A little while ago i’ve set out to create simple yet tasty ramen which could be cooked in (almost) any western (especially german) kitchen. As some unsuccessfull experiments showed this wasn’t too easy.
I’ve also burdened me with some constraints – it should require as little “active chef time” as possible. There are some things you can’t change, amongst them that a good broth needs time to simmer. The second was that i’ve tried to use as few “exotic” ingredients as possible.
The result, which can be seen to our left, is neither great nor bad – but its a good start, not too pricey as well as not too complex.
Another abstract i’m obliged to add is that THIS IS NO “AUTHENTIC” RAMEN. IT ALSO DOESN’T AIM TO BE “AUTHENTIC”. I’ve never been to japan nor have i tasted *really* authentic japanese ramen. I’ve been to a pair of japanese restaurants selling ramen here in germany. My main reference are tastings and recipe from people who seem to have tasted a great deal of japense ramen – and, of course, my personal taste.
So first we’ll go through the basic idea. To get a delicious, “wide” and full-bodied broth you need quite some tastes. To me it seems as most ramen stocks rely on a kind of “roasted”, “caramelized” flavor base, combined with various vegetable-flavors. They also seem to be seasoned with only a few spices, however these need to be chosen and dosed carefully.
So my idea was to get the whole flavor from a very thick chicken stock as well as the braising liquid from braising pork chops.
Here’s my ingredients list:
- 1 (medium-sized) Chicken, preferably old
- 1/2 (large) Leek
- 3 carrots
- 3 (larger) onlions
- 1/4 celery
Braising liquid / Meat:
- 4 (large) Pork Chops
- Warm/Hot water (as needed)
- 1tbsp Miso
- 1/2 tbsp ginger powder
- ~30ml Shoyu (Kikkoman or similar good brand)
- 100-150ml Shoyu
- 1/2 Pckg Instant-Dashi (package said to season around 1 litre of soup)
- 2tbsp ginger powder
- 50-75ml mirin
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Miso
First start by washing and (coarsly) chopping onions, carrots, leek and fennel. Put these in a pressure cooker in around 3 litres of water, start to cook. Meanwhile start washing the chicken and cut it in half. Add the chicken to the pressure cooker and bring to a boil. After 4-5 minutes scrape off the skunk that may have shown on the top using a slotted spoon. Close pressure cooker and let cook at maximum pressure for 2:00-2:30h.
After finishing the soup, start the braising. Put around 100-150ml warm water, shoyu and pork chops in a large pan. Make sure the pork chops are almost fully submerged, *almost*. Bring to a boil, then turn the flame down so it’ll just show the slightest hint of bubbles/boiling (you can also achieve this by using a pot/pan with fireproof handle and put it into the oven @ ~110*C). Dissolve the miso and ginger powder in a small cup of warm water, add to rest of the mixture. Let sit and *slightly* simmer for around 1:30-2:00h.
When the pork is nice and tender put the meat itself in a plastic wrap in the fridge. Cooling it down makes it possible to carefully slice it using a *sharp* knife.
When the soup finishes release the pressure and add the braising liquid. Pour the soup through a coarse strainer/sieve, boil some water (~500ml) and and pour through the mixture in the sieve to extract the last bits of flavor (this is, e.g., also done when brewing beer).
Then start seasoning the soup. Start with the instant-dashi as this is probably the one powder thingy with the highest level of salinity you’ve ever encountered in your life. Then slowly start seasoning with Shoyu (don’t panic if its a little salty at this point), then mirin, then sugar and the rest. The mirin and miso will eat away a little saltyness, but you can always re-adjust. Add the miso at the very end of the process as it doesn’t like to sit for long. Make sure NOT to bring the soup near a boil as soon as the miso is added, when boiled it will spoil your whole effort by becoming unbelievably bitter.
Then slice the meat into small mouth-sized pieces, find some nice somen noodles and various other toppings (i’ve used silk tofu, a hard-boiled egg and carrot julienne). Other great ideas include chopped spring-onions, various other kinds of vegetables and narutomaki.
The Result looks like this:
I hope you liked this recipe or – at least – got a idea of how you’re going to create your own recipe. I must also again note that THIS IS NO FINAL VERSION. It actually kind of sucks compared to what i want to achieve, but this is the best “quick” ramen recipe i’ve seen so far (maybe i’ve just searched wrong?).
The Recipe was also reviewed by a friend here: Review
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