Homemade Shoyu Ramen
I love RAMEN!! Ever since I moved to Los Angeles from Japan, I haven't found a place I can go to satisfy my craving for GOOD simple Shoyu Ramen. There are many great Tonkotsu ramen places in L.A. with a heavy and thick broth. But growing up eating light shoyu ramen, the Tonkotsu broth always felt a little too heavy for my taste. So, I started creating my own from scratch inspired by the flavor I remember from my favorite ramen places in Japan :-)
From my online readings and experiments, I found out that the key to making successful broth is using ingredients from the land (vegetables & mushrooms & livestock) and from the ocean (seaweed & dried fish). There are simpler Shoyu Ramen recipes where the broth is made only from chicken bones with a little bit of vegetables. But, for my Shoyu Ramen, I definitely like the broth that has a hint of seafood flavor. It adds an extra dimension.
I must say I am by no means an expert in ramen making. I do go out of my way to satisfy my cravings for Ramen though :-) This is my 5th experiment in ramen making. Each experiment, I've changed the recipe around a little. There is still so much to learn!
Ingredients: 12 - 14 servingsRamen Dashi Broth
- 1 small whole chicken
- 1 1/2 tonsoku (pigs feet)
- Handful of dried shredded pollack
- 4-5 dried and gutted niboshi (mackerel)
- Handful of dried shaved bonito
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 large cabbage
- 2 stalks of naganegi onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
- 1 large carrot (chopped)
- 2-3 inches of fresh ginger
- 2 whole garlics
- 900 ml water with 2-3 dried konbu seaweed pieces (soaked in water overnight)
- 900 ml water with 5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in water overnight)
- 3000 ml water
- 1 tbs himalayan salt (you can use any preferable salt)
- 1 block of pork belly (about 600-800g)
- 8 boiled eggs
- 5-7 garlic cloves
- 5-6 slices of ginger
- 1 stalk of naganegi onion (chopped)
- 1600 ml water
- 400 ml shoyu
- 400 ml sake
- 2 tbs beet sugar (you can use any preferable sugar)
Making Ramen Dashi Broth
1) Prepare all the ingredients and chop them roughly into the size that fits into the large pot you will be cooking your Ramen Dashi Broth. Place them into the pot.
For garlic, I ended up peeling the skin before putting them into the pot. But, some people put the entire garlic to make the broth. Also, I used a whole chicken this time. I usually get chicken feet, wings, neck with bones... but the market I was at didn't have chicken feet nor neck this time. For the flavor of broth, I prefer using chicken feet, wings... all the bone scraps I can get from the chicken. But, I'm able to save the tasty chicken for a later meal with this method, so I would probably try this method again when scraps aren't available :)
Looking back, I would put 1 or maybe 1/2 less tonsoku (pigs feet) next time. Also, I'm going to reduce the amount of carrots I put in next time as well. (Carrots made the broth little sweeter than I wanted.)
2) Empty the entire Konbu and Shitake Mushrooms in water to the pot.
3) Pour rest of the water and 1 tbs of salt.
4) Cook low heat for 7 hrs. And strain out all the ingredients from the broth. Now your ramen broth is ready for tomorrow!
Making Shoyu Tare / Chashu / Ajitama Eggs
1) While you're cooking your ramen broth for 7hrs, you can prepare your Tare, Chashu, and Eggs!
Place a block of pork belly in a large pot with all the ingredients from A listed above.
2) Cook in low heat for 2hrs. Let the sauce cool down and keep the Chashu in the sauce for an hour.
3) Meanwhile, make boiled eggs. Peel them. When the sauce is cooled down, pour the sauce over the boiled eggs and refrigerate them over night.
4) Take the Chashu pork out from the broth. Put the Chashu in a ziplock bag and let it sleep in the refrigerator overnight.
Making the Ramen
1) Start cooking the Ramen Dashi Broth you prepared the night before at least 2hrs before serving in low heat. If desired, add another handful of shaved bonito.
2) Heat up the Shoyu Tare in low heat at the same time.
3) Boil water in a large pot for cooking the ramen noodles. Boil the noodles following the package instructions.
4) In a Ramen Bowl, combine Shoyu Tare and Dashi Broth. It usually tastes the best with 1 Part (Tare) to 2 Parts (Broth)
When the noodles are ready, put them in the bowl and put on your favorite toppings. Then pour one more scoop of hot broth over everything and serve!
A few days later, I made Miso Ramen using the same broth :) Thanks for checking!