I think average Japanese eats 2-3 ramen bowls a week, so people in Japan (especially in Tokyo) loves ramen. But when I was living in Japan, I was eating Ramen everyday. Yes, EVERYDAY.
If you never been to Japan, you would surprise that there is hundreds of Ramen restaurants in city.
Ramen restaurants lifetime is usually short. Some shops lasts 1-2 years while some restaurant ends business less than a year. Ofcourse there are some “traditional” restaurants like having 10+ years history, but no so many.
So people like me always looking for something new.
Ramen restaurants are “saturated” in Japan. They can’t survive with average taste.
So I would not surprise United States is the next Ramen business field.
OK, now the main thing: “Ramen in United States are not average taste compare to Japan. Even in Bay Area.”
I could say that this is the TRUE opinion of real native Japanese ramen lover.
First of all, pork broth a.k.a “Tonkotsu” is not a standard in Tokyo. I think it is more like southern Japan style, but still different. But people in Bay Area always loves Tonkotsu.
I asked several people why not soy sauce (which is highly standard in rest of Japan), they complained “because Tonkotsu taste better.”
I thought this was cultural difference, but I was bit doubtful about it. Because people really loves Japanese foods though.
So went to several famous Ramen restaurants in Bay Area and tried soy sauce ones. Then I understand what they meant. Yes, the taste is not good. (Or I would say BAD. Far below the average taste.)
I’m going to tell you this: You would get much better Ramen at your home.
Now I give you REAL ramen recipe. Don’t trust other recipes in English. Believe me. I’m making Ramen every week because it taste SO good.
Your first most simple Ramen recipe
Ingredients for 1L broth
- 1 Chicken bone (with neck and skin is preferable)
- 1 Ginger slice
- 1 Garlic clove (peel it obviously)
- 2 green onion (use only “green” part, discard white part)
- 1 kg Pork butt or Pork belly (not sliced)
- 20g Dried anchovy a.k.a “Niboshi”
It will takes 4 hours. Don’t be scary, just listen to your favorite music. It is a good time to discover some musics 😉 But don’t go out of kitchen, watch your stock every 10 minutes, especially at a beginning.
1. Wash a chicken bone, and soak it long time (overnight is preferable, but at least 2 hours) in water.
Reason: to remove the blood.
2. You need to tied up the pork with kitchen twine. Just like this.
3. Put everything except Niboshi in 2L of hot “soft water” (I’m using Crystal Geyser usually.) and simmering for 4 hours. (Don’t bring it boil! Keep the best temperature for simmering.)
4. Watch your stock and skim off the scum constantly.
5. After 2 hours from the beginning, remove the pork. (Then soak it in the “Sauce” for 30 min. Keep read this article!)
6. In last 30minutes, put Niboshi in stock.
That’s it! How easy steps.
Rember that the final volume of the broth is 1L. I would start with 2L so the water level goes down and hopefully you will get 1L after 4 hours of simmering.
Ingredients for 400ml of “Sauce”
- 300ml soy sauce
- 100ml seasoning sake a.k.a “Mirin”
1. Put Mirin in the sauce pan, bring it to boil then “Flambé” it.
2. After cool it down, pour soy sauce and mix.
You will need it for serving and also for seasoning the pork. So the pork toppings that you see in Ramen is actually the by-product.
It is better idea to put the pork in refrigerator after seasoning so it become easy to slice.
You also can use this for seasoning the boiled eggs. Just soak it for several hours.
Now you serve the Ramen.
Ingredients for 1 serve of Ramen bowl
- 30-50ml Sauce
- 350-450ml broth
- 1 pack of Ramen noodle (get Japanese noodles from Japanese store. They usually comes with some soup pack, discard it.)
- Slices of the pork
- Your favorite toppings
Follow this 4-easy-step. (The measure is vary depends on personal favorites.)
1. Pour the Sauce into a bowl.
2. Pour the broth into a bowl.
3. Put boiled noodle and mix it.
4. Place the toppings.
I think you would proberbly get the what I called “average taste” Ramen with this recipe. This is very basic standard recipe, so I would suggest to research and optimize it and create your very own Ramen!
Thanks for reading this and enjoy your Ramen life.