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eG Cook-Off #72: Ramen


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Huiray, amazing photos!

David, I can't say I have ever heard of adding daikon to the broth at the stock-making stage, especially without blanching it, as it can sometimes leave a bitter taste in the stock.

Adding soy sauce - it's usual to add soy sauce when serving - all the seasonings, including extra fats or oils, are placed in the serving bowl, then in go the noodles, hot soup, other ingredients and garnishes. Soy sauce loses its fragrance quite easily, so if you wanted to add it earlier on, you should probably reserve some to add when serving.

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15 hours ago, helenjp said:

Adding soy sauce - it's usual to add soy sauce when serving - all the seasonings, including extra fats or oils, are placed in the serving bowl, then in go the noodles, hot soup, other ingredients and garnishes. Soy sauce loses its fragrance quite easily, so if you wanted to add it earlier on, you should probably reserve some to add when serving.

 

Thanks, helenjp, for confirming what I always do, especially with high heat stir-fries. Soy sauce can really get scorched in those. I didn't say anything, because I'm far from an expert in Asian cooking of any kind, but love learning about it, because it's just plain delicious. I certainly concur with your thoughts on high or prolonged heat with soy sauce from my personal experience and palate.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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My second attempt ended up much better, due in large part to your feedback and suggestions.  I started with a broth based on pork and chicken bones:

5 quarts water

2lbs. pork bones

2lbs. chicken bones

2 sheets kombu

carrots, chopped

celery, chopped

yellow onion, with skin, chopped

garlic

ginger

1 envelop bonito flakes

2 tbsp. chicken stock base

 

All the ingredients went into a deep stockpot and brought to a gentle simmer.  I partially covered the stockpot with the lid, open enough to let steam escape, and let the stock simmer about 3 1/2 hours.  Then strained and put into the refrigerator to chill overnight.  On day two I scooped off the fat layer on top of the gelled stock, brought it back to a simmer.

 

While the broth was simmering again, I braised some baby back pork riblets in a mixture of salt, pepper, water, sesame oil, garlic, some of the broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, mirin, sake and rice vinegar.  Into a Chinese claypot, covered with the lid, (which has a small air hole to let steam escape), and braised the ribs in a 300 oven for 2 1/2 hours.

 

Before serving, I added some Japanese style soy sauce, sake and mirin to the broth.  Then I ladled some of the broth into a smaller saucepan, brought it to the boil and added one package of instant ramen noodles and a small bunch of baby spinach and kale leaves.  Once the noodles were done, they went into the serving bowl with these

garnishes:

Three of the braised pork riblets

pea shoots

julienned carrots

julienned green onions

pickled daikon radish slices

sliced sour bamboo shoots

 

Then a drizzle of:

Tamari soy sauce

mustard oil

toasted sesame oil

red peppercorn chile oil

Chinese black vinegar

sprinkling of Japanese togarashi seasoning

 

IMG_0101.JPG.f24909aae8e51a936b607b892de

 

IMG_0100.JPG.14f8eaf811beff8b5cd19a9e8db

The verdict this time?  Delicious, although next time I would roast the pork and chicken bones in the oven first to add more depth of flavor to the broth.  And by the way, while I like eggs, I can't bring myself to put an egg in a ramen dish.

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39 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Looks really good, David.  REALLY good.

 

The 6 minute egg (ensures a runny yolk) is my second favorite part of the dish (noodles are the first). :) 

  I am with you Shelby.   It may or may not be necessary to be authentic but a bowl of Ramen without the egg… Dot 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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A quick reminder that - in a general sense - soy sauce is NOT NECESSARY for a dish to be "Asian", whatever "Asian" means.

Ditto, that adding soy sauce to a dish does NOT immediately make it "Asian", whatever "Asian" means.

 

For that matter, as an example of a "typically-thought-to-be-Asian" dish, I ALMOST NEVER add soy sauce to fried rice. It simply detracts from the flavors of the other ingredients in so many cases. BUT - so many folks feel that they NEED to add soy sauce to fried rice (or to anything else thought to be "Asian") to make it "authentic". That is simply incorrect.

 

BTW - I, for myself, find it curious how "Tamari" soy sauce occupies such an exalted state in Western discussions of "Asian" food. I don't find it anything special, especially as "Tamari" by itself does not guarantee "gluten-free" status which some folks tout. The many other grades of soy sauce seem to have more features going for it especially if one samples the brands/grades produced by the producers themselves.

Edited by huiray (log)
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I made ramen noodle soup tonight with the duck broth from the freezer and dried ramen noodles from the pantry. I only added regular button mushrooms and garnished with freshly picked sliced scallions and hard boiled eggs. It was very good with some Turkish sesame pide bread from the Mediterranean shop and some very mushroomy-flavored melted brie.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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5 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I made ramen noodle soup tonight with the duck broth from the freezer and dried ramen noodles from the pantry. I only added regular button mushrooms and garnished with freshly picked sliced scallions and hard boiled eggs. It was very good with some Turkish sesame pide bread from the Mediterranean shop and some very mushroomy-flavored melted brie.

Duck broth sounds delicious.

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A recent ramen hack.

 

"Ibumie Penang Lad Mie Perisa Lada Pedas", augmented with Shanghai choy sum, extra black pepper, sliced aburaage, hard-boiled eggs, scallions, braised beef tongue.

 

The ingredients.

DSCN8497-8505_A_800.jpg.5dd40a1ac49d42d7

DSCN8503a_800.jpg.7a6f480e0870deaca2585c

 

The completed cooked & assembled bowl.

DSCN8508a_800.jpg.086d66125dfeda9b055a4b

 

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13 minutes ago, Paul Bacino said:

So..anyone here ..heard of a dry Ramen!!

 

Made with Scallion oil, fish sauce and a few other items,  Not broth essentially

 

Sure. One style would be called "Kon Lo Mein" in Cantonese. Variations of this are ubiquitous in Chinese cuisine.  I've posted various iteration of this style on the dinner/lunch/etc threads in the past. I think there is an equivalent style in Japanese cuisine. Even the tsuke-men example posted by helenjp previously I would consider as tending towards this style; one could simply "wet" the ramen without ever having it swimming in broth/totally dunked in broth.

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I recently came across a salad recipe combining cabbage, dried ramen noodles, almonds, diced apple, green onion and a soy sauce based vinaigrette.  Sounds odd to me.  I'm not sure I'd like the texture of just the dried noodles.  Maybe I'll crunch away on some this afternoon as a taste test.

 

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David, I think you would like it.  I've made that salad a zillion times (a bit different variation...mine has chunks of chicken and no apple).  It's best if it sits a bit..the noodles soak up some of the "dressing" and they soften.

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 I understand that crushing the noodles, mixing them with the flavour pack and eating them as a snack is quite popular. Never tried it myself.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Regarding dry-ramen-with-cabbage salad – Sumi salad does not use soy sauce. heidih mentioned this one on one of the older ramen threads here, which also talked about other uses of ramen.

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/149228-off-label-uses-for-ramen-noodles/  

 

Dry ramen as a snack is widely done.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=dry%20ramen%20as%20snack%20food  

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=david%20chang%20eats%20dry%20ramen  

 

Ramen burgers were also discussed previously.

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/145651-ramen-burgers/  

 

Edited by huiray (log)
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That's a great idea and I have a picture in my mind---kids would probably love a dish of ramen noodles topped with spaghetti and meatballs.  And I might too!

 

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It's no different from la mian (= ramen) or other similar kinds of Chinese-type alkaline noodles being topped with a sauce or saucy mixture of meats and vegetables etc. A standard and universal feature of many kinds of regional Chinese, Chinese-derived and similar-idea cuisines.

 

(Remember too that "ramen" doesn't have to be this curly-type stuff, which is more common of the dried "instant" blocks; and that "ramen" is indeed very similar to certain kinds of E/SE Asian alkaline noodles)

Edited by huiray (log)
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This reminds me too that I forgot to mention (in my response above about "dry" ramen, which Paul Bacino brought up) a very popular form of "dry" instant ramen – Jah Jan Mien.  At least amongst certain populations. Yes, it uses the dried ramen block.  I like this, too, when I am in the mood - and this is one style of instant ramen where I generally WON'T garnish with stuff.  Maybe some chopped scallions, in either the separate bowl of soup, or on the "dry" ramen, or both.

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1 hour ago, huiray said:

It's no different from la mian (= ramen) or other similar kinds of Chinese-type alkaline noodles being topped with a sauce or saucy mixture of meats and vegetables etc. A standard and universal feature of many kinds of regional Chinese, Chinese-derived and similar-idea cuisines.

 

Is the English corruption of this where we get the term Lo Mein?

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

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I use ramen as a base for one of Johnnybird's favorite lunches..... shrimp  with carrots, cucumber and scallions with a home made sweet and sour sauce.  He can heat it up or not as he feels.  The only requirement is there has to be sesame oil in the sauce.

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Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

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3 hours ago, Panaderia Canadiense said:
5 hours ago, huiray said:

It's no different from la mian (= ramen) or other similar kinds of Chinese-type alkaline noodles being topped with a sauce or saucy mixture of meats and vegetables etc. A standard and universal feature of many kinds of regional Chinese, Chinese-derived and similar-idea cuisines.

 

Is the English corruption of this where we get the term Lo Mein?

 

No, the two terms are different.  La mian is 拉麵 (Pinyin = lā miàn; Cantonese jyutping = laai1 min6; Japanese = rāmen; "pulled noodle"), whereas lo mein is 撈麵 (Pinyin = lāo miàn; Cantonese jyutping = lou1 min6) and is the transliteration of the Cantonese pronunciation of the term** where it refers to "mixed (seasoned) noodles". I am using the traditional forms of the ideograms here.

 

** The ideogram  has two pronunciations and two meanings in Cantonese – lou1 (as here) meaning "mix/mixed"; and laau4 meaning "fish out/scoop out" (of water). The latter meaning is shared with the meaning in northern Chinese/Mandarin/etc.

P.S. It also may matter where you are when you order "lo mein", at least in the USA. SEE HERE for one discussion that touches upon it in the midst of the larger discussion about what "chow mein" is depending on who's ordering and where you are ordering it.

Which would be ラーメン  in katakana. (And not hiragana. Katakana tends to get used in Japanese for loan words, when the kanji is not used instead; and also for things like the names of companies.)

Edited by huiray (log)
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As far as I know, Ramen noodles (and they are lovely), are those little blocks of noodles which have finally been deep fried, to be made ready for you to add your boiled water to .

 

Therefore can you have fresh Ramen Noodles ?

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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On March 25, 2016 at 5:51 AM, David Ross said:

I recently came across a salad recipe combining cabbage, dried ramen noodles, almonds, diced apple, green onion and a soy sauce based vinaigrette.  Sounds odd to me.  I'm not sure I'd like the texture of just the dried noodles.  Maybe I'll crunch away on some this afternoon as a taste test.

 

I always think of that salad as a child of the seventies. Very common at potlucks! It's just an Asian style slaw, with the addition of slivered almonds and broken up chunks of packaged ramen noodles. The dressing varied in those days, as you might imagine, with additions of commercial sweetened peanut butter (really awful.) I made it recently with just a simple dressing of rice wine vinegar, peanut or veg oil, a squirt of sesame oil. I don't remember ever having it will apple, but nothing anyone did in the seventies is surprising. I am of the school that prefers to add the noodles at the very last moment, since they are all about the crunch for me.

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