Ramen Redone — with Kale Chips, Carrots, and Soft-Boiled Egg

By Joseph Winters ’20

Shortly before high school graduation, I got a ton of gifts from family and friends. There were Starbucks gift cards galore, outdoor gear, straight-up cash, and even a set of ultra-portable camping dishes. Probably the most interesting gift I received, however, was a microwave ramen cooker—make ramen in your dorm room, the packaging claimed. I grinned at the note included with the gift, implying that I would be eating a lot of ramen in the coming months.
The ramen stereotype is a funny phenomenon. It seems to me that a majority of campuses offer some sort of dining plan; despite the economic benefit of instant ramen packs, your average college student isn’t actuallyrelying on nightly ramen meals.
But, despite its bad reputation, ramen can be delicious. I’m not talking about Instant Lunch or Cup-o-Noodles, which are pretty bland and probably not the most nutritious options, but fancier, more hipster-esque ramen. If you’ve ever been to Wagamama, you’ll know what I mean. The other day, I was craving something Wagamama-like: the comfort of ramen, but in a healthier, more flavorful form.
Off to the grocery store I went, gathering some ingredients for my own version of the ramen stereotype. What I ended up making was delicious—a hearty, umami bowl of warm ramen with a little crunch and a little spice. It involves kale chips, which, if you haven’t tried them, are addictive. They’re basically a really convenient and “healthy” vehicle to ingest a bunch of butter/olive oil and salt. This recipe also includes soft-boiled eggs, which is another favorite of mine. If you’re a fan of eggs over easy, you’ll love soft-boiled eggs. The yolk doesn’t get all chalky and crumbly like it does in a hard-boiled egg—instead, it’s all melty and gooey. Of course, it can be substituted by a hard-boiled egg, but skeptics should definitely give the soft-boiled version a try first.


Ramen Redone — with Kale Chips, Carrots, and Soft-Boiled Egg
Servings: 1
Time: 30 minutes
1 package ramen and spice mix (I used a millet and brown rice version from Lotus Foods, which I liked because it was whole grain and had only recognizable ingredients)
1 carrot
3-5 leaves of kale (vary depending on how much you like kale chips)
1 egg
butter or olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Bring two small pots of water to a boil.
  3. While waiting for water to boil, tear kale into chip-sized pieces. Julienne (slice very thinly) carrot.
  4. Toss kale in a little bit of melted butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices. Spread coated kale onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and place in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes, or until crisp but not burned.
  5. While kale is cooking, prepare the soft-boiled egg: place the raw egg in the pot of boiling water and set a timer for six minutes. When the timer goes off, remove the egg and shock it in ice water to stop the cooking.
  6. Prepare the ramen according to package instructions.
  7. Assemble the ramen bowl: pour the cooked ramen and broth into a bowl. Arrange the kale chips and julienned carrot around the edge of the bowl. Peel the soft-boiled egg and gently slice it down the middle (length-wise). Place the egg halves in the center of the bowl, yolk-side up (the yolk will be liquid-y and delicious, so be careful not to spill!).
  8. Season with more salt and/or pepper (and anything else—soy sauce or sriracha would probably be great) and enjoy!



Oishii Boston: Sushi Like You’ve Never Tasted Before

by Bovey Rao ‘19

Sushi is simple. A thin slice of fish gently draped over a molded portion of rice. The minimal offers of rich soy sauce, spicy grated wasabi, and refreshing pickled ginger serve as accents to the beauty and purity of sushi. In the modern era, one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine is being desecrated. The art of sushi-making has been refined for hundreds of years, and we seem to disregard those traditions as we partake in our California rolls, green dyed horseradish, and pink ginger. I cringe as I watch yet another sushi “enthusiast” take the massive glob of “wasabi” and dump it into their dish of soy sauce. The suffering only intensifies as each meticulously formed nigiri or maki is dunked nonchalantly and left to soak in the soy sauce. These practices not only destroy the essence of sushi but are considered to be disrespectful to the work of the chef.

Oishii Boston is an offshoot of the original Oishii store in Chestnut Hill, and thank god, they chose to expand. After a particularly stressful week, all I wanted to do was to get off campus and rehabilitate my mind. For me, this often involves a long conversation with a friend over a truly magnificent meal, and Oishii Boston went above and beyond my expectations (in price as well, so be prepared financially).


My friend and I ambled through the sunny South End, as we perfectly timed our route for our reservation time. After promptly being seated, we marveled at the lengthy sushi bar and cracked open the menu. Oishii serves an eclectic mix of Japanese cuisine. Japanese techniques like sushi, robata, and tempura are combined with an incredible collection of fresh ingredients, both traditional and nouveau. Similarly, conventional Japanese ingredients like Hamachi kama, enoki mushrooms, and yuzu are given new life through the techniques of haute cuisine. Oishii incorporates the best of both worlds in every imaginable way. After ordering a diverse set of dishes and sushi, we waited for our courses to arrive.

We did not wait long as a bamboo steamer was quickly brought over. My favorite dish to order at modern Asian restaurants is the pork belly bun. The pork belly bun has played an essential role in the rapid dissemination of Asian food throughout the country. It may seem to be a lazy dish of a steamed bun, a slice of pork belly, and some assortment of pickles, but the execution of the simple things characterizes a restaurant. This pork bun was truly transcendental. Pork belly is an incredibly difficult protein to manipulate as the high levels of fat can lead to unappealing textures and oily aftertastes. The first bite blew my mind, and I was left pining as the entire bun vanished quickly into my mouth. The soft sweet bun caressed the tender pork belly as miso provided the necessary salt and umami. With such an indulgent and soft dish, the acidity and crispness from the brined cucumbers left me refreshed, without the cloying oiliness that I have sometimes experienced.


The okonomiyaki that followed also did not disappoint. Okonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese style pancake with cabbage and miscellaneous seafood. Oishii’s version came with a generous portion of bonito flakes, or katsuobushi, with the thin flakes magically flowing with the subtle air currents. The savory pancake filled with fresh seafood was flavorful and melded wonderfully with the lattice of sweet mayonnaise.


For the last of the hot dishes was a uni cream pasta, which was the most indulgent dish I have ever eaten. With shavings of black truffles over a perfectly poached egg, the al dente pasta absorbed the voluptuous yolk as we made a small incision. While I am normally not a fan of these almost hedonistic ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised as the flavors were not overwhelming. However, it is a dish that makes an incredible impact on the palette that I am unsure if I would order it again.


For once it felt like appetizers truly stimulated the appetite, and we prepared ourselves for our sushi order. At Oishii, they import the freshest seafood from Tsukiji, the famous Japanese fish market, and from various other seafood markets in the US. Thus, they can guarantee the best possible product. One day, I will return for a sushi omakase to truly subject myself to the whims of the chef. However, on this day, I wanted to indulge in my own desires for sushi.

Oishii chooses to not serve minimalist sushi, where it is simply fish and rice. Rather, they choose to include nuanced accessories to each piece of sushi to elevate the flavor even further. Whether it was the thin slice of lime on the botan ebi or strawberry on the Hamachi toro, the already sophisticated taste of sushi was balanced with complex but necessary garnishes. It would be tedious to describe each individual piece, so I will keep it brief and only discuss the highlights. My personal favorite was the chutoro topped with pickled shallots. Chutoro is tuna with moderate fat, so it has the butteriness that is so sought after, while still retaining the natural savory flavor of tuna. Additionally, the tamago or egg sushi was exceptional. The light, fluffy egg was given a deep sweetness that was greatly reminiscent of a cake.

For dessert, we selected the coconut sphere with coffee mousse and yuzu sorbet. A truly interactive dessert, it might have been a hassle to consume, but I enjoyed the process of steadily chipping away at the frozen sphere of sweetened coconut milk to reveal the subtly flavored coffee mousse.


Over the course of the three hour meal, I was delighted with every bite of food that I consumed. While this process may be more time intensive for me than the average person, I can truly attest to the quality and dedication that Oishii puts into their food. It is a pricey experience, and many may scoff at the ephemeral nature of food. But for me, Oishii delivered exactly what I needed. When I wish to receive another monumental sushi experience, I will return to Oishii.


Oishii Boston

Location: 1166 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Reservation: OpenTable or Call (617)-482-8868

Stand out dishes: Pork Belly Bun, Chutoro, Tamago, Coconut Sphere

Overall Rating: 5/5

Food: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Ambience: 4/5