burnt toast

Tag: ginger

Vegetarian Ramen

This has been our favourite soup for the past year and has been on medium to high rotation on our dinner table. It is tangy and luscious and utterly packed with umami.It. Is. Absolutely. Incredible. It may not be authentic or traditional, but in a world of continuous adaptation and improvisation, what really is. It’s what we like and what makes us happy that counts, and in this current situation of impending doom, that is truly what we need right now.

I’ve adapted the original Bon Appétit recipe to better suit the contents of my fridge and possibly yours, too. All toppings are optional, but I’d suggest you definitely add something green and something protein-y to make this more of a meal.

Recipe adapted from here.

Vegetarian ramen

Serves 4

5cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

3 spring onions, finely sliced – reserve about ¼ for garnish, preferably the green bits

1-2 Tbsp oil of your choice – I like to use the oil from the chilli garlic crisp if I have it on hand

2 slightly heaped Tbsp tomato paste

1 slightly heaped Tbsp light miso paste

1 litre vegetable stock, plus 250-500ml water to thin out at the end 

8 dried (whole) shiitake mushrooms

2-3 Tbsp soy sauce or to taste

50g butter, cut into rough pieces – the butter is essential, so don’t skimp on it

250g dried ramen or other long noodles (I’ve even used fettuccini here – I don’t know about you but I am too lazy to head into town just to get the right type of noodle) 

To serve (optional)

4 jammy to hard cooked eggs

200g kale or other leafy green, torn to pieces

250g tofu, cubed

The reserved spring onions

1 Tbsp toasted sesame

Chilli and garlic crisp

Add the ginger and ¾ of the spring onions and the oil to a large pot and fry over high heat for a few minutes, stirring often, until they begin to take on a bit of colour. Add the tomato paste and stir for another minute. It will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan and darken slightly. Add the miso and give it another stir before adding the litre of veggie stock and the whole shiitake mushrooms. Cover and bring to a boil, letting it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened enough to be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the heat and give it a good blend with a handheld blender. It is at this point where you might want to add a bit of extra water – I like it to be the consistency of thin cream, but you might feel a little different. Just keep adding 100ml at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Add the soy sauce to taste, and finally, with the blender on, add the butter bit by bit until it is completely emulsified. Give it another taste to check for seasoning, find someone in your vicinity to lock eyes with and whisper “Oh my god”, followed by a passionate “Mmmmmhmmmmh!!”, and keep it warm, covered, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Cook the eggs to your liking. Peel and halve. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Add the kale to a pot with a little salted water and cover. Let it steam for a few minutes until just soft. Add the tofu to the pot and set to the side, covered – this will ensure it will be nice and warm when you serve it. 

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and divide the noodles, eggs, kale and tofu among them. Top with the spring onion and a sprinkling of sesame and serve with the chilli and garlic crisp on the side.




As warmer weather approaches (hahahah), people are once again slowly opening up to the idea of drinking something a bit more refreshing than wine, yet a wee tastier than yeasted bubble water (why humanity, why). Granted, this is more of a summer drink, but I recently discovered Bundaberg Ginger Beer, the one and only ginger beer, in Bern. And lord knows I need to make the best of it.

I last had this drink at the Beaufort in Carlton, Melbourne (another excellent place to visit if you’re in the neighbourhood). There they called it a Hurricane, but since I’m only using one type of Rum, I’m settling for “Cyclone” – the tame, tasty sort that limits itself to small glass vessels. You get a hint of vanilla from the rum, an extra punch of ginger from the syrup,  all zingily balanced by the lime. What more is there to say.




Makes 1 drink

ice, rather more than less

60ml Sailor Jerry Rum

15ml ginger syrup (recipe below)

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

2 lime wedges

120ml Bundaberg Ginger Beer


Get yourself a tall glass and fill it with ice. Add rum, syrup and bitters. Squeeze over the lime and fill up with ginger beer.


Ginger Syrup

makes about 180ml

220g white sugar

250ml water

100g ginger, thinly sliced, then roughly chopped

1 pinch salt

Combine everything in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then let simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes until syrupy. Let it cool, then pour into a jar through a fine mesh strainer. Will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Ginger, lime and colds

Hi. How are you. Feeling like crap? Join the club. I don’t know if it’s a cold, the dust mites under my bed or a newly acquired allergy to some new pollen hybrid, but I am over going through a tissue box every few days. Weak and vulnerable could be one way to describe my delicate self at the moment. Or just plain over it. Have I tried taking cold and flu tablets? Yeah those things are crap. I’m convinced all they’re made of is compressed lint. Those people are making a fortune out of our gullible little minds. We’ll do anything to get better faster. But really, all we really can and should do is drink bucket loads of hot herbally liquids and stay in bed. With a few panadol. That always helps. Or at least my mind wants me to believe that.

So what to drink when Mr. Cold is visiting? Lemon and ginger always sounds like the best option. The teabag version is alright. It’s a bit weak in my opinion though. I like something that makes my lips pucker, my throat burn and my eyes water, just ever so slightly. The zingy spicy punch it gives my tastebuds after that first sip. Something with that effect must be good for me. Home made lemon and ginger tea, my savior.

Both lemons and ginger are both known for their vitamin C content, a powerful antioxidant that can help boost your immune system and decrease the severity of some of the symptoms associated with the flu and other illnesses. Lemon ginger tea may also temporarily relieve sinus pressure, a runny nose, a sore throat and coughing. This mixture of lemon, ginger and honey can stimulate the release of dermcidin, which is a compound that has anti-microbial properties and can help fight the flu. Let’s get ready to terminate this sucker.

You can use lemon instead of lime if you want. I’m quite partial to lime because on one of my trips to India one of the things I would frequently order at our favourite seaside restaurant in Goa was “Lemon Tea” – made with these round little lemon limes and lots of honey.

Lemon Lime and Ginger Tea

1 lime, juiced

3-4 thin slices of fresh ginger, bashed with the back of a knife to release the gingery goodness

1+ Tbsp honey

Recently boiled water

Combine the juice, ginger and honey in a mug. Give the ginger a bit of a workout with the back of a spoon – get those flavours going. You don’t want the water to be boiling or else it will kill the goodies in the juice and honey. You need these vitamins for a rapid recovery. Stir and add more honey. You’re sick, you can have it as sweet as you want. That’s my excuse anyway.

Get well soon chicken.

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