I am on a major ramen kick right now. Like I want to be slurping up noodles everyday kind of kick. Up until about a year ago, I had no idea ramen was anything more than plastic packages of dried noodles with a salty flavor packet. I had my first really good bowl of ramen at Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya in Portland and I have been hooked ever since! I never realized there was so many variations- I dream of the day Thomas and I can travel to Japan hopping from spot to spot, slurping up bowls around every corner. Have you guys watched Ramen Head?! It’s a documentary about Tomita, one of the top ramen chefs in Japan, and it’s fueled my ramen fire even more!
I am definitely all for take-out and sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and let someone else do all the work. But I wanted to see if I could truly make an authentic bowl of ramen, so I did and it was SO worth it. You should definitely have some time on your hands if you’re going to embark on this endeavor, but in the end a cozy bowl of slurpy goodness will be waiting for you 🍜
Shopping at your local Asian grocery store will make this a lot easier since you can find great fresh ingredients like miso and fresh ramen noodles. I pretty much followed Lady and Pups recipe besides tweaking a few small things and it turned out incredible! Like she says, the ingredient list may look a little long but the preparation is super easy!
Recipe & notes from Lady & Pups
It’s important that you use unsalted, or minimally salted stock for this recipe. I always store homemade, unsalted chicken/pork stock in the freezer as it gives me total control of the seasoning in the final dishes. Whether you are using homemade or store-bought, if your stock already has a prominent saltiness to it, you’ll have to reduce the amount of spicy miso paste to accommodate which will reduce the miso-flavour in your soup. You’d be trading flavours with salt, see?
The type of soy milk may also make a difference. I prefer Asian-style unsweetened soy milk which tends to carry a stronger “tofu/soy bean” taste, but if that’s unavailable, American brands soy milk will do, too. Just make sure it isn’t sweetened, or flavoured with vanilla or etc.
-The only variation to this recipe I made, is that I used a pork hock to make my pork stock and then shredded the meat afterwards and garnished the bowls as opposed to using ground pork in the recipe, but either way is delicious!
Spicy miso paste: (enough for at least 8 servings)
1/2 cup (130 grams) of white miso paste
1/2 cup (130 grams) of red miso paste
1/3 cup (80 grams) of sichuan douban chili paste
1 small (or 3/4 medium) onion, cut into chunks
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
2″ (33 grams) of ginger, cut into chunks
3 tbsp (60 grams) of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp of dashi granules
2 tsp (17 grams) of sesame paste (if Asian brands are unavailable, use tahini)
shoyu soft-boiled eggs:
4 large free-range eggs
3 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of dark brown sugar
1 tbsp of water
Garlic and togarashi oil:
2 small shallots, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp of sesame seeds
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup o vegetable oil
2 1/2 tbsp of Japanese seven spice (shichimi togarashi)
All of the above can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge until needed.
To make the spicy miso paste: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smoothly pureed. You may need to stop and scrape the blender a few times to get it going in the beginning. Transfer the mixture into a pot and set over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer and keep cooking/stirring for another 5 min. Let it cool completely and store in an air-tight container in the fridge until needed.
To make the shoyu soft-boiled eggs: Gently place the eggs in a small pot and fill it with water until the eggs are covered by 1″. Add a generous pinch of salt (not listed in the ingredient-list because it’s more of a superstition for easy-peeling than anything…) and bring the water to a bare simmer on medium-high heat, then immediately lower the heat down to low (only enough heat to keep it at a bare simmer/or if you want to be anal, 212ºF/100ºC). The second the water reached the right temperature, set the timer at 4:30 min. Gently move the eggs around a few times during cooking. Once the timer goes off, immediately transfer the eggs into cold water and leave them to cool completely.
Combine soy sauce, dark brown sugar and water in a small sauce pot. Warm up the mixture just enough to melt the sugar, then set aside. Peel the eggs then submerge them in the soy sauce-mixture. Turning them occasionally while marinating for 2~3 hours.
To make the garlic and togarashi oil: Combine minced shallots, minced garlic, sesame seeds, salt and vegetable oil in a small pot and set over low heat. Slowly cook/stir until the garlics are crispy and lightly browned, approx 5~6 min. Turn off the heat and add the Japanese chili powder/togarashi. Give the mixture a stir and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
Spicy miso ramen: (for 2 servings)
220 grams of fatty ground pork (or use a pork hock that you made pork stock with)
1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp of dried shitake mushrooms
2 cups (475 grams) of unsalted chicken or pork stock
1 cup (227 grams) of unsweetened, unflavoured soy milk (Asian brands preferred but if unavailable, this will do, too)
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup of spicy miso paste
2 servings of fresh ramen noodles
4 tbsp of finely diced scallions
1 sheet of nori/Japanese sushi seaweed, cut into rectangular sheets
To make the spicy miso ramen: Rinse the dried shitake mushrooms to get rid of any sand/dirt. Finely chop them and set aside (without soaking).
In a large soup pot, heat up 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil on high heat and start browning the fatty ground pork with ground black pepper. Once the pork has broken up, browned, and released its fat, add 1/4 cup of the spicy miso paste and cook for another min until fragrant. Add the chopped shitake, unsalted stock and unsweetened soy milk and bring to a simmer. Place 1/2 cup spicy miso paste on top of a very fine sieve. Lower the sieve half-way into the simmering soup and use a spoon to slowly dissolve the paste into the soup (it may seem very thick and troublesome in the beginning but be patient, it’ll dissolve eventually). You’d be surprised at how much “solids” within the paste will remain on top of the sieve, which if dumped directly into the soup, will make the soup very thick and “sauce-like”.
Discard the “solids” in the sieve and let the soup simmer for another 5 min. If the soup tastes quite salty at this point, that is correct. It’s Japanese ramen… It is salty.
Cook the fresh ramen noodles according to package instructions, and drain well. Divide the noodles into two large bowl and ladle the soup on top (you may have a bit more than needed). For each serving, place 1 shoyu egg (cut into half), 2 tbsp of finely diced scallions, 3 rectangular nori sheets, and 2 tsp of garlic and togarashi oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.