I've read the Momofuku ramen recipe at least 3 times since I've had the book. It's a serious recipe that involves things I've never made before, like soft poached eggs and pork shoulder.
I am going to make it.
But not today.
Rather, I'm going to ease into cooking Momofuku slowly. I consider this to be like wading in the shallow end of the pool as you get ready to swim laps (maybe JR's triathlon training talk is rubbing off on me?). What I'm making today isn't even a full on recipe from the cookbook; rather, it's in the notes about the seasonal vegetable toppings that are often added to Momofuku ramen.
Just reading about this topping makes my mouth water.
I'm sorry if you are a vegetarian are reading this. But I have to say it. Cooking the collard greens with bacon made them almost unspeakably delicious. You end up with bacon-infused greens with just a hint of salt and sweet.
Here's how I turned this would-be ramen topping into the centerpiece of our meal:
Momofuku Collards with Baked Tofu on Rice
3/4 c. brown rice
1 1/2 c. water
Momofuku collard greens
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Combine rice and water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 50 minutes. While rice is cooking, make collard greens and baked tofu (recipes below).
To serve, put rice and collard greens into individual bowls; top with baked tofu and green onions.
Momofuku Collard Greens
1 piece bacon
1 bunch collar greens, destemmed and coarsely chopped
1 large pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. water
Put a piece of bacon in a wide skillet (that can later be covered). Cook on medium-high heat. Once it's begun to render some fat, add collard leaves. Toss well to coat in fat. Add salt. Cook, stirring a few minutes, until collards start to give up their liquid and shrink a little.
Add soy sauce, sherry vinegar, brown sugar, and water. Put lid on pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally until tender, about 40 minutes. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
6 oz. tofu, cut into 4 rectangles
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Drain tofu on paper towels. Mix soy sauce and maple syrup. Allow tofu slices to marinate in soy sauce mix for 10 minutes, flipping once. Transfer tofu to oiled baking dish, reserving marinade. Bake tofu in a 350 degree oven until tender, 30-40 minutes. Brush with marinade occasionally as tofu bakes.