What is one indication that you are a woman in your mid twenties? Anyone? Did you just say listening to podcasts on how to start investing? Yes, that is most certainly one way to show your age. If you were on season 2 of Romy (about 21 -23 years old) you might find me leaving the room, hurriedly entering a daydream, or exclaiming 'I know nothing about this stuff' when the eggplants (or Lebanese cucumbers, i'm not judging) in the room started talking about investing. I genuinely could not have given less of a s*** about taking my minimum wage earnings and turning them into a coupla hundred bucks. I didn't (still don't to a great extent) understand the jargon and I quite candidly didn't care about appearing like a confused, feebleminded, young girl. I use to think that these blokes with all their money-talk were just having a pissing contest. I mean, I still think most of them are doing that, but not as fervently as I once did.
Let's skip to the first few episodes of season 3 though, to find our young heroine is acknowledging that her fear of the scary numbers and silly vernacular is the true reason for her disengagement. Yes, a large portion of my disinterest was due to the ever-present boys-club atmosphere surrounding investing. But it was also because I was scared that it wasn't something that came easy to me - I had no concept or understanding of it, so I shut it down as unimportant. This is something called analysis paralysis (thank you Financial Feminist). Essentially a phenomenon where you feel you can't start something until you are an expert on said-thing.
I've only just started to learn about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs, and I will likely be putting less than 100 dollars aside each week for it, but if I grant minimum-wage, clueless Romy the grace of diving into it now, then that leaves room for baller 40 year-old-Romy to be just that. Give yourself the grace to enter a boys-only space - because, honestly, a bathroom sign is just a bathroom sign and if you feel like peeing standing up, then hike that dress up. Disclaimer: don't do that, I'm 65% sure that's probably illegal.
I guess I'll relate this back to making Ramen, as for some reason, I felt the same about making Ramen from scratch as I did investing. It's not as difficult to understand when you break all the components down. It's not just for skilled men to make (although, admittedly, a homemade ramen can't beat a good ramen bar, it just can't). I'm full of contradictions here, but this bowl of noodles is delicious and you will feel as if you've unlocked a new level of your cheffing abilities so I say go for it.
1 litre Chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of leeks, roughly sliced
1/2 cup of ginger, roughly sliced
5 Garlic cloves, ends removed or slightly smashed down
4 pieces of kombu seaweed ² (or nori sheets if you don't have kombu)
Optional: 1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms, broken up
125g White sesame paste³
100g Toasted white sesame seeds
65g Soy sauce
50g Chilli Oil
20g Ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
10g Spring onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil)
400g Minced pork
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
36g Chilli bean sauce ⁴
160g Soy sauce
5g Chilli oil
Cooked ramen noodles
3 Ramen eggs
1 can of sweetcorn, drained
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
Add all of the ingredients to a large pot and bring it to the boil. Reduce the pot to a simmer and, after 30 minutes remove the Kombu. Leave to simmer for 1½ - 4 hours. Then strain the stock so that you are left with just the liquid.
Blend together all of the ingredients and set the tare aside.
Place the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground pork, break it up and brown it (about 3 minutes).
Add in your garlic, ginger, and spring onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.
Add in your chilli bean sauce, chilli oil, and soy sauce. Cook the mince down until really dry, then remove from the heat and set aside, ready for serving.
Place 3 - 4 tablespoons of the sesame tare at the bottom of a deep bowl. Pour your hot stock over the tare and mix it together until creamy. Taste the broth and add more stock or tare until you reach your desired flavour.
Add your cooked ramen to the soup then top it with your ground pork, ramen egg, sweetcorn, bean sprouts, spring onion, and sesame seeds.
There are so many options for making the stock. If you don't want to buy all of the ingredients just make a simple chicken stock using a stock cubes or buy chicken broth. If you want to get really funky, use the chicken bones, skin, and fat from a roast chicken!
Kombu seaweed is different from nori - it's a kelp and adds a great depth of flavour. However, if you can't find kombu seaweed you can use a few sheets of nori to give the broth a similar flavour.
You can sometimes find this at an asian supermarket or online (probably won't find it at a regular supermarket) - if you can't source this, you can either make your own by using a small food processor and blending up toasted white sesame seeds OR buying roasted unhulled tahini. I use often use this one: https://shop.countdown.co.nz/shop/productdetails?stockcode=271951.
Chili bean sauce is also known as Tobanjan or Doubanjiang. If you can't find any, you can substitute this for 18g of white miso paste and 18g of sriracha.