Halloween-inspired “Van Helsing” Ramen

A dish to ward off the vampires on Halloween (or at any time of the year), this ramen is in tribute to the vampire hunter Dr Van Helsing from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A bowl of this garlic-laced ramen, with a broth flavoured with black mayu (black garlic oil) and topped with garlic chips, will keep any thirsty vampires at bay. I have topped this with ginger miso marinated pork, to give a contrast to the smokey, garlicky flavour of the broth.


Serves 2


1 tbsp. sunflower or groundnut oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 litre chicken stock

1 tsp. Chinese chilli bean paste

1 dessert spoon miso paste

1 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tbsp. black mayu

2 packets ready to use ramen noodles

2 tbsp. soy sauce and mirin marinating liquid from ramen egg recipe


To top

1 batch ginger miso marinated minced pork (see below)

1 batch togarashi spiced spinach (see below)

4 spring onion (in the picture I first blanched the trimmed spring onion, then ran it under cold water to cool, before wrapping the green part of the spring onion around the white- squeeze the end slightly to keep its shape- alternatively you can just slice it finely raw)

Ramen egg

1 tin bamboo shoots, brought to the boil in salted water, drained, re-boiled in water and drained again (this removes the sour taste of the tin)

4 sheets nori

Red ginger



  1. Add half of the oil to a large wok or saucepan and put on a high heat. Add the shallots and fry until softened and fragrant. Add the chilli bean paste and allow to sizzle.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the miso and soy sauce-mirin liquid. Add the mayu and taste for flavouring. You want a rich broth with a smoky, garlic undertone. You can add more mayu if it is not strong enough for you.
  3. In a small saucepan , heat the remaining oil and fry the garlic until it has turned golden and crispy. Remove the garlic from the pan and drain on kitchen towel. I then use this garlic infused oil for frying the spinach, to give it a slight garlic flavour.
  4. Heat the ramen noodles as per pack instructions. If, like me, you use the instant ready to use noodles, then simple bring them to the boil and drain.
  5. Serve the noodles in bowls, pour the broth over the top and arrange the pork, egg, spinach, bamboo shoots, spring onion and red ginger around the bowl. Drizzle a little extra mayu around the bowl. Place the nori sheets at the edge of the bowl so that one side sticks up out of the bowl.

Ginger Miso Marinated Pork


250g free range lean pork mince

1 inch piece of ginger, very finely chopped

1 tbsp. miso paste

2 tbsp. tamari soy sauce

1 tbsp. mirin

1 handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

½ tbsp. sunflower or groundnut oil

½ tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine

1 tsp. dark soy sauce


  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the pork.
  2. Put the pork mince in a bowl and break it up with a fork. Add the marinade and mix well. Place in the fridge for at least a few hours, or ideally overnight.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the pork mince. As it starts to brown, add the rice wine. Stir fry until well cooked. Season to taste.

Togarashi Spiced Spinach


1 bag fresh spinach

1 tsp groundnut oil

Salt and white pepper

½ tsp. togarashi powder

1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds



  1. Blanch the spinach in boiling water and then drain in a sieve. Using a large spoon, press the spinach into the sieve to squeeze out as much water as possible. Blot the spinach on a few pieces of kitchen towel.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok until very hot and add the spinach. Stir fry for a minute, before adding the salt and white pepper, togarashi powder and mixing. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.



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