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eG Cook-Off #72: Ramen


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Ramen noodles are fresh noodles - the dried, crunchy ones that you sling in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes are "instant ramen", and the ones that come in a polystyrene bowl or cup that you add hot water to are known here as "cup ramen".

As Huiray says, people don't usually add much to instant ramen, the whole point of them is that they are a mindless midnight snack.

As for eating the fried & dried type raw, you can buy them as a snack called Baby Star Ramen!

"Dry" styles of fresh ramen....ramen salad in Japan is usually "hiyashi chuuka" (chilled Chinese noodles), served with say cucumber, tomato, chicken, ham, or omelet strips. And the other one would be stirfried ramen ("yakisoba"), usually fried with onion, carrot, cabbage, and pork, and seasoned with a kind of thickened worcester sauce.

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@helenjp, regarding stir fried ramen/yakisoba - one idiosyncratic variant which is NOT stir fried and which I have made a few times is something called "patan", as shown on episode 2 of Season 3 of the excellent Kodoku no Gurume, which was said to be an in-house dish of this pork-devoted shop (see the 1st link below) in Yokohama (owned and run by Chinese-origin folks). :-) 

 

I talked about it here, herehere, and here. :-D

Edited by huiray (log)
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Made some pork stock.

 

Bones.

DSCN8532a_600.jpg

Also some sliced bone-in pork hocks.

 

All given a "fei sui" treatment (parboiled, dumped in sink, scrubbed/washed under a running tap) then placed in fresh clean cold water in a clean pot. Sliced ginger & sea salt added.

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Brought to a boil.

Charred shallots & cipollini onions & more ginger also went in.

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Some skimming done, minimal. Scallions (white parts) & garlic & some ajinomoto also went in. Held at a medium rolling BOIL (covered) for about ~12 hours in all, topping up w/ water as needed but allowing the volume to reduce down somewhat towards the end. 

 

L: Boiling away.    R: After decanting through 2 stacked fine-mesh metal sieves.

DSCN8548-51_C_600.jpg

 

About 2+ quarts of richly gelatinous stock obtained.

 

 

Later on, made a simple bowl of ramen-style noodles, freeform, using part of the stock diluted a bit for the broth.

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I used fresh (nama) yakisoba noodles [Maruchan] briefly blanched in hot water then drained. Fresh shiitake mushrooms [Shamrock Farm] & sliced poached (水煮) bamboo shoot (winter-type) simmered in the stock. Bowled w/ flowering broccolini [Full Hand Farm] wilted in the water used to blanch the yakisoba; plus two hard boiled eggs & chopped scallions (green parts). Quick drizzles of Hokkaido Kelp Flavor naturally fermented soy sauce & sesame oil.

 

Edited by huiray (log)
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Gee it's hard to follow @huiray, with my so so simple version, but here goes anyway.

 

I marinated some sliced chicken thigh in cornflour, rice wine, soy sauce and pepper. Stir fried it with garlic and ginger, splashed in a tiny bit of oyster sauce then set aside. Same wok, slivered onion, sliced wombok, soaked and sliced shiitakes and fresh bamboo shoots. I covered Maggi two minute noodles in boiling water, then chucked them in the MW for two minutes (ha ha great name). I poured on some heated homemade chicken and duck stock which came from the depths of the freezer. I can't remember what went in, probably star anise, onions, ginger....

Garnished with sliced spring onions, fried shallots and coriander (because I love it and have it growing well at the moment, which is rare).

 

 

image.jpeg

 

Clearly I need to work on my presentation. 

He who needs to be fed raved about it, so that's good :)

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7 hours ago, David Ross said:

Huiray do you go to a local butcher for those wonderful looking pork bones? 

 

I get them from the Chinese grocery I frequently go to.

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3 hours ago, helenjp said:

Wow, never heard of patan, even though one of my sons is nicknamed for a resemblance to Kodoku no Gurume (the manga, not the movie version)!

 

Try the dish sometime!

 

(Of course, vampires and all non-garlic-loving folks will keep their distance from you for a while afterwards)

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Here's a recent new "instant ramen-type" product I picked up from my usual Chinese grocery which uses NON-FRIED ramen. (I've had - and liked - a similar product with the same sort of seasoning profile but where fairly thick noodles resembling udon was the carbohydrate, and which I *think* I've posted about in some past post or two).

DSCN8572a_600.jpg

 

The ingredients list, which show the noodles to be wheat noodles with "kansui" (Na2CO3 + K2CO3) in it = alkaline wheat noodles = ramen, according to the definitions of some posters here and elsewhere. ;-) 

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The package contents of one of the packages within the larger 5-pack packaging.

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After cooking according to the package instructions (2 min simmer, shut off heat, add seasoning etc package contents --- it takes a few minutes to do all that so the noodles sit in the slowly-cooling-but-still-hot liquid for those minutes so it makes sense to do the cooking for the 2 minutes specified to maintain the chewiness of these noodles, which they do indeed have) and then transferring to a serving bowl:

DSCN8580a_600.jpg

There's actually quite a bit of the preserved mustard in that bowl of stuff - it's not visually that obvious because a lot of it is now at the bottom of the bowl and a lot is also entangled in the noodles.

 

Simply garnished with sliced scallions and nothing else.

DSCN8581a_600.jpg

 

Decent but nothing especially noteworthy. Somewhat salty as done with the specified starting amount of water (600 mL). I think I would either add less of the seasoning packet next time (especially since the preserved mustard is already salted) or add more water. Augmentation with other stuff in my usual manner (as opposed to what helenjp says about "most people" not adding anything to such stuff) would also be a likely maneuver on my part for the next time.

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A ramen bowl.

 

Fresh (but frozen) ramen, Japanese [imported; from Sakura Mart]. Thawed before cooking. Broth: some of the pork stock from here, diluted a bit, augmented with hon-dashi flakes [Ajinomoto] & Maldon sea salt. Garnished w/ flat-leaved & curly-leaved broccolini [Full Hand Farm] blanched briefly in the ramen-cooking water; slices of Japanese-style BBQ-flavoured (chashu-like) kurobuta pork [Family Gourmet; Japanese brand, from One World Market]; aburaage [maruki-food] (this one) simmered w/ the broth; semi-hard boiled egg (which broke up a bit on shelling); chillied shredded bamboo shoots [Goldensmell] with some of the chilli oil; julienned scallion, white part; thinly-sliced scallion, green part. Fresh ground white pepper. Drizzles of sesame oil [Dragonfly] & koikuchi soy sauce [Higeta Honzen; choutokusen] (this one). 

 

DSCN8601a_600.jpg

Edited by huiray (log)
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For those who think there is a standard for ramen set so high they cannot reach it:

 

"Original-style ramen is a term used in Japan for ramen made with nontraditional ingredients. It wasn’t until I went to Japan and met Tomaharu Shono, the owner of Mensho Ramen (and five other ramen-yas in Tokyo, as well as one in San Francisco), that I felt vindicated. He’s a top ramen chef and the master of original-style ramen. He’ll often make limited-edition ramen that eager customers patiently line up for, knowing that when the soup runs out, it’s “too bad, so sad.” He uses ingredients such as foie gras and soy milk; spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and fennel; and even makes a chocolate noodle."

Amy Kimoto-Kahn author of Simply Ramen. 

 

 It is not saying that anything goes but that if you work with integrity then there are endless possibilities.  I found it very freeing. 

 

 

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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

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 It may take some time before I actually participate in this cook off but today I made the miso soup base from the book Simply Ramen.  Here is a link to the recipe but you will need to scroll through to the miso base.  

 

Link

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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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On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 2:30 PM, Anna N said:

For those who think there is a standard for ramen set so high they cannot reach it:

 

"Original-style ramen is a term used in Japan for ramen made with nontraditional ingredients. It wasn’t until I went to Japan and met Tomaharu Shono, the owner of Mensho Ramen (and five other ramen-yas in Tokyo, as well as one in San Francisco), that I felt vindicated. He’s a top ramen chef and the master of original-style ramen. He’ll often make limited-edition ramen that eager customers patiently line up for, knowing that when the soup runs out, it’s “too bad, so sad.” He uses ingredients such as foie gras and soy milk; spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and fennel; and even makes a chocolate noodle."

Amy Kimoto-Kahn author of Simply Ramen. 

 

 It is not saying that anything goes but that if you work with integrity then there are endless possibilities.  I found it very freeing. 

 

 

Well said and the quote speaks to why I think our Cook-Off's are inspiring, creative and just darn fun. 

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image.jpeg

 

 No claim that this is anything like what others might recognize as ramen but I was anxious to try the miso base I had made and so I had to make do with what was on hand. Ham, Chinese egg noodles, romaine lettuce.  The miso base was definitely a winner.  Gave both enormous flavour and some body to the broth. It is a huge umami hit. I am thinking it will be used for much more than ramen broth. 

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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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I was eager to try something, so I made macaroni and cheese using ramen noodles instead of elbow macaroni. No pictures

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"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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  • 2 weeks later...

image.jpegScrambled eggs, rare beef, grated carrot, blanched bok choy. Broth was chicken broth and miso base. Miso base from the book Simply Ramen (the recipe linked above). 

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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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10 hours ago, Shelby said:

That looks so good, Anna.  I'm craving a bowl like that.

Hoping you and others will join this cook-off that David started. 

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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"Patan" last night.

DSCN8857a_600.jpg

Very simple dish. I talked about this upthread.

Last night – Chopped raw garlic (Music - 1 whole large head's worth) in a pyrex cup, mixed w/ enough sesame oil (untoasted) [Dragonfly] to coat and just barely cover, then zapped in the microwave for 20 secs. Nama (fresh) yakisoba [Maruchan; Japan] blanched in hot water, drained, mixed with the garlic-sesame oil mixture plus chopped scallions plus one packet of the yakisoba sauce [Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.; Japan]. Toss well. Plate, topping w/ more chopped scallions. Eat.

 

ETA: The dish as originally shown on Kodoku no Gurume consists of yakisoba merely tossed w/ chopped smashed raw garlic, then with some light soy sauce and sesame oil drizzled over it, then dressed w/ some sliced/chopped green onions/scallions.

Edited by huiray (log)
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Last night I did a dish using instant ramen noodles in a sort of fried rice style.  After boiling and rinsing, the noodles were stir-fried with sesame oil, then light soy sauce, carrots, peas, egg and green onions.  I added about a tablespoon of toasted nori seaweed coarsely chopped, then garnished with fried garlic and fried chili salt, sesame seeds and black pepper.  I used too much of the fired chili salt and the noodles were way too salty but in general, a good noodle dish using instant ramen noodles.

 

IMG_0225.JPG

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Until this cook-off, I never used toasted seaweed much, never thought of it as a seasoning element or garnish in a dish.  But in the ramen noodle dish above the toasted seaweed added just a hint of flavor, yet enough to give the noodles more of a Japanese type of flavor.  In fact, I'm headed to the market today to buy more toasted seaweed. 

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3 minutes ago, helenjp said:

 

Could be dangerous! A person can get through a surprising amount of toasted seaweed in a lifetime.

I think you are right.  I'm thinking in addition ramen noodles I might have to put it into some clam chowder this weekend.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ever since we launched this Ramen Cook-Off I've been working on combining ramen noodles in a dish with some type of fried prawns.  It took a lot of experimenting--to find a unique way to flavor the prawns and experiment with the cooking techniques.  I settled on using dried instant ramen noodles in a simple broth of dashi and yellow miso paste with bok choy.  The garnishes for the dish were a quick-pickle julienne of carrot, fresh radishes and green onions.

 

Using an idea I saw on "Dining With the Chef" on YouTube, (a Japanese cooking program on the NHK network), I used two types of deep-fried prawns.  One was a coating of crushed dried wasabi peas and seaweed rice crackers, the second a coating of wasabi fumi furikake rice seasoning.  This particular rice seasoning is a mixture of sesame seeds, horseradish, shaved bonito, Japanese mustard, sugar seaweed, soy sauce, salt and rice wine.  I also added some Sansyo Japanese pepper.  The coatings were sweet yet savory and added a delicious crispy texture to the prawns.  Next time I'll add some salt to the coating mixtures, but all in all this was a good take on a ramen dish.IMG_0382.JPG

IMG_0385.JPG

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