Welcome to the first real ramen experiment of the fall, Tonkotsu Experiment 006! Why 006? Because it sounds cooler. And because it’s the sixth Tonkotsu I’ve attempted. After multiple failures throughout last year, this one ended up being a surprising success, given that I made it in just under an hour and a half.
Over the past week, I’ve been in New York on business. I know I don’t talk about my actual day job on this blog, and that’s not going to change here, but I will say that it was a long, grueling, but ultimately rewarding few days. However, that’s not all that happened. I decided that while I was back in the city, I would eat as much ramen as possible. Although I didn’t get anywhere near the amount I wanted, and I didn’t get to the noodle shops I really wanted to, I did have some phenomenal ramen while in the Big Apple.
Holy crap, its been awhile, huh? The holidays always do that, make it harder to get posts and ramen experiments done. Between Thanksgiving, preparing for Christmas, the entire family being sick at one point or another, and trying to get 16 spots completed for Q1 before going on winter holiday, I’ve barely had time to focus on anything ramen related. However, a few weeks back, I did manage to finally make what I consider to be the best ramen I’ve ever made. It was absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t get many pictures of the process, but I do have the recipe.
Over the years, I’ve tried, in actuality, two ramen recipes. One I found on the internet about a decade ago, and the other is my current Easy Ginger Broth recipe, which is actually modified from the original recipe. I like my easy ginger broth, but it is by no means the best ramen in the world. The previous recipe included a step to make your own dashi before adding it to store bought chicken broth, then adding two tablespoons of shoyu at the end. It was okay, but not great. I simplified it by using Hon Dashi rather than making your own dashi, mostly to save time – real ramen takes days to make. However, I decided that I need to take my ramen making to the next level, so I decided to go back to the “from scratch” recipes, this time doing something I’ve never done before: made my own stock. Here’s what I did.
Jess and I had the opportunity to attend a local pop-up ramen night at Local Loaf in uptown Charlotte at the 7th Street Public Market tonight.
Today we have a two-fer! Jess and I decided to try Myojo Chukazanmai’s Oriental and Soy Sauce flavored ramen. Considered amongst packaged ramen folk to be of a higher quality than your typical American grocery store ramen, these two offerings pack quite a bit of flavor in a freeze-dried packet.
This is the single best pre-packaged ramen I have ever had. It’s stunning how close it gets to restaurant/stand quality in a little refrigerated box. I found this in my Japanese grocer’s freezer and tried it out simply because I prefer the uncooked noodle variety of pre-packaged ramen. I am so glad I did.
This is my go-to recipe for ramen broth. It’s a fairly simplistic recipe as far as ramen goes – I’d place it somewhere between a real, multi-day broth cook, and a decent packaged broth. For what it is, my family and I find it to be quite delicious, and it doesn’t require hours upon hours of work, which is sometimes a necessary consideration when you have a toddler and a baby running and crawling around and you have a craving for ramen. I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years, and this is my current version. It’s very adaptable, the base components being the Hon Dashi and chicken broth. Other than those two things, you can do just about whatever you want to it!