Spicy Thai Shrimp Ramen Soup with Turkey Stock

(courtesy of Tim Meevasin, personal chef in Reno. Serves 4)

Spicy Thai Shrimp Ramen with Turkey Stock

This recipe features many aromatics from Thai cuisine. Don’t be intimidated if you haven’t worked with these exotic ingredients, Meevasin says. Ingredients can be found locally at Whole Foods Market, Raley’s, and your local Asian market.

Meevasin says the stock is very simple and straightforward to make, but the main ingredient is time (about 3 hours).

Turkey carcass (Meevasin likes to add any random chicken bones he has in the freezer, too)

1 package fresh egg noodles

3 quarts cold water

1 tablespoon white peppercorns

4 to 5 kaffir lime leaves

2 stalks lemongrass

Fresh ginger root (1 thumb-sized knob, cut into thin slices)

1 to 2 Thai chiles, split lengthwise (scale up or down as desired)

4 carrots, medium diced

4 celery ribs, medium diced

2 yellow onions, medium diced

2 tablespoons fried garlic, for garnish

¼ bunch of cilantro, minced

2 stems green onions, finely slivered

2 cups bean sprouts

2 pounds peeled, deveined, raw shrimp (save peels for the stock, too)

Salt, to taste

In roasting pan, roast bones on high heat in oven until golden brown and caramelized (about 20 minutes). This gives stock a deep, rich color and great depth of flavor. Once bones are golden, pop them into a large, empty stockpot. Add your diced carrots, celery, and onions to the same roasting pan and roast until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Place all roasted veggies in stock pot with bones.

Using cold water, cover bones and veggies completely. Bring to gentle simmer (lazy bubble) on stove top and adjust heat so stock will remain at a gentle bubble. Skim off any “scum” that floats to the top in the first 15 minutes of stock reaching simmer. Then let simmer for 3 hours.

One hour before end of 3-hour simmer time, add all aromatics (kaffir lime, peppercorns, lemongrass, ginger, chili) and shrimp shells. Adding aromatics too soon actually will lessen their effect. Strain stock. (Meevasin says, “Chefs like to use cheesecloth placed in large, wire-mesh strainer to ensure we get the cleanest, clearest stock possible.”) Then discard all bones, meat, veggies, and aromatics.

“They have done their job and have no flavor left in them. You should be left with a beautiful liquid full of flavor,” Meevasin says. “Taste and then season with salt at the end. Never add salt to the stock in the beginning, because it will reduce, and you will be left with a salty mess, and all of your friends will make fun of you.”

To assemble ramen

Keep strained stock simmering and add shrimp, poaching at a simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. In separate pot, boil fresh egg noodles until al dente (1 to 2 minutes) and place in large bowl. Pour stock over noodles and garnish with fried fresh garlic, cilantro, green onions, shrimp, and bean sprouts.

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