celebrates God as the giver of all things good. We recognize that God has given the food and that we are simply recipients of His great generosity.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17
Praying before our meal redirects our hearts away from focusing solely on the food and to the reason we eat it. Our lives are meant for more than just indulging. Food is certainly to be enjoyed because of Who gives it but we must remember this:
“The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.” Luke 12:23
Lastly, praying before we eat reminds us that a sacrifice was needed. Life (whether you eat meat or plant) was taken in order that we would have life and nourishment. This is a daily, meal-time reminder of our depravity and inability to come to God. Only Christ makes it possible. He gave His life so that we might have life in Him!
“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Food is good. God is better. Selah, my friends.