Miso Ramen

This is both vegan (check your ramen to be sure) and fucking lovely. Serves one hungry person.

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 150g silken tofu, drained cut into 3 slices
  • 2tbsp plain flour, well-seasoned with salt & pepper

Ramen

  • 300ml vegetable stock & 300ml boiling water or 600ml veg stock from cube, made at half strength.
  • 1tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
  • 1 sheet wakame seaweed, cut into 2cm squares
  • 1 pack instant ramen

Optionally

  • 50g Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • Beansprouts
  • Sweetcorn
  • Baby spinach

Method

  1. Stick the flour on a plate, and season well with salt and pepper. Don’t skimp.
  2. Press the tofu between sheets of kitchen paper to extract excess liquid. Coat all sides in the seasoned flour.
  3. Fry over a medium heat for about 3 minutes a side, until golden brown and crunchy.
  4. Stick the stock and the water in a pan, bring to a boil, and mix in the miso paste. Reduce to a fast simmer.
  5. Add the scallion whites, mushrooms (if using), and wakame to the broth, stir, then add the noodles. Continue to simmer for 4 minutes.
  6. Serve in a large bowl. Top with the tofu and scallion greens, and beansprouts/baby spinach/sweetcorn if desired.

Cups Must Die

Let’s start this blog with a lovely, non-controversial topic that’s guaranteed not to annoy anyone at all with its sweet fluffiness. After all, start as you mean to go on, and all that…

Actually, knackers to that. Let’s swear at an entire country.

Dear America: You are doing recipes wrong. Specifically, you are fucking up measurements. For a change I’m not talking about your irrational attachment to an antiquated and hideous system of measurement that no sane person would use given that the metric system is a thing and base-10 is literally the easiest counting method on the planet (except for people from Glenrothes, or Norfolk).

No, this is about your irrational desire to measure non-liquid ingredients by volume.

It’s… not acceptable, but understandable why you might mistake this for a suitable practice when using fine powders or crystals, where a change in particle alignment will not result in a great change in quantity at the amounts used in most home cooking1. Once you get larger than things like sugar, however, the practice is idiotic.

I have read American recipes—actually in cookbooks, not just by morons on the internet—that call for diced peppers, sliced mushrooms, etc to be measured in cups. Which, for readers who don’t live in a backwards hellhole, is a unit of volume. Yes, even though the fluid ounce and the pint are both also used for volume in the USA (despite their pints being fucking tiny, presumably to charge more for shit-awful beer).

Quite apart making sure everybody in sane locations has to sit around with a conversion chart to find out what actual volume your recipes are dribbling on about, no two cups of chopped vegetables will ever yield the same amount. The particles are too big.

If you’re unable to fathom this basic principle of geometry, might I suggest purchasing a number of wooden blocks. As they are normally sold to parents for the enjoyment of small children, you may find the bright primary colours soothing as I explain something that should be so fucking intuitive that I don’t need to teach it to a goddamn chimp. The blocks won’t just distract you from me calling you every name under the sun, they are a vital teaching aide.

Take eight blocks. Make them into a cube, two blocks on a side. Measure that cube. Now, turn them so they’re arranged in a diamond pattern, touching at the edges only. Measure the resulting cube. Now, balance them carefully (get someone from a grown-up country to help) so that each block only touches the others at the corners. Measure the resulting cube.

See how the measurements are all different? Yet they all contain the same number of blocks. So if you always want eight blocks, you can’t guarantee any of the overall measurements will get you eight blocks, because you can’t predict how they will stack.

And that’s why cups are a hideous measurement for dry ingredients. Just fucking stop, okay?


  1. Though if you bake using anything other than strict weights you are an idiot who deserves the ridiculously variable results. Though given America’s attachment to awful sugary-sweet bread you may not even notice. 

Musings of a Greedy Sod

Some people, on seeing the title ‘Little Pleasance Kitchen’, may think this is going to be another twee food blog.

Bollocks to that.

It’s little because my kitchen’s tiny.

It’s pleasance because that’s where I live

It’s kitchen because… seriously, you do the English.

So yeah. I’m Stew, I like food, both making it and shovelling it into my face. I do not like the twee waffle that comes with almost every other fucking food blog on the Internet. Expect good food, decent recipes, and a fair bit of sweary language.

You’re welcome.