We were sent the wagamama cook book. We're not bragging. There is a point to this.
At first glance things looked disconcertingly complicated, but actually the dishes are very doable and incredibly tasty.
Still need convincing? Rustle up their chilli beef ramen with this recipe. If that goes well, buy the book here. If it goes awfully just get the professionals to make it for you. wagamama (lower case 'w' compulsory) have a new store in Holborn. Details at the bottom.
150g (5oz) beansprouts
250g (9oz) ramen noodles
350g (12oz) sirloin steak, 2cm (3/4 in) thick, in the piece
a little vegetable oil
a little teriyaki sauce, for brushing
1 litre (1 ¾ pints) chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chilli ramen sauce
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 red chilli, trimmed, deseeded and sliced lengthways
½ red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 lime, quatered
6 sprigs of coriander
Blanch the beansprouts in a large pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain, reserving the water, and refresh in cold running water. Cook the noodles in the reserved boiling water for 2 – 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain thoroughly and refresh under cold running water.
Heat a griddle or frying pan over a medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes until hot and almost smoking. Lightly rub the steak with oil, then cook for 2 minutes on each side until medium rare. Remove from the griddle, brush with the teriyaki sauce and keep warm while it rests for 3 – 4 minutes. Slice on the diagonal.
Divide the noodles between 2 bowls. Heat the stock, stir in the chilli ramen sauce, then ladle over the noodles. Top with the beef beansprouts, spring onions, chilli, red onion, 2 lime quarters and the coriander.
To enjoy the wagamama chilli beef ramen in wagamama itself, the new holborn restaurant is now open – at 123 Kingsway, WC2B 6PA. For groups of 6 or more a group booking can be made in advance, and take-out is also available.