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Ramen

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gracoman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 March 2015 at 10:07
Ramen has its origins in China. Chinese long stretchy, chewy noodles were brought to Japan but were not an immediate success as the Japanese did not find pork based broth to their liking.  After ramen was fitted to Japanese tastes it became an immediate hit.   Ramen gained world wide popularity after the Japanese invention of instant ramen in the late 1950’s.  This instant ramen is what most of us think of when we hear the words ramen soup.  The two are light years apart.  Real ramen permeates Japanese culture.

The Four Main Types Of Ramen - From The Huffington Post

Shio ramen is the subtlest form with a clear, light-bodied salty chicken broth. Sometimes fish or pork are included.
Shoyu ramen is soy sauce flavored and made with a chicken and vegetable broth base. Sometimes fish or beef are included.
Tonkotsu ramen is rich and pork based, almost milky white in color.
Miso ramen is rich in flavor from miso paste -- it also comes in a spicy version that's topped with spicy bean paste. The broth can be a combination of chicken, fish and/or pork.

The 26 types of ramen in Japan from the ShinYokohama Raumen Museum

Ramen has 3 components. The broth, the noodles, and the toppings.  Each is important.  The broth and noodle recipes are carefully guarded secrets among the half million or so highly competitive Ramen restaurants found in Japan.
 
THE BROTH.
Broths are typically pork or chicken based and may take days to produce.  Tonkotsu ramen gets its whitish appearance from pork bones which are boiled for many hours until the collagen broken down and released.  This collagen can bee seen in the broth but not felt on the tongue.  Additional flavorings may be added to these broths while cooking, or just before presentation.  Miso, soy sauce, and spicy bean paste is among these.

THE NOODLES
There are 2 basic types of noodles.  Straight and crinkly.  The type of type of noodle used is dependent upon the broth.  Smooth noodles go down easier and are more likely to be found in lighter broths while crinkly noodles do a better job of hanging on to the rich broth in heavier bowls.  Ramen chefs will almost invariably produce their own noodle on site.  Mixing various flours together for their own spin.

THE TOPPINGS
Everything and anything goes here but ramen chefs will take great pains to pair the correct toppings with the broth and noodle.  Meats, eggs, vegetables, shoots, sprouts, spicy bean pastes are all potential candidates but almost certainly green onions.  If eggs are used, they must be soft cooked, peeled, marinated overnight and sliced in half lengthwise.  Meat is typically pork slices (char siu or chashu) but ground pork is also used as well as beef or chicken.

A ramen primer from serious eats

The miso ramen bowls I made were relatively simple.  The broth was a “doctored up” boxed chicken broth with the additions of sesame oil, garlic, shallots, minced fresh ginger, brown miso, oyster sauce, tamari, white pepper, ground toasted sesame seeds, hot chili bean paste and sake.  It was extremely flavorful.  I had hoped to find fresh ramen noodles at my local Asian market but no dice.  I picked up a 5 pound box of Japanese dried medium cut smooth ramen noodles for about $5.00.  Not fresh, but certainly not the instant bricks.  Toppings were sliced char siu pork tenderloin, bean sprouts, steamed cabbage, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, soft cooked eggs, and sliced green onions.  Delicious!

Japanese Miso Ramen With Pork


Without Pork


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gracoman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2015 at 22:09
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AK1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2015 at 20:31
That looks too pretty to be Ramen LOL.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 March 2015 at 22:02
I apologise for missing this post, gMan - it is truly outstanding. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2015 at 16:12
I pulled out all of the stops and made David Chang's Momofuku Ramen.

This took 2 days and produced a very intense bowl of Ramen.  The broth simmered for 12 hours with various additions and subtractions during the course of the simmer. 

Broth ingredients were kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms, smoked bacon, chicken tare (a flavoring ingredient made from roasted chicken, mirin, sake, and light soy sauce), onion, scallions, and roasted pork neck bones. 

The toppings were sliced roasted Momofuku pork belly, pulled Momofuku pork butt, sliced fish cake, nori, sliced scallions, peas, corn, and scallops to offset the intensity of the pork.  Oh, and a soft cooked egg and ramen noodles.  Not the instant kind but noodles made with a potassium carbonate and sodium bi-carbonate solution that turns them yellow and adds chewiness.

I smoked the bacon, pork belly, and pork butt and also roasted the chicken, pork belly, and pork nrck bones. Hence the 2 days.

I made quite a bit of this broth which is now stored in my freezer along with roasted pork belly and pork butt for when I feel the need.  The tare is also in my freezer but it doesn't freeze. 

The finished product


 
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gonefishin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2015 at 17:08
  The flavors, the presentation...everything looks great...well done and thanks for sharing
Enjoy The Food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2015 at 19:59
That really looks beautiful, gMan, and sounds incredible, as well. 

Very well done!
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gracoman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2015 at 21:07
I apologize for not currently having the time to respond to this properly.

I will say this.  You've got to understand ramen to understand why I would go through this much trouble to produce what looks like a bowl of soup.  I assure you this is not the case. This is a feast in a bowl. A feast of flavors and textures. It's all about the complexity of the broth and the quality of the noodles.  The rest is optional but you must choose wisely.

And Happy Birthday Hoser.  Dude, you are the man Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2015 at 04:42
Beautiful ramen post my friend...now you've got me hankering for something Asian.
I think it may be chicken fried rice tonight...one of our favorites.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2015 at 09:59
I am certainly no fan of the instant ramen crap, ate too much of it as a starving college student, but what you've posted above I would not hesitate to tear into with reckless abandon. 2 days is a long time to prep for a bowl of soup, but man I bet that was intensely flavorful. Lots of umami going in the broth. Thanks for posting both times!
Mike
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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