Fortified with smoky lapsang souchong tea and blue fenugreek, this savory, traditional Central Asian meat-noodle soup is even heartier with Umi Organic ramen noodles. Vegetarians can opt to serve it like they do in Tajikistan, where chickpeas are added. Though the dish comes from Central Asia, the name “lagman” comes from the same Chinese root word as ramen (lamian), making these two dishes ready for their Mongol-Turkic family reunion.
Serves 4 generously
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pound cubed stew meat (such as beef, lamb or wild boar)
1 small chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef stock
2 cups lapsong souchong tea (or water)
1 cups diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
1 fist-sized Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
2 tablespoons paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons blue fenugreek (available on Amazon)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package (12 or 15 ounces) Umi Organic ramen noodles
4 soft-boiled eggs, halved
2 fresh red chile peppers, thinly sliced on the bias
Chopped fresh dill
Marigold petals (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until glistening. Add the meat and brown it nicely, then remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion, carrot and celery, stir-frying a bit for about five minutes or until the onion begins to become translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Deglaze the pan with a few splashes of the beef stock, gently scraping with a wooden spoon to melt the delicious browned bits. Add the remaining stock, the tea (or water), tomatoes, potatoes, and browned meat (along with any juices that accumulated) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then stir in the spices, cover, and simmer until the meat and potatoes are cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to your palate.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Gently tease the noodles apart with your fingers. Boil the noodles in a pot of water for two minutes, then drain and divide into four bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles and top each bowl with garnishes. As dämdi bolsın!