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My obsession for baking is somewhat subsiding, also my social calendar is a bit busy and I don't have time to spend all night in the kitchen.

After my crappy experience at Ippudo, I decided I make my own ramen soup. Noodles are too hard to make from scratch (or is it? Should that be my next agenda?), so I bought them. Unlike many other dishes, ramen recipes are VERY hard to find anywhere. I believe this is due to the lengthy and complicated process. Also I think ramen masters don't want us to find out a way to make it at home.

My lovely neighborhood supermarket, Western Beef sells very weird meat parts, which is perfect to make stocks. So I bought chicken legs, pork parts (skin, meat, bone, all in). I also bought vegetables to kill the animal flavor from meat. With these meat, I added onion, leek, ginger, and dried shiitake mushrooms and simmered for about 5 hours.

I drained the soup, and man, it already looks like ramen soup, doesn't it? To this, I added dried sardines (iriko), and got a bit of fish flavor. At real ramen shops, they make concentrated soup base, and put about table spoon of it, then add stock like below. But that's for professionals, and I couldn't be bothered by it. So I added whatever was available into the stock base.

Then I was reading some of the ramen related sites, and many of them said that it's important to put MSG into the soup. For some reason, good ramen soup can be achieved using MSG. No wonder ramen noodle came from China and so addictive... I don't have MSG at home, so I used some of the concentrated soup that comes with noodles, and surely, after adding in the MSG filled concentrate, the whole soup tasted like real ramen soup. What a wonder!

Unlike greasy, dead-pig-in-the-soup Ippudo, mine was very gentle, yet flavorful. I made cha-shu (pork belly cooked in soy, ginger, sugar mix), thinly sliced it, plus ground sesame seeds and scallions. Wala, semi-home made ramen is done. Mind you, Sandra Lee, I don't think you can create this good of a semi-home made dish!

When eating ramen, it's almost MUST to have dumplings and rice. It's like you need caviar when drinking vodka. So I made it as well. Unlike the regular shape, this one is sort of tube shaped. Partly because I only had wonton skin, but I also saw tube shaped dumplings served at many restaurants in Tokyo recently. This is a pretty genius idea. Unlike the regular shape, the tube version holds a lot more meat, and it's also very easy to assemble. No creasing business.



  • Why do you need rice when eating ramen? Don’t you get really full?

    Sonja on

  • Dude, you are a madman! Hat’s off to you!!!

    tmonkey on

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