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.
The next day, I wrapped up and seasoned a hunk of pork loin. Like usual, I seared the entire piece of meat first, intending to braise it in the stock.
That was a mistake. The tare was a bit too strong for the absolutely delicious stock – I used a deep, dark, heavy brew shoyu and it overwhelmed the stock. Next time, I’ll go with the traditional method of adding tare first and stock to taste in order to get my ratios right.
Overall, I’d call the experiment a success. There are a lot of things I’d do differently, but for a first go in awhile from scratch, I think it went well. My family enjoyed it, and I could taste the beginnings of a truly amazing shoyu ramen, but for now, we’ll call this one a partial success: the tare was too heavy, but the stock was spot on.
Notes for Next Time
- Add bonito to dashi rather than stock – the flakes clumped up with the scum too easily, losing a lot of the flavor.
- Check tare recipe and ratio. Too heavy.
- Try more flavor profiles – add shiitake mushrooms, scallions, bacon, etc. Experiment with actual stock.