Ramen is one of my favorite foods ever. I used to do a special ramen night each Tuesday at my restaurant in LA, appropriately called Ramen Tuesday; and if I don’t say so myself, it was really good. I used leftover bones and vegetables for the stock, fresh noodles and cooked the broth sometimes for days – it rivaled any bowl in Japan. Now that it’s fall and cold season is upon us, a hot bowl of homemade ramen should be at the top of everyone’s list for feel-better and stay-better foods.
This week’s Cook Together featured “medicine in a bowl” – perfect for the season where germs are circulating. Boosting our immune system is a wise approach. This soup, served piping hot is packed full of functional and immune enhancing ingredients. Eating warming foods this time of the year is an excellent way to eradicate illness as temperatures in the environment drop, because according to Chinese Medicine, temperature plays a key role in health and immunity.
Other key immune boosting ingredients in Jesse’s Shoyu Ramen recipe:
Bone broth: Although the research on bone broth is relatively inconclusive. Researchers from the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha found that chicken soup, when prepared in the traditional manner, decreased the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
Shitake mushrooms: Shitake mushrooms contain an immune-boosting ingredient called lentinan and research has shown that Shitake mushrooms can boost the activity of natural killer cells, which destroy the cells that have become infected with a virus.
Kimchi: The major ingredients of kimchi are cruciferous vegetables and other functional foods such as garlic, ginger and red pepper powder. When these ingredients undergo fermentation the fermentative byproducts significantly improve their immune boosting capabilities
Cabbage: Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and contains antioxidants and polyphenols that help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against free radical damage. It’s also a great source of vitamin C which helps to enhance immune function.
Seaweed: Stimulates the immune system and guards against dermatitis, obesity, heavy metal poisoning, depression, congestion and anemia.
Garlic: Garlic has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and is thought to help lower blood pressure. Garlic contains allicin, which has cancer-fighting potential and antioxidants and organosulfur compounds that may block carcinogens from forming.