Ramen is Japanese soup made from pork broth, roasted pork, boiled noodles, and various toppings like vegetables, seaweed and egg. For many, the noodles are the main ingredient that the dish revolves around. But Primal ramen puts all the attention on the pork. Slow roasted pork, smoked pork shanks and bacon all play a role in making ramen that’s deeply flavorful and satisfying, even without noodles.
If you’ve traveled to Japan, then you’re familiar with the ubiquitous ramen shop serving steaming bowls of ramen that reflect the shop’s own distinctive style. If you were ever a hungry teenager or college student, then you’re definitely familiar with instant Top Ramen. This recipe is a far cry from instant ramen and not as labor intensive as ramen made in restaurants. It does take a little time to make (most of it hands-off) but suddenly all the ingredients come together. You’re rewarded with delicious steaming broth, tender slices of pork, vibrant collard greens and garnishes of egg, scallions and nori.
A warm bowl of chicken soup is thought to cure whatever ails you, in body and spirit. Add fresh ginger root and a kombu leaf to the pot, and the soup is even more nourishing.
Ginger warms the body, potentially giving your immune system a kick-start during cold and flu season. It also has a tradition of calming gastrointestinal distress. While ginger lets itself be known in this soup with its subtle but spicy flavor, kombu is a stealth ingredient. This dried sea vegetable enhances the flavor of broth and leaves behind a wealth of minerals without adding a “seaweedy” flavor.
The name of this recipe doesn’t really do the dish justice. Prunes just aren’t sexy ingredients, even if you call them dried plums. But the way they meld with lamb, creating a perfect sweet and savory flavor, is nothing short of transcendent.
Every bite combines a meaty, tender morsel of lamb with a hint of sweet, soft prune. Saffron, turmeric, ginger, garlic and onion add layers of warm, complex flavor. This is a simple throw-it-in-the-pot-and-let-it-simmer kind of meal that’s dinner party and holiday worthy.
Kaldereta is a Filipino stew with flavors influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Tomato-based and traditionally made with goat or beef, potatoes, green olives and peppers, it’s a filling, comforting dish.
The really ingenious ingredient in Kaldereta is puréed chicken liver.
Stirred in at the end, chicken livers give the stew a thick, creamy texture and super-meaty flavor. This technique can be used with any of your favorite stew, chili or curry recipes. There are more sneaky ways to work offal into your meals, but this is arguably one the easiest and tastiest methods.
Don’t be scared off by the amount of garlic in this soup. Yes, the number of cloves is way up there, somewhere around 40, but the resulting flavor is smooth, mellow garlic without any bite. The texture is just as enticing, creamy and rich without any cream or coconut milk added.
Organosulfur compounds that show potential for preventing cancer can be found in garlic and leeks. Both of these sulfur-rich veggies are swirling around in this delicious soup, plus a bright-green drizzle of chive oil.
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