MIN MIN - Spicy Dragon Ramen with Hand-Pulled Lamian Noodles
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
A few months ago, it was announced that an ARMS character would be the first fighter of the second Fighters Pass. This character turned out to be none other than the fan-favourite Min Min!
Min Min's inclusion was a huge win for me: I love ARMS, and Min Min was my favourite character in the game - but not only that, Min Min is a perfect character for something like Gourmet Smash Ultimate! Of all the recipes I've done for this project, this was the one that came the most naturally - Min Min is a food-themed character, after all! The "ramen bomber" has ramen noodle arms, noodly hair, and a beanie that looks like an upside-down ramen bowl! Her backstory is that she works at her family's ramen shop, the Mintendo Noodle House, and apparently comes from a long line of "ramen royalty." She fights in ARMS battles to promote this restaurant, and hopes to one day become the champion of the ARMS league and bring home the championship belt to proudly display in her ramen shop!
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try making hand-pulled noodles! Hand-pulled noodles are notoriously difficult to make: it took me a few tries to get the dough to the right consistency. As you can see in the photos, the noodles turned out a bit inconsistent, but they still tasted fine. Its tricky, but it just takes practice - and don't worry too much if they don't look picture-perfect! I used Serious Eats' hand-pulled noodle recipe: this video was a very useful reference!
I went for a classic shoyu-style ramen broth, flavoured with a soy sauce-based seasoning called tare. I figured that handmade noodles was already enough of a challenge that also including a pork bone broth, which would need to be made hours in advance, would just be overkill. I want this recipe to be somewhat accessible to home cooks, so I opted for a simple mixture of chicken and seafood stock - combined with the tare and the toppings, the resulting broth still has a wonderful ramen flavour but takes way less time to make (but if you happen to have any homemade bone broth, by all means, use it!)
In ARMS promotional images, Min Min's ramen is usually pictured with mushrooms, green onions, soft-boiled eggs, and narutomaki fishcakes - the classic toppings of a traditional shoyu ramen! (Unfortunately, I was unable to find any fish cake, so you'll have to excuse their omission in the photos.) I also decided to make a spicy chili oil topping to bring a little heat, as a nod to Min Min's fire-breathing Dragon ARM!
This recipe makes about four bowls of soup.
425g bread flour (plus more for dusting)
28g nutritional yeast
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chili paste such as gochugang or sriracha (optional, only if you want it extra spicy)
½ cup neutral oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 2-inch knob of ginger, thinly sliced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1-2 chili peppers, sliced (or 1-2 tsp dried red pepper flakes)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups seafood/fish stock
Mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, or enoki)
Dried nori sheets
Narutomaki fish cake
Finely chopped green onion
Soft boiled egg (soak uncooked eggs in soy sauce the night before to make a ramen egg!)
Dried red chili pepper flakes
For hand-pulled noodles:
Pulse bread flour and nutritional yeast in a food processor until thoroughly combined. Add salt, water, and vegetable oil, process until a sticky ball of dough is formed.
Knead and pull the dough using the technique seen here. Make sure not to over-work it, and don't pull the noodles too thin, otherwise they will fall apart when cooking! Set aside the noodles until read to use.
In a small bowl, prepare the tare: whisk together soy sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and chili paste if using. Set aside.
Make the spicy oil: in a small pan, heat oil until shimmering. Add garlic, ginger, onions, and chilis. Cook for just a few minutes over medium until fragrant, then remove from heat and strain oil through a sieve to remove solids. Discard the solids and set the flavoured oil aside.
In a stockpot, heat up the chicken and seafood stock.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil. Add ramen noodles and cook - they should only take a few minutes, fresh noodles cook much faster than their dried counterpart.
To prepare the bowls, ladle a small amount of the tare in the bottom of each bowl. Add noodles, top up with broth, and add mushrooms, nori sheets, sliced fish cake, chopped green onion, and a halved soft-boiled egg. Drizzle with spicy oil.