So I have decided to become an expert on ramen. This wasn’t exactly a rash decision. Zuimei is talking about opening a ramen restaurant so I figured I should see what is involved in making it. I also went around to the various Ramen restaurants in town. I will rate them later on.
Let me stress, it is not just noodle soup, it is extremely difficult to make well and fairly involved. I used numerous sources and did a lot of reading prior to undertaking this task. The resources I used are Serious eats, Instructables, and most importantly – no recipes. Keep in mind that making ramen is a multi-day process. You need a day to make the broth and then the next day make the noodles.
So the recipe actually calls for pig trotters. Pork bones are also good. I used pig hocks. First they have way to much meat on them. You want to be making a broth, not a stew.
I also added chick legs but again, I think there was too much meat on them. I ended up dumping the water and starting again a few times, this is because you want to get rid of the brown filth that rises.
One thing I would recommend is just start with a bag of pork bones. They should be easier to deal with. On thing I did get right is my aromatics. These are the ingredients that add some special flavour. I used white onions, spring onions, garlic and ginger and roasted them in the oven. I added a little vegetable oil to help roast everything. I put these in the over for about 2 hours at 350 degrees. During this time I skimmed the pork and began cutting the meat away from the bone. The house smelled great!
I also bought some dried shiitake mushrooms from Chinatown and soaked them in warm water. I tossed all of these into the pot and slowly simmered it for about 10 hours. By this point all the flesh had complete dissolved off of the bone. I had read “you want to be able to read the date on a penny at the bottom of a pot of good French stock” so as a result I drained it all from one pot into another and screened everything. It was at this point I took a tally of all the meat and ingredients I used and realized I had made $40 stock. Oops. The good news it freezes. So I have a stock for pretty much the next 6 months…
…to be continued