I had this idea to mix two of my favorite things together to make gumbo ramen!!! Y’all know that I am all about fusion. Let me tell you – it is fantastic. I took some of the best elements of traditional, southern Louisiana gumbo like andouille sausage, smoked turkey, shrimp and the holy trinity. I then added ramen seasoning and noodles. It is such a perfect dish. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own gumbo ramen.
Smoked meat is an essential component in gumbo. It helps to bring depth of flavor to the soup. Here I used smoked turkey necks and smoked pork neckbones. About a pound of each will do. Boil the smoked meat until tender, allow to cool, removed from the bones, and then and add back at the end to the completed soup.
In addition to the smoked meat on the bone, I added 2 different types of andouille sausage. Andouille sausage is double smoked and made of chopped rather than minced pork. My hands down, will travel to get some, favorite is Veron andouille. It is beyond amazing and I had some in the freezer so that went in too. You don’t need a Louisiana connect to get andouille, I have found it at plenty of local grocers in the smoked meat section. As always, use what you have.
Normally gumbo has shrimp and crab in it. For the gumbo ramen I chose to focus on amplifying the shrimp flavor. First, I seasoned two pounds of shrimp with Zo’s Magic Stuff, Worcestershire sauce, and Tobassco Sriracha. After seasoning, place the seasoned shrimp in the refrigerator until ready to use. I also used shrimp powder. In Louisiana, we have dried shrimp which can be used to add deep seafood flavor to any dish. I have a hard time finding dried shrimp in Maryland. A few years ago, I found shrimp powder at a local Asian foods market and it is my secret ingredient.
The shrimp will be added last right before turning off the pot. Shrimp can easily over cook so I recommend adding them to the pot and immediately turning it off. Trust me, they will cook. This method allows the shrimp to still remain firm and juicy.
Seasoning is the absolute key here. Umami, or savoriness, is essential in ramen. The flavor that comes from cooking with bones, layering seafood and spices is where ramen gets its deliciousness from. To fuse the two flavors together, I added Umami Broth Dashi Powder. Dashi powder combines bonito, shiitake, and kombu to create the flavor base that is the heart of Japanese broth-based dishes. You can find it here.
The traditional holy trinity in Creole cuisine is onion, bell pepper, and celery. I stayed close to the roots on this one adding those ingredients plus bay leaves and garlic to the gumbo ramen. In a nod to the add-ins normally seen with ramen, I topped the finished dish with parsley and scallions (or green onions as we call them!).
Gizzards are used to add depth to the soup. They are optional. So if you don’t prefer them, you can just skip this step. I would encourage you to try adding a few and removing them when you take out the smoked turkey and neckbones. The flavor that the gizzards give will be unmatched. If using, just boil for 5 minutes and rinse to remove any gunk before adding to the gumbo ramen.
While I am sure that ramen noodles are so separately, I usually end up buying regular ramen and throwing out the seasoning packet. To cook the noodles, bring water to boil. Then add noodles. Boil for 4 minutes and drain.
- 1 lb. smoked turkey necks
- 1 lb. smoked pork neck bones
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 lbs. shrimp shells removed, deveined
- 1 tbsp. Zo's Magic Stuff Seasoning Salt
- 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Tabasco Sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp. shrimp powder
- 1 packet Umami broth powder
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 cup chicken gizzards boiled for 5 minutes, rinsed, and drained
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 5 scallions chopped, reserve some for garnish
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 2 lbs. smoked andouille sausage sliced
- 1 tsp parsley for garnish
- Rinse smoked meat. Add to large stock pot. Cover with water, add bay leaves and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Season shrimp with Zo's Magic Stuff, Worchestershire sauce, and Tabasco Sriracha sauce. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add shrimp powder, Umami broth powder, and chopped garlic to soup. Add cooked and rinsed gizzards, if using. Continue to boil until meat is tender about 30 minutes. When tender remove smoked meat and set aside to cool.
- Add onions, bell pepper, scallions, celery, and smoked sausage to broth. Continue to boil soup for another 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Add shrimp and turn off pot. Once shrimp turn pink, taste the soup and add additional salt as needed. If additional depth is needed, add more Umami broth powder one teaspoon at a time. Once finished, skim oil from top of soup.
- Boil ramen according to package instructions. While ramen is cooking, pull smoked meat from bones. Once cooked, drain ramen and add to bowls. Ladle soup on top of noodles. Add smoked meat into each bowl. Garnish with scallions, parsley, and sriracha sauce.
- Zo's Magic Stuff seasoning salt is our preferred brand, but feel free to substitute with your favorite brand.
- Gizzards can be removed when the smoked turkey and neckbones are taken out if you prefer not to serve them.
- Caution against seasoning the soup too soon as the smoked meat and seasoned shrimp will all add flavor, it is best to wait until the end to add more seasoning.
- You may need to add more water if too much evaporates. Keep in mind that this will impact seasoning levels and additional adjustments will need to be made.
- Don't be afraid to make this dish your own. Try it with chicken on the bone or crabs. Also, the more toppings the better. Feel free to add sprouts, carrot sticks, or a green vegetable. The sky is the limit!