Sunday, 19 December 2010

Inspiration Chain - The Wagamama Cookbook.

The Inspiration Chain was started by Chris at Mince and Skirlie.  The idea is for you to pass on a copy of your most inspiring cook book to another blogger and they then pass on a copy of their favourite book and so on.  Chris started by passing on a copy of Ripailles by Stephanie Reynaud to Kate from Domestikated who then passed on a copy of The Wagamama Cookbook to me as a lovely early Christmas pressie.

I let Steve choose anything he wanted for tea and he asked for Chilli Beef Ramen.

Recipe - 
Serves 2.

Ingredients - 
150g beansprouts
250g ramen noodles
350g sirloin steak
a little vegetable oil
a little teriyaki sauce for brushing
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp chilli ramen sauce (see below)
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced lengthways
1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 lime, quartered
6 sprigs of coriander

Method - 
1. Blanch the beansprouts in a large pan of boiling water for 10 seconds.  Drain reserving the water, and refresh in cold running water.
2. Cook the noodles in the reserved boiling water for 2-3 minutes until just tender.  Drain thoroughly and refresh under cold running water.
3. Heat a griddle or frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 mins until hot and almost smoking.  Lightly rub the steak with oil, then cook for 2 mins each side until medium rare. Remove from the griddle, brush with teriyaki sauce and keep warm while it rests for 3-4 minutes.  Slice on the diagonal.
4. Divide the noodles between 2 bowls.  Heat the stock, stir in the chilli ramen sauce then ladle over the noodles.  Top with the beef, beansprouts, spring onions, chilli, red onion, 2 lime quarters and the coriander.

To make the chilli ramen sauce - 
Dissolve 2 scant teaspoons of sugar in 2 tbsp malt vinegar in a small pan over gentle heat.  Allow to coll then add 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce and 5 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce).

Wow - this was such a quick meal to sling together and it was just what we needed - so filling, satisfying and tasty!  Yum.
I can't wait to explore this book some more.  Japanese is probably my favourite food at the moment so I'm really pleased to receive this especially as my first recipe attempt from it seemed to be so simple and easy.  However, when looking through the drawer for some chopsticks to eat this with, I realised we don't own a single pair! What an omission.  We have a beautiful set of handmade sushi plates and saki cups but no chopsticks.  I think I'll wait until a birthday and ask for a nice set.

So, those who have been following my blog will not be surprised at all by the book I am giving away.
Of course, it's Appetite by Nigel Slater.  Here's a link to my post explaining why it is my favourite cook book.  If you want to win a copy of this book all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and be willing to continue the chain by posting on a copy of the cookbook which has most inspired you.  Unfortunately, it will have to be the paperback version now but it's still a lovely book.
I will choose a winner at random from those who comment by folding pieces of paper and having one of my children draw one - no high tech stuff round here!  The deadline for entering is midnight at the end of 31st December 2010. 

Here is the link to The Inspiration Chain so you can follow its progress.  Thanks Chris - fantastic idea!


  1. Don't enter me, don't think I can be another link in the chain, but just had to say I'm so pleased you're enjoying the book! And merry Christmas!

  2. That beef ramen looks delicious! Reminds me I need to check out Wagamama in Union Square sometime.

  3. Kate - yes, loving the book - thanks! Happy Christmas to you too.
    Chris - my beef ramen was much nicer than a similar dish I had in Wagamama in Union Square the other week. Their beef seemed to be stewed and rather tough. Better to get the book and make the dishes yourself, I think.

  4. I love Nigel Slater; recently I've found his simple ideas really inspiring.

    I don't live in the UK... I'm not sure if you want me as part of your chain? Though I am willing to post a book overseas from Hong Kong. It's a great idea to make an inspiration chain like this. :)

  5. Absolutely no problem sending this overseas. Be quite exciting to have an international chain going, I think!

  6. the soup looks yummy, I think I will borrow the recipe it will make a nice change from all the heavy holiday meals.

  7. What a wonderful idea! And I don't happen to have that book (despite being a big Nigel Slater fan)... And the chilli beef ramen looks so very good - I'd expect nothing less from Wagamama! :D

  8. Your ramen looks amazing! Wagamamas is possibly one of the best restaurant chains too, their duck gyoza and chilli ramen are my favourites! Plus the green tea is free!
    The Inspiration Chain sounds like a brilliant idea too!